Update on the Reverand George Hustler’s Silver Partner Inkstand

It is all very well having a lovely example of a prized antique, but if the history of the piece is uncertain this can cast doubt on the originality of the piece. Thus acquiring provenance can significantly increase the desirability of an item. Take for example this lovely silver partners ink stand by Henry Wilkinson and Co 1850. The inkstand is currently for sale via our Ruby Lane shop and consists of an ornate lobed and pierced base on scrolled feet providing support for two silver mounted cut glass bottles and a baluster taper stick. Thus, just on the basis of aesthetics and the hallmarks the inkstand is in itself highly desirable to a collector of fine silver. However, the inkstand carries an inscription to a Reverend G Hustler. An inscription like this can be a benefit or a curse in that some buyers of silver dislike reference to a previous owner in the form of an inscription. Other buyers in comparison see inscriptions as a link to the past and also as a form of provenance. In this particular case the inscription provides considerable provenance.Victorian Ink Stand Sheffield 1850

George Hustler was the third son of Thomas Hustler, and was born in 1827 at his ancestral home Acklam Hall. He was educated at Harrow and acquired his BA and MA at University College, Oxford. He then studied at Durham University and was ordained in 1849. He also married Louisa Hawley in 1849, and she was the daughter of a Captain Hawley who was apparently at the battle of Waterloo.Victorian Silver Partners Inkstand Sheffield 1850 9

After serving as the curate at Blanchland, Northumberland for a year he took on the living at Acaster, Selby in 1850, where he remained until moving to become the vicar at Stillingfleet near York in 1859. It was in recognition of his service to the parishioners of Acaster that he was presented with the silver inkstand. He was apparently very well liked by his parishioners and this is thought to be linked to his generous nature and his major passions in life, horses, hounds and hunting. The fact that he was given a silver ink stand in 1859 on leaving Acaster reflects how well his parishioners knew him, for he was also a collected of fine silver and silver plate. Whilst at Stillingfleet the Reverend George Hustler hunted with the York and Ainsty Hunt and also the Bramham Moor Hunt.

In 1874 George Hustler’s reclusive and eccentric father died leaving the family home, Acklam Hall, to his eldest son. However, he didn’t want to live there and invited his younger brother George Hustler to take up residence. George did so and was apparently very hospitable, entertaining not only the local hunts but also local society. Unfortunately his sociability had an adverse impact on his finances and he left Acklam Hall to move to Weald Manor near Oxford. At this time George Hustler was hunting five days a week, although it seems he also gave up to three sermons on Sundays.

In 1877 George Hustler took up the living at English Becknor in Gloucestershire. On arrival he built a kennels and continued his passion, hunting in the Forest of Dean for deer and fox. George hustler seems to have had a real passion for life, and despite suffering from a heart condition in his later years, he continued riding and hunting right up until he died in the saddle.  It seems that on the 25th of February 1905 his horse stumbled whilst clearing a jump and he fell to the ground dead as a result of heart failure. The Reverend George Hustler is buried with his wife Louisa in the English Becknor churchyard.

So here you have a piece of silver, a beautiful silver inkstand, that will forever be a reminder of the history of a larger than life character who was a true Victorian hunting parson. This of course adds significant value to the piece. The moral of the story is research around inscriptions – they can bring an already beautiful antique to life.

All information regarding the Reverend George Hustler was extracted from the early 20th century book “Sportsmen Parsons In Peace and War” by Mrs. Stuart Menzies. For further information about this inkstand please contact us by email at enquiries@penroseantiques.co.uk

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