Yesterday's Bookends - part I

Victorian English Bookslide with Riveted Bone and Pierced Brass Mountings (LEO Design)

In the old days, only the wealthiest could afford a library. A wall filled with books was a sign of intelligence, worldliness and lots of money. Poor people might have two or three books, including a Bible. And middle class families might have a dozen books—including poetry, a cooking book, an atlas and a few other reference books.  For such a middle class booklover, a desktop "book slide" (or book rack), shown above, would suit his needs.  Perched upon the desk, it kept those cherished books close-at-hand.  This folding book rack—embellished with hand-cut brass and riveted bone strips—was made in Victorian England, c. 1880.  It revives the style of the Jaccobean period, some 350 years earlier.  "Modern" pairs of bookends, as we think of them today, were not mass-produced until the Twentieth Century, with the expansion of a middle class with enough money to buy more books.  Before that, there were just book racks and book shelves.

Click on the photo above to learn more about this bookrack.  And check-out our website to see many newly-acquired "Handsome Gifts"—just brought back from England.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

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