Mark Twain Bookends

27 Jan

Our collection does not generally include depictions of famous individuals, however we occasionally make an exception.  Samuel Clemens, the celebrated humorist widely recognized by his pen name, Mark Twain, is one of those exceptions.  We greatly admire his writing.  Presently, we are listening to “Roughing It”, his semi-autobiographical novel of his days Out West, published in 1872.

Photo of High Relief Bookends

Mark Twain in a story-telling pose

These bookends showing Mark Twain in repose were made by the  Weidlich Brothers foundry.  The bookends are 6.5  inches tall, marked with the trademark WB  and with the words Mark Twain on the base.  These same bookends can be found holding up books in the Mark Twain Room of the Buffalo and Erie County Library, Buffalo, NY.  Click on the link and scroll to slide 8.

Weidlich Brothers made well-cast, durable bookends, most or perhaps all of them bronze plated over gray metal, as are these.  The company was located in Bridgeport, CT. and operated between 1901 and some time in the 1950s. They were known for making quality cast novelties.  Today’s collectors of jewel boxes and of corkscrews look for the WB trademark.

To learn more about Mark Twain visit the Mark Twain Project Online.  MTPO is produced by the Mark Twain Papers and Project of The Bancroft Library in collaboration with the University of California Press; the site is hosted by UC Berkeley’s Library Systems Office.

And check out Chris’s comment on “Roughing It” below.  Very interesting.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Literary, Victorian


Tags: , ,

One response to “Mark Twain Bookends

  1. Chris Bernhard

    February 2, 2013 at 14:21

    For fans of Road Runner cartoons, the appearance, character and behavior of Wile E. Coyote are based on Mark Twain’s description of a coyote he saw on his stagecoach trip from St. Joe, MO to the Nevada Territory in 1861, as he described later in his book, “Roughing It.” Years later, Charles M. (Chuck) Jones, an animator for Warner Brothers Studio, remembered that description from his boyhood reading of the book, and drew on it to create the Roadrunner’s nemesis.


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