Great Expectations is undoubtedly one of Charles Dickens' finest works, and now collectors have the chance to own the inkstand which he may have used to complete the novel.
A Bristol, UK auction is to feature the attractive glass and brass mounted walnut piece on November 6 in part II of the Lenygon collection, which encompasses an array of collectible items from the Victorian era and British Empire.
The inkstand was bought at the sale of Dickens' possessions at Gads Hill Place - the author's country home in Kent - following his death in 1870. An inscribed plate, which was added following its purchase, reads: "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."
It is known that Dickens worked on many of his later works at Gads Hill Place, including A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and the unfinished work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It is therefore likely that the inkstand was used in the creation of the majority of these works and was likely housed in the Swiss chalet which he had had built on the house's grounds.
A spectacular piece of literary history, it is expected to realise between £1,000-1,500 ($1,604-2,406). Paul Fraser Collectibles is also offering a superb selection of Charles Dickens items, including a range of signed letters and authentic strands of his hair.