There is a certain joy in writing with ink. It flows. Wait long enough and keep the paper still and it will dry and not smudge.
Early inks were very wet. Moreover the swirls in distinctive handwriting also contributed to an excess of ink to paper. Needed - something to absorb, or blot the excess so as to get on with the day. Blowing on it helped yet could cause it to run.
The first 'blotters' were sanders; shakers of fine sand which was dusted on to the paper to absorb the excess ink. To the above left is a Chinese shaker decorated in the '1000 faces' pattern and the other is an elegant shaker made in France.
The practical answer however was 'blotting paper' - the Scott towel of handwriting. So what was the best way to bring the paper to the ink you ask? Why that cousin of the rocking horse - the 'rocking blotter' of course! A real winner.Blotting paper was attached to the bottom of a hand sized rocker - which was then gently cradled on a rocker to absorb excess ink.
The ubiquitous rocker was fashioned to suit all tastes and writing desks. In the sample pictures the oldest is a man's chip carved maple rocker from the 1800's. Also from the quill and stick pen era is an elegant sterling silver ladies rocker. The other three are from the golden era of the fountain pen, the 1920's and 30's. One in marble. A copper advertising sample and a tin version. The latter is somewhat 'revolutionary' with grooves on the side to assist rocking, rather than a knob.
The knob variously acts as a carrying grip, a means of rocking or of being unscrewed to attach and change the blotting paper. With a fresh blotter attached one can 'rock on'!
My thanks and appreciation to my husband David, for the sharing of his collection and his writing of this post.
My appreciation and thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for hosting ABC Wednesday Round 3. To view more ABC Wednesday posts via Mr. Linky please click HERE. For viewing the new format of ABC Wednesday Round 3 where all posts can be seen in the same place, please click HERE.