Knowledge is Power

Cowan Arts & Crafts Ceramic "Scholar Monk" Bookends (LEO Design)

Knowledge is power.  And those who have the knowledge are most likely to become powerful.  For millennia, the best transmission of knowledge was through books.  Oral storytelling, on the other hand, has always been subject to the accurate recall of the listeners and the agendas of a line of subsequent storytellers.   The written word, on the other hand, allowed knowledge to be recorded in a way that was less likely to be changed over time (as long as the original manuscripts survived, and raises a different issue).  The problem was, very few people were literate.  Reading and writing were the domain of the highly educated—poets, clerics and scribes.  For this reason, the display of books (and images of people reading) have always been shorthand for intelligence, knowledge, thoughtfulness and education.

Even today, in our ephemeral age of digital everything, a collection of tangible, printed books remains the hallmark of an enlightened mind.  And, as long as this remains true, bookends will always be a gift welcomed by the scholarly recipient.  These highly-sculptural Arts & Crafts ceramic bookends, made by Cowan Pottery of Lakewood, Ohio, portray a monk-scholar sitting, reading the heavy tome on his lap.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248