Cast Iron Fierce Lion Bookends with Original Gold Paint (LEO Design)


This fierce feline is ready!  Ready to guard your precious tomes.

This pair of fierce lion bookends was made of cast iron in the Twenties or Thirties and still wears most of his original golden paint.  Beautiful, deep bas relief sculpting is well-aged by time—creating the perfect "high/low effect" on the patina, making the sculpture pop.

Lions have been portrayed in the decorative arts for thousands of years.  And they have been a significant part of European heraldry since the Middle Ages.  In fact, every "attitude" (position or posture) of a heraldic lion has a specific name.  A lion rampant stands upon its back legs.  A lion passant is shown walking.  A lion couchant is lying upright, on its belly (like a sphinx).  And a lion coward tucks his tail between his legs. The lion here stands in a modified lion passant guardant—that is, walking with a side view, one paw raised, head turned toward the viewer (though usually it's the right paw raised).  Though his posture approximates a traditional heraldic attitude, it's pretty clear that the sculptor was more interested in creating a compelling composition—one that lent itself to the idiosyncrasies of Twenties metal casting technicalities.

These bookends enjoy exceptional, dynamic sculpting—full of energy, tension and movement.  They will add a good measure of fierce energy to your desk, office or bookshelf.  Click upon 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 (

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