At the heart of The Eternal City lies the "Forum Romanum"—an expansive, sunken field of remarkable (though ruined) temples, arches and remnants of other ancient buildings, most over 2,000 years old. The Roman Forum was the center of life in the bustling ancient city, the place where government activity, judicial trials, mercantile trading, even gladiatorial events competed for space cheek-by-jowl. And for five centuries (from the Renaissance to the present), the Forum has provided rich inspiration for artists, architects and designers, each seeking insight into the timeless, classic beauty of a romanticized past.
One of the most important remnants to be found in the Forum is the Temple of Saturn. It is thought to have been built about five centuries before Christ, and is one of the oldest, finest and most important ruins within the field of priceless relics. Although the temple was originally dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter, it was later opportunistically re-dedicated to Saturn, the Roman god of wealth and abundance. Mythology tells us that Saturn reigned during a Golden Age of prosperity. Ancient Romans would make animal sacrifices at the temple, attempting to increase their earthly riches. One could also listen to orators or access banking services while at the temple.
These cast iron bookends were made by Bradley & Hubbard in the 1920's, perhaps intended for use in the libraries of the classically-minded and well educated. Like Grand Tour souvenirs of the Nineteenth Century, a set of bookends like this would indicate that a person was educated in the Classics and understood the roots of Western Civilization. Click on either of the photos above to learn more about these 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 (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