Bookends didn’t exist in colonial times, but fireplaces abounded. During the 1910s and 1920s a number of bookends depicting fireplaces were produced. Home decor, including bookends, reflected the burgeoning interest in preserving our past. Many historic homes were turned into museums and John D. Rockefeller’s preservation of Colonial Williamsburg became a locus of desirable decorations for all home-makers. An excellent article in The Colonial Williamsburg Journal, Summer 02, by Mary Miley Theobold relates the influence the preservation movement had on home decor.
In Colonial times, fireplaces were frequently used for both heating and cooking. This colonial-revival pair shows a pot hung over a flaming fire, probably because the large red flames made the bookends quite pretty. They look warm and comfortable, however lower flames or hot coals were more efficient for cooking.