France, Louis XIV period
Palisander, inlaid with maple wood flowers
Tinted sycamore, mutton bone
Rectangular in shape, this inkstand has four straight sides, three compartments with cups (ink, a bowl for the sponge and drying sand) as well as a curved compartment with semi-circle bands. The marquetry elaborated presents on the principal fronts a foliaged decor embellished with flowers and fleurets in different wood species or horn framing the volutes topped with a flower. The sides have a similar and shorter decor, centred by unfolded leaves. The four sides are framed by brighter wood threads and interlacing with a subtle shade game running around the framing and the compartments. The main curved compartment presents a rich bouquet of flowers above a mask where scroll various foliages and fleurets. On each side of the bouquet, two characters add to the dynamism of the composition. On the left, an empanelled man seems to walk in rhythm to the sound of the instrument in which he blows while, on the right, a young woman, facing him, swings on a garland, alternating fleurets in natural horn and small circles in green tinted horn.