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    

Unusual Pair Of Roycroft Copper & Brass Bookends With Art Deco Design, C. 1930Arts & Crafts Van Briggle Turquoise Chief Head Ashtray Bookends Very RareAntique Early 20thc Little Girl Farmerette Armor Bronze Clad Polychrome BookendsMid-century Modern Ben Seibel Authentic Pair Of Sculptural Metal BookendsVintage Art Deco Iron Nude Green Lady Scarf Dancer Bookends Marked #50 No DamageIncredible Hulk Bookend 043/250 Gentle Giant Marvel NewHulk & Thing Bookends Bowen Statue Mint In Box 99 Cents No Reserve!Antique Cast Iron *** Halloween *** Cat Bookends Art Deco 1925C Pair Of Old 1900s Bronze Egyptian Revival Pharoah Chairs Wow BookendsDc Comics Collectibles Batman Superman Bookends 8.75 Inches Jim LeeDc Comics Collectibles Batman Superman Bookends 8.75 Inches Jim LeeOld Horse Bucking Broncs Bronze Book Ends By Trophy Craft Dc Comics Collectibles Batman Superman Bookends 8.75 Inches Jim LeeRare Royal Doulton Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy Limited Edition Bookends D7119 /20Tiffany Studios Abalone Bookends - Tsny Polychrome Desk Set - Book EndsCast Metal Products Jayhawk Bookends Paperweight Kansas University 1993 Heavy 7"Frankart Bookends, Nude With FrogVintage Art Deco Cast Iron With Bronze Patina Bookends Nude WomanRookwood Owl Bookends # Vintage Robj Paris A Pair Of Polychrome Enameled Porcelain Bookends OriginalArt Deco Cat Bookends Nuart Or FrankartCast Iron Jockey Doorstop Lawn Bookend Black Americana Vintage 11.5 InchesAntique Maitland Smith Seal Bookends Aged Dark Bronze Cast Brass On MarbleVintage Native American Apache Indian Chief Bronze BookendsAntique Gilt Bronze Sleeping Cat Art Nouveau Or Deco BookendsPolished Brazilian Tietea Petrified Wood (fern) Book-endsPr Vintage Composition Bookends Woven Baskets Filled W Plump Roses * SyrocowoodRare Pair (2) Art Deco 1930's Modernistic Alabaster Horse Head Bookends 2 Pc.Vintage Art Deco Glass Bookends Nude Woman On HorseAntique / Vintage K & Co. Metal Bookends Paint Loss, 1 Has 1 Or Maybe 2 Sm DentsPair Of Antique Continental Porcelain Figural BookendsOriginal Art Deco Ceramic Book EndsVintage Pr Bronze Finish Cast Metal Mythical Winged Horse / Pegasus BookendsUnusual Signed Arthur Court Bookends - BeautifulWizard Of Oz Bookends Colorful Detailed Baum Characters Smithsonian CollectionWwii Us Army Air Corps Insignia Wings Propeller Bookends Air Force Syroco WoodWaterford Crystal Bookends Pair Ireland Vintage Wood Old World Globes Bookends Made In Italy SpiningAntique Art Deco Jb Hirsch Vaudeville Ziegfeld Follies Drum Majorette BookendsLot Of 2 Argonath Statues Bookends From Sideshow Weta1930s Bauhaus Art Deco Von Nessen Jennings Bros. Brass Tubular Elephant BookendsSeahorse Family Vintage Brass Bookends Virginia Metalcrafters Book Ends Vm 8-11Antique Bronze Art Deco Nudes Bookends~restoration Hardware Brooklyn Bridge Bookends Pair Of Vintage Mid Century Brass Antelope / Gazelle Bookends Pirates Bookends Paul Herzel Pompeian BronzeVtg Antique Egyptian Revival Metal Cast Iron Bradley Hubbard Sphinx Book Ends Bh Pair Of Vintage Figural Cast Iron Lion BookendsWaterford Crystal 3" Bookend Books Made In Austria Set Of Two In Original BoxJapanese Samurai Warrior Bookends Book Ends 100% Bronze Statue Sculpture GiftHulk / Thing Bookends -sculpted By Bowen Based On Gary Frank Design- Low #26 !Dc Comics Collectibles Vertigo Sandman And Death Bookends Second Edition Vintage Brass Ram Ibex Antelope Book Ends SculpturesAirdale Metal Book Ends Brass And Bronze Colour Airdale Engraved On The Bottom FDodge Cactus Saguaro Bookends Copper Wash W Label Mythical, Vintage Pair Of Solid Brass “unicorn” Bookends, Circa 1970Rosevilel Columbine Wall Pocket And Book EndVintage Modernism 1977 C. Jere Brass Cube Shape Bookend W/ 9 Squares #d 1900s Antique 6" Cast Sad Iron Sadiron Primitive Vintage Bookend Door StopperPair 2 Flowers In Urn Cast Iron Bookends Or Door Stops