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Queen Anne Treasury Inkstand

Philip Rollos (c1660 - after 1715)

Britannia silver inkstand

  • About the work

    This inkstand is part of a collection of some 60 items of historic Government silver, most of which were transferred to the Government Art Collection from the Privy Council Office. Many of the items were supplied by the Jewel House, the department of the Royal Household responsible for producing silver for British Government use.

    The style of this inkstand, made in the early eighteenth century, is known as a 'Treasury' inkstand, named because of its use by the Privy Council. It is composed of a delicate silver box with two hinged lids to conceal the contents. Within the inkstand there is a specific place for each of the many items of apparatus used for letter writing at the time. There are containers for ink pots, a compartment for a pen and another for pounce (a powdered gum used to prepare the paper). More commonly, inkstands were made in the form of a tray into which each of the writing accessories would fit.

    The Royal Coat of Arms and the monogram 'AR' (for Queen Anne), during whose reign this piece was made, are engraved on one of the two lids of the inkstand.

    Philip Rollos was a goldsmith who worked in England, but was probably born in France and of Huguenot extraction (the Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church). He lived in England for some years before his denization (when he became an adopted citizen) in 1691. During the late seventeenth century, Rollos owned a successful goldsmith's workshop in London and became one of the Subordinate Goldsmiths to William III and Queen Anne. He was succeeded in this role by his son, Philip Rollos the Younger (active 1705-after 1720).

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    Materials & Techniques
    britannia silver, inkstand
  • Details
    Queen Anne Treasury Inkstand
    Britannia silver inkstand
    height: 6.60 cm, width: 30.30 cm, depth: 20.10 cm
    Transferred from the Privy Council Office, January 2008
    GAC number