Each bookend is a bust of a gentlemanly individual, but his horns, and perhaps his devilish smile, identify him as Mephistopheles. Mephistopheles can be traced to the Faust legend in Germany. Faust, the man, was a physician, a magician and an alchemist who worked in the seventeenth century and became the object of literature at that time. Mephistopheles appears in this literature as an agent of the devil who tempts Faust to give up his soul for worldly success and pleasure.
The bookends are only 4.5 inches high, but they are solid lead and each one weighs 4 pounds. Lead means they are from the early twentieth century or perhaps somewhat earlier, and this is the only pair we have ever seen. They were purchased at Brimfield in 2009 and appear in BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion on page 41.