I guess you've received the pictures by now - the complexities of how to communicate with you muiddled me somewhat!
The lining and the cover for the ancient blotting paper inside the blotter is a very finely woven grey coloured material - my mother in law who gave us the blotter thinks it is silk.
I searched the internet "images of Victorian blotter" and found nothing even vaguely resembling the object.
Of course - please take as long as you like. We are going to give the blotter to our son and his girl friend as a house-warming present in the Autumn to go with a fully restored Victorian desk, which will boast a green leather top and french polish after meticulous repair.
Alan P .
Many thanks for your explanation of this item. I have printed it off and in the next day or two I'll show it to my 102 year old mother in law who, as I mentioned, gave it to us. She has said she has always known it so it must have been in her family before she was borne in 1913! This ties in nicely with your appraisal, doesn't it? Also our trusted restorer said it was Japanese.
One last question, would this sort of item have been produced in Japan solely as an export to the West for use on desks, etc, or would the Japanese use it also?
Alan (I am aged 75!)
For your information, I emailed our Japanese Embassy here in London with a picture of the character on the back of the blotter! They very quickly replied with the answer "GIFT"