Object of the Week: Charles Phelps Jr.'s Ink Stand

This ink Standish- which was the term from the 15th to the 18th century- is crafted from pewter and most likely English or Irish in origin.  In the 1757 Porter inventory it is listed as an “ink case” worth “2d 1/2”.  It most likely belonged to Moses Porter and Charles Phelps, Jr. acquired it through marriage to Moses only child. The stand shows signs of being well-used, as its bottom exhibits multiple repairs and there is an alteration made to the front left section in order to deepen it. The different small compartments would commonly have held wax letter-sealing wafers, an ink well, gum powder called “pounce” which was sprinkled onto paper helping fix the ink, and most likely quills and a letter-opener.