JOURNAL — Bookends RSS



Saint George’s Day

As a boy, I was always intrigued with Saint George. I was mesmerized with the action-filled depictions of the brave (and handsome!) Knight—mounted atop his rearing steed—thrusting his lance (“Ascalon”) into the writhing Dragon.  As I got older, and began to understand the story as a metaphor for good conquering evil, I loved the story […]

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Poetry Giants

History’s two greatest poets—Medieval Florentine Dante Alighieri and Ancient Greek Homer—stand proudly in-profile on this pair of heavy cast iron bookends by Bradley & Hubbard.  Dante was the author of The Divine Comedy, in which he is given a tour of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise (lead by the Roman poet Virgil).  Homer is known for The […]

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Hidden Treasure

It’s our last week at LEO Design;  our brick-and-mortar shop will be closing on 31 January. A few treasures remain—and everything left is now marked-down (in-store and on-line). Please come-in or check-out our on-line shop.  You’ll find something cool, like this pair of bronze-clad Pirate bookends shown above.   LEO Design will be closing its […]

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A New Twist

LEO Design has never had a sale before—until now—and, boy, are we busy!  Because we are closing on 31 January, we have marked-down all merchandise (in-store and on-line).  Please come-in or check-out our on-line shop.   LEO Design will be closing its doors on 31 January.  Please visit the store (or website) where all remaining […]

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Elephant Block

This little guy—a baby elephant—is a doorstop and was made of cast iron from the 1920’s. He trumpets to his mother—while never leaving his post (right beside your open door). Please click on the photo above to learn more about him.       Today—and daily through 23 December—LEO Design will be open from Noon […]

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Bronze-Clad Beauties

A pair of handsome bird dogs stand ready-to-retrieve in this pair of American bronze-clad bookends, made in the 1920’s.  Though once considered a “poor man’s bronze,” today, this type of work is quite collectible.  First, the figure was cast in a “composite” material—a combination of plaster, resin, and other binders.  Then the piece was electroplated with […]

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The Rough Rider

“TR”—Teddy Roosevelt—seems to be amongst the select group of politicians whom both sides admire.  Republicans remind us that he was, indeed, a Republican.  Democrats point-out that, were he alive today, he’d be a Democrat.  Roosevelt spent his Manhattan childhood as a sickly and cloistered youth who went on to lead an incomprehensibly active life and […]

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Relaxed and Regal

I can never find enough lions.  Especially on bookends.  Especially these bookends!  Made in the 1920’s, they capture a regal lion, paws extended in relaxation, but, nevertheless aware that he is always being observed.  Let him bring a touch of his royal mien to your office, den or bookshelf.  Please click on the photo above […]

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Indo-Saracenic Revival

I bought these bookends simply because I thought they were beautiful—and I had never seen a similar pair before.  A little research has yielded quite a lot about the Indo-Saracenic Revival, after which these were modeled. “Indo” usually denotes “of Indian provenance or influence.” “Saracenic” is from a Latin term, coined by the Romans, which […]

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Florence’s Finest

Italy’s most famous writer gazes hawkishly from atop his plinth which is styled as a Medieval book.  Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321) finished his epic poem, The Divine Comedy, a year before his death.  In it he describes a creative Medieval view of the afterlife as he is taken on a tour of Hell, Purgatory […]

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The Strength of a Nation

It’s Labor Day, an occasion to recognize and thank the men and women who—by the strain of their backs and the sweat of their brows—have (already) made our country great. There was a time—even in America—when heroic male nudes were used in art, monument and architecture.  With a tip of the hat to the Classical […]

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Honest Abe

Though I’ve found and sold many different Abraham Lincoln bookends over the years, I have never seen this pair before.  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, they still retain quite a bit of their original paint—making for a handsome and useful addition to any library, desk or bookshelf. Please come into the shop to see […]

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The Party of Lincoln

Remember when a president's nickname might be . . . flattering?  What would “Honest Abe” think of his political party today?  Would he vote?  Would he abstain?  Would he switch parties?  I suppose trying to answer these questions requires a bit of conjecture.  What is true: Abraham Lincoln is widely-considered America’s favorite president and possibly its greatest. The cast iron bookends, shown above, were made in the 1920’s and still retain some of their original hand-painting.  Please come into the shop to see them in-person and, perhaps, spare a thought for his election year predicament.

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New English Receipts – part VII

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 […]

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All Elephants are Lucky!

Some people can be so unreasonable!  There are the superstitious amongst us who believe an elephant MUST have his trunk extended upwards or they want nothing to do with him.  Not only is this conviction unscientific, but even real elephants don’t keep their trunks permanently extended.  To require the poor creature to hold-up his (heavy) appendage […]

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Hidden Treasures

Ravenna is a fascinating Italian city—discreet, yet wonderful.  At first glance, it appears to be a rather unadorned, plain brown city.  But oh, how Ravenna keeps her charms under wraps! Historically, Ravenna was very important—first as the seat of the Western Roman Empire, and later as an important part of the Byzantine (Eastern, that is, […]

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Poetry Ex Cathedra

I like Dante. And so do my customers, apparently.  I buy just about every pair of Dante bookends I can get my hands on and they continue to sell.  Here’s a pair that’s a little different.  Instead of the typical dour Medieval Florentine poet, we get an energized—almost sprightly—Dante, leaning forward in his throne. The […]

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Countdown to Mother’s Day – part VI

Are you one of twins?  Or just a boy who gave your mother twice the trouble?  Perhaps this pair of “Whistling Boy” bookends from the 1920’s will make your mother smile?  This winning little street urchin may seem small but he’s pretty tough—certainly tough enough to hold-up your mom’s books.  Come into the shop to […]

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Bronze Lions

This pair of recently-acquired bookends ticks several boxes for me: lions, sculpture, bronze, bookends. Beautifully sculpted and crisply cast, they appear to have been little-exposed to the elements—for the bronze is remarkably rosy after all these years.  The figure of a confident (yet unpretentious) lion surveying his domain, would be an handsome addition to any […]

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The Light of Knowledge

For millennia, the oil lamp has been a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.  How appropriate, then, that such a lamp should keep-straight your favorite books on your bookshelf, desk or credenza.  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, they have a classic simplicity befitting simple wisdom.  Please come into the shop to see them or click […]

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Dante in Bronzo

A somewhat youthful Dante Alighieri, the grand master of Italian letters, is captured in a thoughtful mood—presiding from his seat of knowledge.  Nicely sculpted, then bronze-clad and hand-painted, they will bring a touch of culture and class to any library, study or office ($395).  Please call for more information or come into the shop to […]

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On the Hunt

I love bookends and I am always intrigued with early Native American themes—which makes the pair of hard-to-find bookends, pictured above, just perfect.  A mounted Indian completes the coup de grâce on his charging quarry.  Nicely sculpted, then cast and bronze clad, they would look great in any library, office or Arts & Crafts home. […]

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Building a New Century

The 1920’s—the period in which these sculptures were made—was “The Golden Age” of bookends.  The decade also anchored the golden age of American skyscraper building.  The War was over, the country was modernizing, and fantastic possibility awaited around every corner (until 1929, of course).  These bronze-clad bookends capture the romantic spirit of physical creation—communicated in […]

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A Precious Moment

I’ve had one pair of these bookends before and I am very happy to have found another one. Inspired by an 1864 photo by pioneering portraitist Matthew Brady, these bookends were specially commissioned by the New York Decorative Arts League and sculpted in 1922 by artist Olga Popoff Muller.  They capture a quiet, intimate moment of […]

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Silent Knights

Silent, perhaps.  Nevertheless, these bronze-clad bookends will make a statement!  Made in the Twenties or Thirties by the Marion Bronze workshop in Metuchen, New Jersey, they depict a mounted knight, tense with anticipation, astride his eager steed—both ready for the charge.  Lance in-hand, he will add a touch of romantic, Medieval style to your office, […]

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For the Love of Literature

Don Quijote de la Mancha follows the muddled pursuits of our hapless romantic hero, a man who calls himself Don Quixote.  One part extreme romantic, another part “crazy old coot,” Quixote is an icon of Western literature—and the leading character in what many consider amongst of the greatest books ever written.  Published in two volumes […]

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Robed in Bronze

Arthur and Marion France of Metuchen, New Jersey, operated a “Galvano Bronzing” workshop in 1922 behind their Garden State home.  They named it “Marion Bronze.”  Until 1958, they produced bronze-clad bookends, doorstops, lamp bases and other sculpture, including the red-robed monk bookends, pictured above.  First the underforms were cast in what the company called “Cerama-Stone” […]

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Victorian England’s Literary Lion

Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812.  As a young boy, he was forced to leave school—and sent to work in a London factory—after his father was locked-away in a debtors’ prison. The second oldest of eight children, young Charles had to help support his family while his father, mother and youngest siblings remained […]

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An Austrian Parliament

Just alighted: this pair of handsome, hand-hammered steel Austrian Secessionist bookends—in the form of a wise (but friendly) little owl.  Cut, riveted and hammered by-hand, the flat tongue slides under your row of books, keeping your tomes upright.  And while they would look great in a rustic, country home, they would look equally at-home perched […]

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“Truth”

Veritas—or “Truth”—is the straightforward wording etched upon the Harvard crest (shown on the pair of bookends, above).  Alas, the history of this crest is not quite as simple. Harvard College was founded in 1636 by the “Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Company,” with the express intention of educating men for the ministry. […]

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Charge!

A pair of bronze-clad buffalo charge-forward—a thunderous stampede of two.  Strikingly-styled, they capture the explosive power of the wild beast which once roamed the American Prairie. Alas, one of the pair is inconspicuously flawed—though as aesthetically perfect and functionally useful as his pair mate (and substantially price-reduced as a result). Please come into the shop […]

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Bookends for Book Lovers

Shakespeare, arguably the world’s greatest writer (ever and ever), is here paired with Longfellow, one of America’s greatest scribes.  Their contributions to this pair of  handsome and heavy cast iron bookends (made in the 1920’s or 1930’s) are quotes, both pertaining to the joys and benefits of reading.  Shakespeare’s quote, from Love’s Labour’s Lost (Act […]

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Dance, Dance, Dance!

The Twenties: Jazz Age, Modernism, Industry.  These bookends capture their times perfectly.  Made of cast iron, a sculpted, Cubist male figure dances dramatically on this pair of Art Deco bookends.  Please come see them in-store—alongside dozens of other interesting bookends—or click on the photo above to learn more about these.

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Sail Away Summer!

With August half-way spent, what better time to cherish the delights of the summer season, soon-to-be-over?  Shown above, a pair of Syroccowood bookends, made in the 1950’s, depicting a crisply-cast sail boat at full sail.  Syroccowood is a composite material made of wood pulp, resin and other binders that was popular in the second- and […]

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World Elephant Day

Today is World Elephant Day, dedicated to promoting knowledge of elephants and educating the public about the plight of these majestic, endangered creatures.  The annual event strives to reduce poaching, eliminate the trade of elephant ivory, and promote better care and management of Asian and African elephants—in captivity and in the wild.  Wild elephant populations […]

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Back to Books – part VI

Let’s end our Back-to-School “procession” of bookends with this regal and handsome pair, from the 1920’s—newly-acquired by LEO Design. The worldwide Arts & Crafts movement (which was practiced in many Western countries and is referred to by various, regional names) often used decorative motifs or themes from local or national historical and mythological lore.  The […]

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Back to Books – part V

Book lovers love bookends.  They also love the quotes of the great writers—past and present. This pair of bookends, made in America in the 1920’s or 1930’s, share the quotes of two great English wordsmiths, Sir Francis Bacon and Samuel Johnson. Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) was a philosopher, statesman, jurist, orator, essayist and author—and, […]

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Back to Books – part IV

We’ve just acquired this handsome pair of cast iron Teddy Roosevelt bookends, certain to upgrade any “trophy room” regardless how grand.  What a coincidence that Theodore Roosevelt’s home, on Oyster Bay, Long Island, has just reopened after a comprehensive renovation. In 1880, at the tender age of 22, Theodore Roosevelt purchased a 150 acre parcel […]

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Back to Books – part III

Alexander Pope and Andrew Young were both British poets—the former an Englishman, the latter a Scotsman—and both men were influential in their times. Pope (1688 – 1744) had a difficult early life.  As a Catholic, he was not allowed to go to school (due to the English “Test Acts” which banned Catholics from teaching, attending […]

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Back to Books – part II

If we’re to learn “The Riddle of the Sphinx” it won’t be from this pair!  They maintain a placid silence, gazing-out at things (perhaps?) beyond our understanding.  They will, however, hold-up your books with loyalty and a great deal of style.  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s—a time when both Art Deco and Egyptology were […]

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Back to Books – part I

With summer vacation in the home stretch, I turn my attention to the Fall—back-to-school, books, and bookends. I love collecting bookends.  Perhaps it’s because I love books so much. Anyway, I’ve just purchased several nice pairs of vintage bookends, mostly from the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Over the next few days I’ll share a few of […]

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A Saint, a King and a Crown

King Charles VII had a problem.  He had been King of France for seven years and had not yet been crowned.  France was in the 92nd year of the “Hundred Years War” with England—a war which, by the way, lasted 116 years (1337 – 1453).  The Cathedral at Reims was the traditional and proper site […]

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Before Bookends

Before the Twentieth Century, bookends were not commonplace—in fact, rarely were they needed.  For before World War I, most “ordinary” families owned very few books—perhaps a Bible, a dictionary, some poetry, and the occasional cookery book.  Large collections of books were to be found only in institutional libraries or the homes of very wealthy individuals—people […]

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A Showman is Born

On this day in 1884, in the Russian city of Minsk (now Belarus), Lazar Meir was born.  If only those around him knew how very much his life would change over the next seven decades—and how much little Lazar would influence a country an ocean away, all the while changing the rest of the world. […]

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A Boy, A Dog and a Scientist

In 1885, nine year old Joseph Meister of Schlestadt (Eastern France, near the German border) was bitten savagely by a rabid dog.  On this day of that year, fellow Frenchman, Louis Pasteur—who was a laboratory scientist, not a medical doctor—administered his unproven rabies vaccine on the boy.  Not only might the vaccine have harmed the […]

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A Bell’s Farewell Tour

On this day in 1915, Philadelphia’s famous “Liberty Bell” set-out on its last tour.  More about this later… The bell was cast in London in 1752 by Lester & Reed, a bell foundry.  It arrived in Philly that August and, as the steeple was not yet finished, the bell was hung on a small scaffold […]

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The Globe Burns

The Globe was a theatre in Elizabethan London, built by William Shakespeare and his company of co-investors (called The Lord Chamberlain’s Men). Shakespeare owned a 12.5% share.  The theatre’s opening production, in 1599, was either the premier of Henry V or Julius Caesar, depending upon whom you believe. Much of the lumber used to build […]

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Hand-Wrought Style

For the American Arts & Crafts devotee, Roycroft metalworks are amongst the most coveted of shop marks.  Above, find a pair of hand-hammered copper bookends finished with the Roycroft “Old Brass” patina.  These bookends are simple, elegant, and earnestly Arts & Crafts—and a terrific Father’s Day gift possibility for the discriminating Dad. Please come into […]

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Cast Iron Allegiance

If Boston Terriers aren’t your Dad’s thing, would a pair of German Shepherds do the trick? Made of cast iron in the 1920’s, these handsome bookends will prove very useful—and terrifically loyal.  Please come visit the shop to see them in-person or click on the photo to learn more about them. More Father’s Day gift […]

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A Dad’s Best Friend

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been showing great Father’s Day gift ideas.  Over the next several days, we’d like to share some of our newly-acquired bookends—always a handsome and practical gift. Shown above, a pair of cast iron bookends in the form of a sprightly Boston Terrier.  Finished with a golden wash, they […]

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Wise Owl

John Ruhl always wanted to be an artist.  Throughout his childhood, his parents—German immigrants who ran a shoe store—tried desperately to dissuade him from his calling. Upon his graduation from the NYC public school system, they insisted he accept an offer to work as a clerk in an insurance company—a job he loathed.  While working, […]

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The Rough Rider

Father’s Day is one month from today.  Over the course of four weeks, I’d like to present some “Handsome Gifts” suitable for Father’s Day gift-giving.  Let’s start with this handsome pair of “T.R.” bookends from the early 20th Century. As a boy, not much was expected of Theodore Roosevelt.  He was a sickly child, more […]

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Notes From the Road – part I

For the next several days, I’ll be on the road—hunting for “Handsome Gifts” throughout New England.  Kismet plays a role, of course, but I will keep an eye open for great Father’s Day gift ideas—like the “find” pictured above: a pair of hand-hammered copper Roycroft bookends, finished in their “Old Brass” patina.  Simple, elegant, and stylish, […]

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German Shepherds

The German Shepherd—or The German Shepherd Dog, when called by its full, official title—is a working dog, bred for its intelligence, strength and stamina.  Originally they were used for herding and protecting sheep in Germany.  Due to their intelligence, curiosity, obedience and good temper, they have become popular for many other kinds of work—including police […]

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Sir Galahad

Galahad was amongst the greatest of the Great Knights—a gallant so holy of spirit and pure of heart that God had granted him much favor. As a young man, Sir Galahad was brought to King Arthur’s court at Camelot by his father, the great knight Lancelot. Once there, the young Galahad is lead to the […]

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Doctor Johnson’s Masterpiece

On this day in 1755, Englishman Samuel Johnson published Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language—amongst the great achievements of British scholarship. “Doctor Johnson,” as he was called, had been commissioned by a group of London booksellers to produce a definitive English dictionary—so unsatisfying were the existing options.  He claimed the task would take him […]

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Pampered Pekingese Pooches

A pair of pampered Pekingese pooches (perched on pillows) pose playfully in this pair of cast iron bookends from the 1920’s or 1930’s.  Just received, these hard-to-find bookends have joined our collection of handsome dog bookends.  Please come visit them in the shop; they’re eagerly awaiting adoption.  Or click on the photo above to learn […]

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Owl Hold Your Books. . .

Need a patient (and quiet) fellow to hold your books?  Perhaps these cast iron Japanese owl bookends will fit the task.  Designed in an elegant Modernist manner, the metal is finished with a rustic brown patina.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them or visit the shop in-person and see them “in-the-flesh.” […]

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Notre-Dame de Reims

Notre-Dame de Reims, or “Our Lady of Reims” (90 miles East of Paris), is amongst the most important cathedrals in Europe.  Built on the site of an ancient Roman baths, it replaces an earlier basilica (built around 400 AD)  which was destroyed by fire in 1211.  Rebuilding of the “new” cathedral—that which we see today—began […]

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Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Truly an American Renaissance Man, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1809. A precocious boy, he was educated at Phillips Academy, Harvard College and (after studying law for a time) received his medical training in Paris.  Back in the States, he taught in the medical schools of Dartmouth and Harvard, eventually […]

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And More Owls . . .

Another pair, this time European and of carved wood, have joined us.  Made in post-War Switzerland or Alpine Germany, they have an appealing, intelligent and inquisitive disposition.  They are part of our most recent, post-Holiday shipment, now in-store.  Click on the photo to learn more about them or come into the shop to see the […]

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Just Alighted

Along with our recent, post-Christmas acquisitions this little fellow has just flown in. Bronze-clad and finished with an aged-brass patina, this pair of bookends also has touches of polychrome painting.  Please come into the shop to see all of our newest receipts—or click on the photo above to learn more about this particular item. More […]

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Notes From the Road – part V

Perhaps the nicest pair of bookends I’ve ever bought!  Certainly my favorite.  English Arts & Crafts, circa 1900, of studded, hand-tooled brass set with blue ceramic cabochons.  By my account, they’re sublime. Please come see them in the shop.  All new purchases should be in-store by the end of October. More from the road tomorrow.

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Notes From the Road – part III

And now for a change of pace:  behold this lovely pair of French Art Deco bookends, pictured above.  Made in the 1930’s and signed “Gallot”, the deer are sculpted in spelter, treated with a verdigris bronze finish, and mounted upon black marble bases. Handsome, stylish and useful! These are just a small part of my recent acquisitions, purchased […]

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Bronze-Clad Monks

For centuries, books—their preservation and their duplication—were the commission of the Church and the clergy.  Countless monks spent countless hours bent over tables copying and decorating precious tomes.  Once the Western printing press was invented (c. 1450), which made books much less-expensive and available to a much-wider audience, the laborious craft of the monk-scribe became […]

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A New Collection of Bookends—Now In-Shop

As we build-up our inventories for the Holidays, I’m always on the look-out for beautiful and interesting bookends.  They make the perfect gift—handsome, useful, and everlasting. New Yorkers love books and, thus, they love bookends. With this in mind, I’ve purchased a new collection of bookends which I’d like to share with you over the next […]

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More August Felines

The star sign, Leo, continues into August; what better time to present this recently-acquired pair of bookends? Cast in iron and finished with a bronzed patina, the well-executed bas relief shows a resting male lion in profile.  It is framed in a crisp, Art Deco frame.  Part of our new assortment of just-received bookends—and another great […]

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Federal Revival

While many people consider the 18th Century the high water mark of design—the age of science, enlightenment and democracy—I seem to take a contrarian view.  In terms of architecture, painting and the decorative arts, the 18th Century is my least favorite period  I like what came before it (The Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Elizabethan, Jacobean and Renaissance) […]

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Norse Adventure

Beautifully modeled and crisply cast, these cast iron bookends capture the pitching and swaying of a Viking ship as it sets-out across roiling seas.  Adventurous and romantic—in an old world way— these bookends might inspire a youngster’s dream of adventure (or an adult’s memory of youthful dreams of adventure). These bookends are just a part […]

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Bookends on the Range

We continue our introduction of recently-acquired bookends with a trip to the American Prairie.  The bookends above, cast in iron in the 1930’s, show an American Bison surveying his domain from atop a bluff.  Vast herds of these beasts once roamed the American West; imagine the trembling ground, the rising dust, and the deafening roar […]

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New Bookends Now In-Store

We’ve recently purchased a nice collection of vintage bookends which can now be seen in-store.  Over the next few days we’ll show some of them here in the journal.  They’ll also be added to the on-line shop as we are able to clean, price, and photograph them. The pair above, cast in bronze, show an […]

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In with a Roar!

Today’s the day!  For one, the sun enters LEO, making today the first day of that (glorious) sun sign.  Secondly, today marks the one year anniversary of our new, improved website (which you’re looking at).  And three, it’s my birthday! The lion above, emerging from his jungle hideaway, is part of pair of “Wildcats” bookends […]

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“Howl”

On this day in 1926, Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, NJ.  Precocious, an ideologue, and facile with words, the teenaged boy would write letters to the New York Times on the hot topics of the day:  World War II and Labor issues.  At Columbia University, Allen befriended a group of like-minded men—Lucien Carr, […]

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A New Shipment of Bookends

I’ve just received a collection of new (vintage) bookends:  elephants, horses, and dogs—like the cast iron Terriers, pictured above.  Made in the late 1920’s, they capture nicely the square muzzle, wiry coat, and the alert stance of the popular sporting dog.  They stand atop an Art Deco base and stand ready to hold-up your collection […]

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Boys’ Day

When I was a boy, growing-up in Hawaii, my father would commemorate Boys’ Day each 5 May by running two Japanese carp flags up the flagpole—a big red and white one (for me) and a smaller black and white one (for my younger brother).  Boys’ Day!  It made me feel so important!  I am (a […]

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America’s First Inauguration

On this day in 1789, at about noon, a spiffy George Washington emerged from his New York City home.  He lived at One Cherry Street, near the East River.  He was dressed in a dark brown (American made!) wool suit, white silk stockings, and a dark red overcoat.  Light glinted off the shiney silver buckles […]

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A Monumental Day

Today is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, established by UNESCO in 1983. It’s a day on which humanity’s cultural diversity (and its vulnerability) is promoted, protected and conserved.  Though we often don’t think about it, monuments and cultural sites teach us the history of the world’s human experiences.  Such places transmit the values, […]

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Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day—originally called Washington’s Birthday—used to be celebrated on the first president’s actual birthday, 22 February.  Today, now re-named, it is celebrated on the third Monday in February. LEO Design will be open from noon until 8:00 pm. The bookends above, made in the late 1920’s or 1930’s, were modeled after the Lincoln Memorial sculpture […]

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Abraham Lincoln: The Man

On this day in 1809, a boy was born in a one-room log cabin at Sinking Spring Farm, Hodgenville, Kentucky.  From such a modest beginning arose one of America’s greatest heroes—and, possibly, history’s most-popular president. 78 years later, before a crowd of 10,000 onlookers, Abraham Lincoln’s only grandson (and namesake) helped to unveil a statue […]

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Washington Elected President

On this day in 1789, the Electoral College named George Washington the first president of the United States under its new Constitution.  The actual voting took place from 15 December 1788 to 10 January 1789.  Washington ran unopposed and won all of the Electoral votes, the only president ever to win 100% of the votes. […]

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The Bard Still Reigns!

Last night I saw the wonderful Broadway production of “Twelfe Night” starring the always-perfect Mark Rylance (who is not just an amazing artist but a one-time recipient of a LEO Design gift!).  As timing would have it, I’ve just acquired the bronze-clad bookends shown above.  Click on the photo to learn more about them.  And […]

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Hold Your . . . Books?

Another recent acquisition is this pair of handsome, Art Deco Horse Head bookends.  Cast of heavy, solid glass, they really provide a stately end-cap to your library collection.  Keep them on desk, bookshelf, or credenza—or, place them atop your mantle piece. Please stop-by the shop to see them in person—along with a lot more newly-acquired […]

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They’ll Never Forget

I’ve also found some interesting bookends on this most-recent trip.  Shown here, a pair of cast spelter elephants, contentedly reading “The Times.” Come into the shop to see them in person—and the rest of our recent acquisitions.

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The Bronze-Clad Bard

A pair of bronze-clad Shakespeare bookends are amongst my recent acquisitions this week. Made in New York in the 1920’s, they are a handsome representation of England’s most famous wordsmith. Please come into the shop to see them.  They should be ready-for-sale by New Year’s Eve. Of course, many other newly-purchased treasures will be available, […]

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Elephants Can Read!

These two elephant chaps, sit reading The Times.  Are they horrified or amused by what they read? They are part of my latest acquisitions, found while traveling in “The Near Mid-West.” Come into the shop to see them—they should be ready for sale New Year’s Eve—or find them in the on-line shop in a week […]

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From France, via Sussex

Another new find:  this pair of French Art Deco spelter squirrel bookends.  I found them in the south of England, perched atop their marble plinths, just as you see them here. Click on the photo above to learn more about them. More new items in days to come…

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All Hallows’ Eve

All Hallows’ Eve—also called “Hallowe’en”—is celebrated each year on the night before “All Hallows’ Day” (or “All Saints’ Day”). The noun “hallow” refers to a “holy or consecrated person,” and “Hallowe’en” is a contraction or “Hallows” and “Eve.” The origin of the holiday is thought to be a Christianized version of an older, Pagan Celtic […]

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New Merchandise Arrives

I seem to have tapped a nautical vein on my most recent buying trip—to the Midwest, of all places! Here’s a pair of highly-sculptural, cast iron bookends, the ship’s prow plunging into the roiling sea before it.  One can almost feel the motion. Click on the photo to learn more about them.

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The Pelican in Symbolism

The pelican has a long and interesting history in folklore and symbolism.  The Ancient Egyptians associated the bird closely with death, the afterlife, and as a mode of transport from one world to the next.  In other ancient mythology, it was believed that, during times of famine, a mother pelican would strike her breast—thus drawing […]

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Happy Birthday, Rin Tin Tin

The year was 1918 and World War I was underway.  U.S. Army corporal Lee Duncan was sent ahead to the French village of Flirey, recently-cleared of German occupiers, to find a suitable air landing strip.  What he found was a bombed and abandoned German kennel, recently used to provide dogs for the German military.  Most of the […]

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Harvard at 377

Happy Birthday, Harvard! On this day in 1636, Harvard University was founded by order of the Massachusetts legislature, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.  It is arguably the most prestigious school in America and amongst the most important in the world.  Named after its first benefactor, John Harvard (an […]

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The Dog Days of Summer

Summer’s end is nigh, the dog days come and gone.  But it’s been cool in LEO Design where these French Art Deco Great Dane bookends wait patiently.  Come visit them and see our new shipments—arriving in mid-September. Click on the photo to learn more.

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The LEO in Art – part three

Lions are among the most-widely used creatures in heraldry.  After all, “The King of the Forest” is associated closely with royalty and—for centuries—we have invested him with the traits we wish to see in our leaders (royal or otherwise): strength, bravery, majesty, beauty, beneficence.  Lions often are viewed as strong and gentle—at the same time—something […]

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