Subject:Re: Ink Well
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Dec 26, 2018
The black cursive script reads down and across from the right as 太師少保 (Tai-shi Shao-bao), translatable as the "Imperial tutor and Junior Guardian to the Heir Apparent".
Such auspicious messages are found on traditional Chinese gift or congratulatory wares having the same iron red pallete associated with the birth of a son. Here's a larger example, a vase about nine inches tall signed "Made by Li Quanchang (Li Quan Chang Zao - 李銓昌造) and with a longer inscription containing a cyclical date of the "spring season of Dingsi" (Ding-si Chun-yue - 丁巳春月), equating to 1917. Your inkwell probably dates to around the same time, in my opinion.