A 19th-century porcelain caster (shaker) for sand, probably Russian, apparently unmarked. The naturalistically formed and painted owl on a domed base. Height: 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm).
In the 19th century, pounce or sand were sprinkled on documents to speed the drying of ink and preventing smearing. Sand casters usually held powdered gum sandarac, a fine sand, although more coarse sand could also be used. On sand casters, see Joe Nickell, Pen, Ink & Evidence (New Castle, 2003), pp. 58-64.
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