These are rare bookends depicting a seated Seminole Indian Woman of the 1920s, apparently sewing or stringing beads. The sculptor was S. Plasikowski. The casting company is not known. Seminole Bookends are listed in both the 1934 & 1954 Catalogs of Copyright Entries for Works of Art as the work of Serena Plasikowski Denslow.
The Seminole Indians in Florida are not the original prehistoric group of Indians from that region. The Seminoles originated from a mix of local Indians, immigrant Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, and runaway black slaves, and received their name in the 1770s. As early as 1880 the Seminoles obtained hand-operated sewing machines and used them to make their own clothing, utilizing a series of multi-colored strips of cloth to create both a ruffled blouse and a long ruffled skirt.
This fashion of contrasting colors was begun prior to 1920, according to David M. Blackard in his book, PATCHWORK & PALMETTOS, Seminole-Miccosukee Folk Art Since 1820, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, 1990. The form evolved into the now familiar characteristic patchwork of blocks or bars of alternating colors and incorporating a sawtooth design through the 1920s and 30s. Today we see patchwork with rickrack clothing on the handicrafted dolls sold in Florida as souvenirs.