Back-to-School - I


Cowan Arts & Crafts Sculpted "Scholar Monk" Bookends with Deep Matte Green Glazing (LEO Design)


By now the kids (small and big) are back-at-school.   These days, "hitting the books" may be an obsolete phrase.  But it shouldn't be.  All the best people love and collect books, don't they?  And, I don't mind adding, the cream of that crop of booklovers also need lots of bookends!

Shown above, a pair of Arts & Crafts ceramic bookends made by R. Guy Cowan of Cowan Pottery.  They portray a sculpted monk bent over his tome.  The piece is glazed in a wonderful, organic dark green.

The Cowan workshop was opened in 1912 in Lakewood, Ohio.  Initially, most of the production designs were the work of Cowan himself.  The studio closed temporarily while Cowan was serving in World War One.  When he returned, he discovered that the gas supply to his kilns had dried-up so he re-opened in nearby Rocky River, Ohio.

After the War, Cowan Pottery became very productive—producing some 850 designs in 160 glazes.  Asian-inspired, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts and Art Deco styles were produced.  And a large number of artist-designers contributed to the catalog of Post-War designs.

The Stockmarket Crash of 1929 was a death knell for Cowan.  In 1931, Cowan Pottery closed its doors and its owner took work in other ceramics factories.

Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome pair of 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 Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

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