The vase-capped inkstand, inlaid with Grecian-black ribbon tablets, is designed in the early 19th century French antique manner promoted by Thomas Hope's Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807. Its bronze garniture of bacchic ram-headed, reed-gadrooned and acorn-finialed 'krater' vases corresponds to those featured on a Carlton House 'Sphinx' inkstand supplied in 1810 for George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV by the Vulliamys of Pall Mall. The Prince's vases, which were recorded as serving for 'Ink, Sand, Sponge etc', accompanied a similar thyrsus-finialed vase for 'wafers', which lacked handles. This present inkstand is likely to have been designed by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (d. 1854), who served as the Prince's 'Furniture man' and advertised as a dealer in 'ornamental work in metal'. From 1806 he operated a close working relationship with the Paris bronze-manufacturer Pierre-Maximilian Delafontaine (d. 1860), while the Prince's 'China man' Robert Fogg served as an intermediary.
An inkstand of this pattern, but with a different garniture, was sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 25 October 1986, lot 6.