The End of the Trail

Cast Iron "The End of the Trail" Bas Relief Bookends (LEO Design)

For five long years, America has been running-in-place—enduring an election campaign that just won't end.   While the contesting may not cease tomorrow (and chances are, it won't), it is, nevertheless, The End of the Trail.  Tomorrow the voting will end and we will wait as final ballots are received and counted.  May the good team win.

These bookends, made in the 1920's, depict a bas relief representation of James Earle Fraser's End of the Trail sculpture.  Fraser, moved by the plight of Native Americans displaced from their homelands, sculpted an exhausted Indian atop his (equally exhausted) horse who have been pushed West, to the edge of the Pacific—where they can go no further.  Fraser began working on the idea as early as 1894.  But he did not finish and display the work until 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  Because World War I was raging, Fraser could not obtain the bronze to cast the final metal sculpture.  Instead, he displayed his plaster maquette (or model) at the fair.  After the war, castings were made—including options in various sizes.

James Earle Fraser was born in Minnesota on 4 November 1876 (Happy Earle Birthday—in two days!).  He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago followed by the École des Beaux Arts and Académie Julian, both in Paris.  He assisted Augustus Saint-Gaudens before establishing his own studio.  Fraser was commissioned for many public monuments and other works, some in Washington DC (like the Alexander Hamilton sculpture in front of the Treasury) and elsewhere.  Fraser also designed the "Indian Head/Buffalo" nickel. 

Please click on the photo above to learn more about these handsome bookends.


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