A nickel plated Travelling Inkwell marked De La Rue & Co. Casket Ink.
The inkwell's lid is held by a sprung clip and opened by depressing a button. The lid interior is padded to act as a seal to the removable glass bottle. The Casket name probably comes from the hinged outer sleeve which further secures the inkwell. It is lined in a thin leather and when set on its side the inkwell will stand upright inside it to prevent it from tipping over. Both the case and inkwell are also marked Manufactured in Paris, Thos. De La Rue & Co. London & Paris. Circa 1900.
Thomas De La Rue formed the company in Guernsey in 1813 before moving to London in 1821 to set up as a printer, stationer and fancy goods manufacturer.
The business was a great success and innovative. By the middle of the 19th century they were producing both fiscal and postage stamps for the government before moving into the printing of money. They became London stationers of great renown that produced a large variety of items from portable inkwells and business cards to pocket travel chess sets and playing cards.
A number of retailers sold their wares including the Army & Navy C.S.L., Edwards & Sons of 161 Regent St. London (stationers & dressing case makers) and Harrods.
As far as travel items are concerned, they are perhaps best known for the Ransome Patent Inkwell, several of which are illustrated on this website. The inkwell was designed by Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd. in 1861 but didn't take off until De la Rue licensed the design. It was made in at least 3 sizes and we have seen examples in leather, all metal and silver. They also sold sets of inkwells to hold various different colours of ink.
The company is still in existence.