In an otherwise dull sale this week (usually full of great decorative things) Weschlers had for sale a “Chinese Export Type Porcelain And Carved Wood Standish”. It sold for 400.00 plus the 20% buyers premium.
Out of place in a weekly sale in my opinion this lovely French chinoiserie coromandel standish was very special. The auction house made special note of a signature in the right corner…
Had someone scratched their name into the inkwell as they sat at the desk? More than likely the reason for the auction house to bring it to your attention. But look closely at the period behind the the J and you can see that it matches the brush strokes of the decoration. Indeed J O Wilson was a painter of china and objets and became famous enough that his signature became valuable.
Properly restored the standish should be as nice as this one offered on 1st bibs $2250.00 now marked down to $950.00 also signed by J O Wilson, described by the seller as French 1860.
I dont know too many artisans in France in 1860 named Wilson and there was a J O Wilson in Boston Mass at this time who was known for electroplating or gilding metal. But a signed limoges cup from 1920 tells us that a J O Wilson was in France brush in hand. HMMM. In any case, The inkwell from Weschlers will be fabulous and the one on 1st Dibs in my opinion is well to under priced. A good clue to age is the chinese porcelain inkwells. I myself think these are both later, maybe 1890-1920 copies of the ormolu versions made popular in France in the 1860’s. Still just as fabulous and more easily used than the grandiose 1860 versions.
We were left paddle in our lap…..at the Auction.