The Pompeian Bronze Company produced this set of electroformed bronze pirates, circa 1925. Each bookend is marked with the name of Paul Herzel, the artist. There is a pair of very similar pirates, from Armor Bronze, but with the foot resting on a treasure chest instead of a coiled rope.
Doubloons, swords, treasure chests, eye patches- everyone knows that all these identify pirates because Hollywood told us so. But how does a pirate look? Pirate bookends show us pirates in the round, and the bookends must be correcct, at least for the popular conception of pirates, because we immediately recognize pirates on bookends.
This pirate wears knives on his colorful sash and leans on his sword while keeping one foot on a coil of rope. The man’s shirt has been torn, undoubtedly in a fight, but, his close-fitting, nineteenth century pantaloons and his high boots are in good shape. Finally, his mustache and tricorn hat and an ear ring in his left ear make him an elegant chap. A red bandana peeks out from beneath the hat. His haughty stance clearly advertises his power.
But, we do not need all these details of dress and accoutrements to identify a romantic pirate. The pirate bust below gives us a recognizable pirate with only a stern mustached face, an ear ring and a red bandana. These electroformed bronze bookends are also marked with the name of Paul Herzel, and they are attributed to Armor Bronze Inc.
Chuck DaCosta’s Antique Bookend Collection site contains a number of Pirate Bookends for your viewing.