Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Venetian inkstands

"In Venice, staying at the Leone Bianco (comfortable,  but by Austrian decree no French wine at dinner)  Lady Blessington began her collection of objects that had once belonged to famous people with the purchase of an inkstand once owned by a Doge.  She recalls she had bought some specimens of the old Venetian glass and some curious cameos.  In the ante-room by her apartments, an Italian Jew pesters her daily in broken English to buy the inkstand of the last Doge, Manin.   'I ventured to insinuate that had it been the inkstand of Paolo Luca Anafesto, the first instead of the last Doge, it would have had more attractions for me.'

In the end, she became the owner of  'Manini's inkstand; the inkstand in which he dipped his pen to sign the capitulation  of Venice after it had counted twelve centuries of sway.' "

Venice  The Most Triumphant City  George Bull

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