A good book can enrich a mind, spur a life-changing epiphany, or transport a reader to a minutely detailed universe hatched from an author’s imagination. A good pair of bookends can’t promise all that, but they can sure add a lot of character to a room. Bookends are like punctuation marks on a shelf, proclaiming the importance their owners place on the tomes in between.

Many antique and vintage bookends share a key trait—they're heavy, often made of weighty materials such as wrought iron, ceramic, carved stone, or cast metal. Solid bronze bookends are especially popular and collectible, sometimes resembling small, paired pieces of sculpture rather than utilitarian devices to keep books from sliding off a shelf.

Bronze was a favorite material of Art Deco-era artists and designers, who used everything from female nudes to reproductions of Rodin’s “Thinker” for bookends. From the 1920s through the 1950s, a New Jersey company called Marion Bronze, as well as its predecessor, Pompeian Bronze, was famous for its painted bronze bookends.

Of the ceramic bookends, collectible examples include pieces by Roseville and Rookwood in the United States, and Clarice Cliff and PenDelfin in the U.K. The Roseville bookends from the 1930s shaped like open books, with a pine bough and cone propping open the “book,” are particularly prized.

Metal bookends ranged from hammered copper pieces made by Roycroft craftsmen during the Arts and Crafts period to cast brass animal figures. Then there were the stone bookends, which were sometimes paired with metals (bronze and marble was a typical combination in the 1920 and ’30s) or used solo—onyx and alabaster are just two examples of stones favored by artisans from Mexico to Asia.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Google Book Search

Google Book Search

Want to do one quick search and pull up the mother lode of vintage books? Try Google Book Search, a database filled… [read review or visit site]

Bookscans.com

Bookscans.com

Bruce Black's gallery of paperback book covers from the 1940s and 50s. With help from numerous contributors, he's a… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Magnificent Antique J B Hirsch Fisherman Holding Lantern Bookends Ivorine FacesAntique Rookwood Elephant Bookends C.1921Antique Art Deco Era Chief Of Police Old Bronzed K9 Dog German Shepherd BookendsPair 18.5" Wood Decorative Corner Corbels Di Lorenzo Shelf Bookend BracketRare Pair (2) Of Art Deco Modernistic Sunray Lady Metal Bookends - S.f.estatePair Of Ornate Antique Vtg Wood Corbels Bookends Shelf Decor SalvageBilbo Baggins Gandalf Sideshow Weta "no Admittance" Bookends Lord Of The Rings Mortal Kombat Collector's Edition Book End Statues - (scorpion, Sub-zero)Scarce Chase Walter Von Nessen Sentinel / Sentry Bakelite & Brass Deco BookendsOld Chase Satin Nickel & Blackened Brass Machine Age Art Deco Bookends - SignedBest Large Antique H L Judd Navajo Indian Bronze Cast Iron Bookrack Desktop FileRookwood Chinese BookendsRare 1927 Rookwood Penguin Bookends Blue Pair Shape 2659 RestoreLord Of The Rings Argonath Bookends 2002 Weta Mary Maclachlan Lor Mint ConditionImperial Candlewick Eagle Bookends Both One PriceRare Carlton Ware Walking Ware Lustre Pottery 1980 Big Foot Bookends Mid Century Modern Gazelle Antelope Brass Bookends Hollywood Regency Style Bookends Made From Material Of U.s. Frigate Constitution 1927 Restoration BrassAntique Cast Iron Irish Setter K9 Hunting Dog Desk Pointer Bookend Doorstop NrPair 9" Antique Wood Wall Shelves Bookend Rare Label Parlor Victorian Era ShelfRare Jay Strongwater Silver Bronze Enamel Swarovski Crystal Foo Dog Bookend PairSpiderman Venom Bookends Marvel Comics Statue #34 Randy BowenSigned Frankart Bronze Scotty Scottie Dog Antique Bookends Antique Art Deco Burr Walnut Wooden Ball Bookends. Very Stylish1928 Native American Swastika Bookends Style 1... The Last Trail Take A LookSet Of Bookends From The Mortal Kombat 9 Game Exclusive Art Deco Spelter Sculpture Lady Bookend? 1939 New York World's Fair Souvenir Lot Bakelite Perfume Shaver Lamp Bookends1920s Indian Brave Potter Figural Armor Clad Bronze Bookends Native American Indian BookendsAntique Lg Van Briggle Art Pottery Squirrel Nut Statue Sculpture Book BookendsRobotech Macross Masterpiece Bookends Scott Bernard New GenerationLord Of The Rings Return Of The King Minas Morgul Statue Book End Vintage Bronze & Brass Scottie Dogs Playing Music Jennings Brothers BookendMos Eisley Gentle Giant Book Ends - Damaged Han Shoots FirstPair Of Large Old Vintage Horse Bookends By Armor Bronze CoCanary Vaseline Uranium Iridescent Carnival Glass Dutch Boy And Girl BookendsBen Seibel Design BookendRare Vintage Antique Solid Bronze Dartmoor Pixie BookendsVintage Mid-century Brutalist David Palombo Israel 50's 60's Book Ends SculptureK&o Librarian At Work Antique Bronze BookendsLord Of The Rings Argonath Bookends 2002 Sideshow Weta Mary MaclachlanHammered Copper Book Ends Arts And Craft Mission Ship - PairPair Of Antique 11.5" Wood Corbels Milk Paint Salvage Old Scroll Bookend ShelfPa Railroad Bookends, Prr Cast Iron, Antique, Good Condition, Rare, ScarceRobotech Macross Masterpiece Bookends Rook Bartley New GenerationVintage Pair Art Deco Dancing Nude Woman With Scarf Heavy Metal Bronze Bookends Vintage Cast Iron Handpainted Cigar Store Native American Indian BookendsVintage Art Nouveau Expandable Brass Plated Book Holder RackRare Modernist Ronson Deco Machine Age Figural Chrome Horse Head BookendsArt Deco 1929 Scotty Scottie Dog Metal Bookends Signed Connecticut Foundry Vintage Green Butterscotch Marbled Bakelite Salt & Pepper Shaker Set BookendBuffalo - Bison BookendsCast Iron Jacks Bookends Paperweights Jax Mid Century Modern Style Decor GiftVintage Pair Bronze Bookends American Indian Chief Bust Headdress NecklaceToynami Robotech New Generation Vfa-6h Scott Bernard Alpha Bookend New! Mib!Park Sherman Walnut Wood Brass Stripe Bookends Mid Century Danish Modern Pair Of Kliban Black & White Cat Bookends By Sigma Taste Setter Japan W/labelAntique 1920's Jb Hirsch Red Cock Rooster Bookends Figurine Black Marble BasePompeian Bronze Co. New York Circa 1920s Pair Of Owl Statue Bookends Book Ends