A Query from “Down Under”

10 Mar

The Bookend Collector received the following query:

“I came across your site while trying to find information on a set of antique bookends my wife got me for my birthday last year. As you will see from the pictures attached they are of Faust and Mephistopheles. Faust is in a pose of lament and is holding a skull while Mephistopheles is his usual cheery self and is holding a lute. They are both ceramic or plaster and only weigh about 1.1kg (2.4 pounds) each. There are no other markings on them apart from the indicators on the back showing which piece is left and which is right. I think she only paid around $50 for the pair and I have not been able to find anymore like them around Australia or on the internet. I don’t think they are worth a great deal but I think they look awesome and have been a great addition to my bookshelf. Any info that you and your readers could give me on them would also be appreciated. “

Photo of Faust and Mephistopheles Bookends

Bookends depicting Faust and Mephistopheles.

Photo of Marks

15L and 15R

If you can shed any light on the maker of these bookends or the time frame, leave a comment or email us at  The Bookend Collector suspects they may be German, but doesn’t have a date to suggest – except, “They’re old.”

FAUST is a tragic play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  The 2 main characters are Faust and Mephistopheles.  At one point in the play, Faust intones, “Why grinnest thou at me, thou hollow skull?”  At another point Mephistopheles’ lute is damaged by Valentine.

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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Ceramic/Tile, Literary


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