Fascinating! This is an interesting data point for the question of when dip pens went out of use ...
Wait. They've gone out of use?? And nobody bothered to tell me??
What do I do with all of these dip pens? Oh, man. Next thing you know, you'll tell me my quill-cutting skills are obsolete as well.
At least I know that buggy whip wrapping knowledge will always be needed.
Seriously, though. It's hard to see, but it looks like a box of pretty standard dip pens (between the two inkwells). Most likely steel (gold pens don't come in boxes of multiples like that), maybe with a "silverine" kind of finish (a silver alloy). Writing with dip pens can be fairly meditative, especially if you're writing a decorative script. It can take a long time, but it gives you time to really think about what you're writing. (or, in my case, space out and think about what you're having for dinner tonight and then write the wrong letters, which is why I'm not a professional calligrapher)
"King of the Steel Pens"
“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928
Check out my Steel Pen Blog.
"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."