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    

Exquisitely Carved Pair Of Wooden Furniture Corbels Or BookendsPair Of Blenko Clear Glass Heavy Elephant Bookends Mid Century Rare Art Deco 1920's Nude Lady Bronze Clad Single Bookend - Signed By BeneduceLotr Lord Of The Rings Minas Tirith & Morgul Book EndsVintage Bookends Sarsaparilla Frankart Art Deco Headstand Nymphs Metal Black NrBen Seibel For Raymor / Jenfred Ware Mid Century Modern Bookends (2) Antique Art Deco Bronzed Greyhound Whippett Dog BookendsRed "gerdago" Pixie Girl J.b. Hirsch Co Art Deco Circa 1928 Metal BookendVintage Jennings Brothers Whaling Memorial Bookend "dead Whale Or A Stove Boat"Vintage Takahashi Japan Bulldog Bookends (pair) Dog San FranciscoVintage Capt. Harry Jobes Cast Iron Decoy Ducks Bookends Orginal PaintAntique Vintage Cast Iron Metal Seated Woman Puppet Jester Bookend SculptureLalique Crystal Bird Bookends (1 Pair)Antique Cast Iron Parrot / Parakeet Bird Firgural Door Stop Bookend DoorstopF.w. & Co. Watering Can & Rabbit Bookends Dated 1999Keith Haring Dancing Dogs Bookends Pop Urban Art Book Ends Sculpture 1993 Vintage Cast Iron Skillet Bookends For CookbooksMortal Kombat Bookends In Mint Condition From Xbox 360 Collectors Edition GamePr Rookwood "rook" Bookends, Shape #2275Pair Italian Travertine Elephant Bookends F. Lli Mannelli For Raymor Enzo MariBookends By Bronze Handel Lamps-girl Reaching For Book On Top Shelf Circa 1920'sArt Deco Machine Age Skyscraper Brass Bookends Mid Century ModernPr. Rookwood "rook" Bookends, Shape #2275Antique Judd Art Nouveau Sliding Bookrack Bookends Magnificent Gothic Lion HeadsVintage Like Corbels Shelves Bookends Chic Shabby Wall Decor Pair Large SconceThompson Trophy Bookends National Air Races Aviation Red Bull Race Reno Art DecoVintage New Martinsville Glass Co Russian Wolfhound Bookends Borzoi Crystal Gucci Leather Bookends Bronze Brass Quails Made In Italy 60's 70's Vintage Mcm Modern Raymor Ben Seibel Jenfred-ware Handle Bookends Excellent Original !Rare Antique Bradley & Hubbard Cast Iron Dog, Door Stop, Book EndPortal 2 Book EndsVintage Mid Century Original Modern Hollywood Regency Brass Rabbit BookendsSolid Bronze Amherst College Book Ends. Very Nice. No Reserve.Wonderful Rookwood Pottery Bookends Water Lilly In White Color, C 1939 2pc SetAntique Pompeian Bronze Pirates Guarding Treasure Cove Bookend PairRestoration Hardware Golden Gate Bridge BookendsBlenko Handcraft Amber Book EndsHummel Goebel Porcelain Figurine "goose Girl Bookends" Tmk-2 (194 Of 300)Ben Seibel Bookends Mid Century Modern Jenfred Ware Antique Native American Indian Cast Iron BookendsJonathan Adler Set Of 2 White Lola Owl Bookends Happy Chic Awesome Book EndsAntique Cast Iron/heavy Metal Cat Figurines BookendsVintage Brass Bookends - BooksAntique Bronzed Indian Head BookendsVintage Zodiac Astrology Bookends BronzeAntique Brass Heavy Presidential George Washington Bookends Vintage Pair 1950's Bronze Was Cactus Western Style Bookends Probably Dodge MadeVintage 1940's Art Deco Glass Bookends - Nude Woman On Horse - Outstanding!1970's Modern Lucite Bookends Karl Springer EraRare Vintage Modern Bethlehem Steel Industrial Chrome I-beam Art Deco Bookends Alamo Iron Works BookendRoseville Foxglove #10 Maroon Bookends Signed Art Pottery Collector EstateSet Of Vintage University Of Michigan Seal Book EndsBeautiful Japanese Hand-painted Porcelain Tiger Bookends TakahashiBeautiful Art Deco Brass Dante & Beatrice BookendsParrot Marble Bookends, Hand Carved Beautiful Color And WorkmanshipVery Nice Vintage Pair Of Zarebski Mayan/aztec Deity Bookends Pair Of Majestic Lion Rockingham Yellow Ware Italian Bookend StatuesDeco Retro Carved Wood Dog, Daschund, Bookends On Copper Base, Heavy & UniqueAntique Judd Adjustable Book Rack Book Ends American Indian Head C. 1920