Vintage ceramic bookends are valued by pottery collectors and are frequently very attractive. But, most ceramic bookends are slip cast, hollow, lightweight, fragile, lacking in sharp detail and relatively expensive. For these reasons bookend collectors generally neglect them in favor of metal bookends. By contrast, ceramic TILE bookends while also considered to be part of the American Art Pottery movement tend to be heavy, solid, and durable. We collect tile bookends for these reasons.
This pair of solid ceramic bookends was produced by the Flint Faience and Tile Co. of Flint, Michigan, circa 1930. Each bookend is 5.5 inches tall, 8.5 inches wide, weighs 3.5 pounds and is inscribed Flint Tile Co. on the rear. We are aware of only 3 bookend designs produced by the Flint Tile Co.
The story of the Flint Faience & Tile Company is chronicled in FLINT FAIENCE TILES A TO Z. The company began as a way to improve the productivity of the spark plug kilns of AC Spark Plug Company. The first head designer was Carl Bergmans, a Belgian ceramic designer.
Nearly all vintage American ceramic tile bookends are closely associated with the Arts & Crafts movement, and the subject matter here of Padre and Candle certainly matches this genre. A version of these bookends entitled Man and Candle are pictured in FLINT FAIENCE TILES A to Z on page 65.