Nothing illustrates the drudgery of academics quite like this pair of bookends, made by Bradley & Hubbard (Meriden, Connecticut) in the Twenties. Cast iron bookends portray a bas relief studious monk, leaning sleepily over his book. The bookends are finished with a bronze patina, the figurals in a golden bronze.
Bradley & Hubbard started small—with six employees—in 1852. They produced finely-crafted, decorative metal desk accessories and other household objects. Bradley & Hubbard's design, style and quality was always very good. But they did not have a carriage trade business like, say, Tiffany Studios. Bradley & Hubbard's well-made product line was aimed squarely at the growing Upper Middle Class (and the aspirational Middle Class).
By the 1890's, Bradley & Hubbard had grown considerably, with 1,500 employees and over seven acres of factory space. Showrooms in New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia wrote orders for fine stores across the expanding nation. The company benefitted from the confluence of good design, high standards, and the use of modern mass-production methods. Good style was now produced affordably for people who now had a little discretionary income in their pocketbooks.
Museums around the United States now hold and exhibit Bradley & Hubbard items in their galleries—examples of good design, made affordable through the use of modern mass production methods.
The heavy, cast iron bookends, shown above, are but one example of Bradley & Hubbards commitment to quality, craftsmanship and style. 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 (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248