Chamberlain & Co., later known as the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company, produced a number of novelty inkstands during the 19th century. This example is based on a famous local monument, namely the 13th-century tomb of King John in the choir of Worcester Cathedral. The inkstand is made of bone china, with the effigy of John on the lid, flanked by St Oswald and St Wulfstan. The base is in the shape of the tomb chest, and contains cavities for three inkwells, together with a pen-tray. A decorated version of the inkstand cost four guineas in 1841; a version altered to form a paperweight also sold for four guineas, with a ‘stone colour’ version of the same priced at two guineas. The inkstand is of considerable antiquarian interest because it depicts the effigy with its original, medieval colours, traces of which were still visible until 1873 when the monument was gilded.
- Full title:
- Inkstand in the form of King John’s tomb
- c.1840-44, Diglis, Worcester
- Worcester Porcelain Factory (as Chamberlain & Co.)
- Held by:
- The British Museum
- Article by:
- Nicholas Vincent
- Medieval origins, Clauses and content
The agreement at Runnymede in 1215 had broad consequences for medieval England. Professor Nicholas Vincent explores the immediate impact of Magna Carta, considering the Civil War, the re-issue of the charter and the formation of early forms of parliament.