Charles Dickens' inkstand brings 900% increase on estimate

An inkstand bought at the 1870 auction of Charles Dickens' personal effects has sold once again, this time at a Bristol, UK sale on November 6.

Charles Dickens inkstand auction
Dickens' inkstand was likely housed in the Swiss chalet he build on his land

It changed hands for £3,000 ($4,800), achieving a 900% increase on its £200-300 valuation. The piece was originally estimated at £1,000-1,500, though this was lowered prior to the sale. 

The inkstand was originally purchased at the auction of the author's possessions at his country home in Kent, as described by a mounted plate, which is inscribed: "This inkstand belonging to the late Charles Dickens and bought at the Gads Hills Sale was presented to Robert Ackrill Esq. as a souvenir of the sincere regard of his friend H M Bateson."

Charles Dickens inkstand auction
The plaque was added after the sale of Dickens' possessions at Gads Hill Place

It was at Gad's Hill Place that Dickens completed most of his later novels, including A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood. It is therefore likely that the inkstand was used during the creation of these masterpieces.

The attractive glass and brass mounted walnut inkstand was probably housed in the Swiss chalet that Dickens erected on the house's grounds, where he carried out much of his writing. It is not the first of Dickens' inkstands to appear at auction, with a brass example selling for £950 in 2011.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a superb selection of Charles Dickens items, including a number of signed letters. We are also offering authentic strands of the literary icon's hair.

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