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Sharing Shakespeare's Story


Made from bell metal (a copper-tin alloy), and inscribed in relief with the date 1607, an item like this would have been owned by a literate, relatively wealthy person. In fact it bears the inscription ‘Correlis Dehane’ which could be the name of the continental maker or, more probably, the original owner. In practical terms, this particular inkwell has a chained lid, to protect the ink from exposure to the air when not in use, and quill holders have been added to its sides. But it is also a decorative item: a band of flowers and vines encircles the object and such embellishments indicate that this object was prized for its quality as well as its utility.

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The inkwell is from 1607-the time when Shakespeare was writing Macbeth

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I like oak galls because I never realised that is how you made ink. You crush them and add water. It was amazing!

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