Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The great curling stone inkwell mystery

I don't imagine that many reading this have the luxury of being able to watch daytime television. Or chose to! I confess I always have Bargain Hunt on in the background if I'm at home having lunch!

So last week, I almost dropped my spoon in my soup when I heard one of the experts describing a curling stone inkwell. The team bought it, and if I recall correctly, it was then sold at auction for £18.

I have a few of these in my collection of curling memorabilia. I'm very fond of my wee stones (can't believe I've actually written that!). There are four relatively common inkwells, transfer printed ceramic to simulate a granite effect, two in pink and two in grey. The larger flatter ones have a striking band, the dumpier ones do not.

The mystery is where these were made, and exactly when. I have never been able to find out. I assume it was in the early part of the 20th century. They could be Scottish, but even that is not certain. Perhaps there is an advert somewhere? If you can add any light to the mystery, please let me know.

Very rare are wee stones, from the same source, not made as inkwells, but as little stone paperweights, as in the pic above (from Brian Alderman's collection).