Museum Quality C1840 INK SANDER/POUNCE POT/Sandbox AAFA

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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Feb 13,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction

Museum Quality Circa 1840 Ink Sander or Pounce Pot in Great Paint!
Description: By far, the most pristine early baluster sander or pounce pot I’ve ever had, and one with the very best mustard paint. You won’t find one better in paint. Circa 1840, it is museum quality in every way. Measures 3¼ inches high and 3 inches across at the dish. Baluster body is lathe turned and the cup is perforated with the traditional 6-pointed star for filling the “sandbox” with sand, and for sprinkling it over rough 19th century paper. As the photos show, the sander is in absolutely mint condition, including its mustard paint. Traditional blue paper covers the bottom. Sander still has its original pumice inside! It was as if this sander had been kept in storage for 170 years – or in a museum.
History of Sanders or Pounce Pots : Ink sanders were the 18th and 19th century’s equivalent of our blotting paper. Early paper didn't absorb ink well and the dip quill pens often left too much ink on the page, so to dry the ink and keep it from smearing, a fine sand, called pounce, was sprinkled on the page. The containers had perforated tops for the job. The pounce was a mixture of crushed sand, pumice or cuttlefish bone, finely powdered in a mortar and pestle. After absorbing and drying the ink, it was poured back in the sander to be used again. That’s why sanders have a bowl-like top.
Sanders were in common use from the early 17th century until most of the 19th. Blotting paper became popular by about 1870, so sanders had just about become obsolete by then. The S. Silliman & Co. of Chester, CT. where I live, made many wooden sanders (as well as wooden inkwells.) This could be one of them, but there is no Silliman label on the paper base, typical of Silliman products, though the paper covering the base is exactly like other Silliman examples. (The last photo shows a picture of the sander with a classic Silliman inkwell which I will be listing soon, along with several others.) The Silliman factory produced sanders and inkwells from the 1830’s to the1850s. Many sanders were custom made and many different examples exist today. They were made in a variety of materials and some were natural finish and some were painted. If you’ve wanted the baluster-style cupped ink sander, in mint condition, with the best mustard paint, this is one to consider seriously. Offered with a modest reserve.
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