Sunday, January 2, 2011

Florence Barlow DOULTON Lambeth Isobath Inkwell

One of my favourite inkwells in the collection is this stoneware inkwell from Doulton, Lambeth UK ca. 1880 decorated by their renowned Bird artist Miss Florence Barlow.

The overall inkwell design is a patented fountain well called an ISOBATH, exclusive to the Thomas De La Rue company. There is an internal float that ensure that just the right amount of ink is in the little opening at any time. 

The whole thing is mounted on an oak wood inkstand, with grooves for the pens to rest.
The delicate detail of the birds and the leaves is remarkable when you realize that they are drawn, in reverse, with wet coloured clay into the mould before the item is fired.  This shows every brush stroke for the 'feathers'
Florence Barlow was an expert at this type of decoration, known as 'pate-sur-pate'


  1. Wow Lyndel , your inkwell is gorgeous. I can see why it is one of your favourites, Tamara

  2. If I wanted an inkwell, this would be the style I'd choose - practical as well as beautiful !