A Monk the Very Best


Gothic Revival Polychromed Bronze-Clad Monk's Head Bookends by Hirsh (LEO Design)

The Gothic Movement, in my opinion, remains the high-water mark of architectural and decorative art history.  The original movement spanned the 1100's into the 1500's.  Later, in the mid-1700's, there was a Gothic Revival movement in England, followed by a bigger one (throughout the Western World) during the first three-quarters of the Nineteenth Century (sometimes called "Victorian Gothic").  When the Arts & Crafts Movement flowered (circa 1900 - 1910's), Gothic elements and themes were often adopted as decorative influences and embellishments.  I am likewise smitten by these later revivals, too.

These bronze-clad, Monk's head bookends, made in the 1910's or 1920's, tap a heavy vein of Gothic inspiration.  In addition to the clerical reference, you'll find a triptych of gothic arches and a line of architectural "crockets" along the "roofline" of the niche.  The altar-like form is finished in a (now aged) golden patina, polychromed with hand painting.

They were made by the Hirsh Company in New York City in the 1910's or 1920's.  Founded in 1907 by Romanian immigrant, Joseph B. Hirsh, the company started life as the New York Bronze Works.  As the years passed, Hirsh developed new and equally sophisticated bookends.  Today, Hirsh bookends are amongst the most-coveted of production bookends.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome pair.


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 Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or 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