1869? "Two Rats and an Egg" Inkwell by/after Antonin Aigon.  Unknown source and date of acquisition.

This is a very heavy desktop accessory.  The inkwell is shaped like the lower two-thirds of an egg, and so it fits very well with La Fontaine's charming fable about the collaborative effort of two rats to bring an egg to their nest.  According to La Fontaine's fable, one got himself under the egg, and the other pulled him by the tail.  Together they got the job done!  Here carrier rat is not as in most interpretations, I believe, under the egg but rather beside it.  I have found the object on the web.  Christie's, presumably for the original, auctioned it for $863.  Drouout is offering a piece clearly labeled as "After Antonin Aigon."  Which kind do we have? That question lies behind my question mark concerning the original date of this item.