Although Ball joined the circle of the American Neo-classical sculptor Hiram Powers, his work remained rooted in an objective naturalism and a devotion to American subjects. The monuments, small bronzes and portraits he produced in the following years are characterized by their smooth surfaces and minimal detail.
Signed in pencil in margin below l.r. corner of image: Keith Shaw Williams. In pencil at l.l. corner of sheet: a18002 [....] 14; in pencil on a circular tab (now ripped) pasted on u.r. corner of sheet: 164; In pencil in l.l. corner of mat: JMK 134; in pencil at l.c. of mat: KEITH SHAW WILLIAMS (1906-1951)/ PORTRAIT OF STOW WEGENROTH DRAWING/ ON A LITHOGRAPHIC STONE. Reproduced as/ fronticespiece in The Lithographs of stow Wegenroth [underlined]. 1974
This is a clear glass inkwell with a dark metal lid. The body is composed of a large sphere balanced on three smaller spheres. It has a circular top with a flat lid.
As with most objects of daily use, inkwells could be modest and utilitarian or more fanciful, the latter employing lavish use of precious materials to reflect and enhance the status of the possessor. Inkwells in the UMMA collections demonstrate a rich variety of materials, including silver, crystal, ceramic, and metal. Some pre-date the emergence of the fountain pen, and many mark the transition from a quill or nib pen to the convenience of the pocket pen commonly found today. Inkwells are avidly collected by those who value the artistry that went into the creation of a beautiful object for everyday life.
On the plate, l.r.: Callot fecit Israel excudit. On the plate, lower right margin: 18 On the plate, lower margin, six verse lines in groups of two disposed from left to right: Cet example d'un Chef plein de reconnoissance, Qui punit les méchans et les bon recompance, Doit picquer les soldats d'un aiguillon d'honneur Puisque de la vertu dépend tout leur bon-heur, Et qu'ordinairement ils reciovent du Vice, La honte, le mespris, et le dernier supplice.