13 June 2000
A German silver inkstand
With maker's mark of H. N. Vir & Sohn, late 19th century
The shaped oval base on two plain stud feet and two winged demi-female figure feet, with foliage and rosette borders, fitted with a bell, two inkpots with hinged domed covers and owl finials, applied behind with a plinth surmounted by the figure of Asclepius, flanked by female attendants on scroll topped plinths, marked on base, together with a silver-mounted bloodstone pen, mid 19th century
11½in. (29cm.) high
Asclepius was the son of Apollo and Coronis. Apollo killed his mother for her alleged adultery but saved the baby Asclepius from the pyre. Asclepius later became a surgeon and saved many with the blood of Medusa, given to him by the Goddess Athena. His ability to raise the dead angered Zeus, who slew him with a thunderbolt.
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The maker's mark is that of H. NEVIR & SOHN.
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