A lovely antique early Victorian English
Papier Mache double inkwell desk stand by Jennens and Bettridge, dating to circa 1850.
The desk stand has
two penrests, a small lidded recess in the centre, flanked by two molded glass
inkwells with black painted wooden lids, and stands on four small ball feet. The floral decoration of this piece is
composed of inlaid abalone shell pearl heightened with gilding. The reverse bears
impressed marks, "JENNENS & BETTRIDGE BIRMm", under a Crown.
Jennens and Bettridge (Aaron Jennens and T.H. Bettridge) were
highly regarded for producing high quality papier mâché wares, with production flourishing
between 1815-1864. They acquired the workshops of Henry Clay in 1816, famous
for producing Japanned wares for George III and the Prince of Wales.
Their original premises were in Birmingham and they
started a London branch at 3 West Halkin Street, Belgravia in 1837, with later
offices established in both Paris and New York.