I can’t resist vintage/antique office items. Cast iron tape dispensers, all metal staplers, pens, mechanical pencils and ink wells etc.
As a retired draftsman (yes I said …man. Never could bring myself to say draftswoman or draftsperson) I was excited to find this item.
Have you guessed yet? I remember learning to draft, initially with a pencil. My drawings were usually pretty good, but lord what a graphite mess on both the document and my hand.
Now, imagine drafting long before AutoCad and way before modern ink pens. Imagine using a dip pen. Oh my! What a mess I could make.
Yes, you’re correct! It’s an ink well for a draftsman. The objective is to limit the ink on the nib to a minimum. Press down on the lever and the post with the wire comes out of the ink well. The draftsman holds the nib under that little wire and catches just a drop of ink.
I’m sure I’d have still made a mess. 🤪