Red stoneware pottery inkstand, Wedgwood, about 1810
In the days before telephones and email, writing letters was the main form of long-distance communication. For lots of people, letter writing became almost an art form. Many objects were made to make the experience more enjoyable.
The middle part of this piece is the inkwell. On either side are a pot for pens (with holes) and another for pounce, a powder used to dry ink after writing. The crocodile's head held a candle.
Given by Joseph Mayer, 1867.