Circa 1880 Italian Napoleon III Inlaid Brass and Lacquered Mahogany Inkwell. A gorgeous Napoleon III black lacquer mahogany inkwell with intricate brass marquetry inlay. Inkwells were dated back to the ancient Egyptians, where members of wealthy-upper class families hired scribes to write for them. Over time writing developed and soon inkwells were being used in households over Europe. This particular piece was constructed of mahogany with rose wood sides and a pine bottom. The handle is a lovely cast bronze. With a place to store quills and ink at the top, there is a slide-out drawer for papers and letters. It comes with an empty monogrammed ink bottle with silver-plated brass and a screw cap. It is a wonderful set to have on a desk to add a touch of history.