A Russian porcelain sand caster (shaker), Kuznetsov Porcelain Factory, Tver, mid-19th century. The stylized owl on brightly-colored base, the underside complete with cork stopper, stamped with blue factory mark. Height: 5 1/8 in. (13 cm).
In the 19th century, pounce or sand were sprinkled on documents to speed the drying of ink & preventing smearing. Sand casters usually heldpowdered 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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