New English Receipts – part VII

Victorian English Mahogany Bookrack with Pierced Brass Mountings (LEO Design)

Before the Twentieth Century, most homes did not have many books.  It was the well-educated (and mostly rich) who could afford the luxury of a home library (think Downton Abbey).  But with the post-War rise of a middle class—which had the money and propensity to collect books—a modest home library became more common.  For this reason, it is rare to find pairs of bookends made before World War I—especially commercially-made, mass-produced examples.  There simply weren’t enough people who needed them.  Instead, a 19th Century household might have a little bookrack like the one shown above.  The ends slide in and out, thus extending the length of the rack to accommodate a small collection.  A bookrack like this would sit atop a dresser or mantlepiece—or even on a desk where reference books could be near-at-hand.  This Victorian English mahogany bookrack was made in the 1880’s and is rivet-mounted with pierced brass botanical decoration.  


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