Art Nouveau cast iron standish with Rd No 437759, circa 1905
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Art Nouveau cast iron standish with rd no 437759, circa 1905

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  • Standish - Although the word is little used nowadays, a standish is an inkstand on feet and usually in silver or silver plate, containing some of the following: inkwells, a pounce pot, a sealing wax container and a pen rest. Standishes are also found in less common materials including boulle, marble, brass and wood.
  • Art Nouveau Period - The Art Nouveau period was a cultural movement that emerged in the late 19th century, and was characterized by its emphasis on natural forms, flowing lines, and a decorative, ornamental style. Art Nouveau was a reaction against the ornate and heavily stylized designs of the previous era, and sought to create a new, more organic aesthetic.

    Art Nouveau was characterized by its use of sinuous, curving lines, as well as a focus on natural elements such as flowers, vines, and other organic shapes. Art Nouveau designers sought to create a total work of art, in which every element of a building or object was designed to be harmonious with the overall design.

    Some of the most iconic examples of Art Nouveau design include the Paris Metro entrances designed by Hector Guimard, the works of the artist Alphonse Mucha, and the architecture of Victor Horta in Brussels.

    The Art Nouveau period was at its peak between 1890 and 1910, but began to decline in popularity by the start of World War I. However, Art Nouveau remains an important influence on design and art to this day, and continues to be celebrated for its emphasis on natural forms and decorative style.
  • Registered Numbers - Between 1842 and 1883, a diamond- shaped mark was used to identify items as British-made, which classified the item according to the material from which it was manufactured, as well as the date of registration. This system was discontinued in 1884 when a numbering system was introduced.

    Design registration is for "what and item looks like", and is not a patent ("how something works") or trade mark ("what it is called").

    The registered number is usually on an under-surface of an object (on the base of ceramics) and oftern shown as "Rd. No. 99999", sometimes surrounded by a rectangular box.

    The table below lists the year, and the first registered number for that year:

    1884 1

    1885 18,993

    1886 39,547

    1887 61,207

    1888 87,266

    1889 111,664

    1890 140,481

    1891 160,613

    1892 183,259

    1893 203,348

    1894 223,861

    1895 244,726

    1896 266,237

    1897 288,848

    1898 309,956

    1899 328,527

    1900 349,120

    1901 367,628

    1902 380,979

    1903 401,944

    1904 422,489

    1905 428,004

    1906 469,160

    1907 486,464

    1908 516,375

    1909 533,561

    1910 546,084

    1911 561,570

    1912 585,707

    1913 608,541

    1914 627,887

    1915 642,613

    1916 651,079

    1917 655,001

    1918 662,576

    1919 665,728

    1920 664,869

    1921 676,491

    1922 685,412

    1923 691,571

    1924 695,944

    1925 705,943

    1926 716,386

    1927 723,430

    1928 725,899

    1929 740,459

    1930 741,336

    1931 757,945

    1932 767,110
  • Circa - A Latin term meaning 'about', often used in the antique trade to give an approximate date for the piece, usually considered to be five years on either side of the circa year. Thus, circa 1900 means the piece was made about 1900, probably between 1895 and 1905. The expression is sometimes abbreviated to c.1900.

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