Carl Sorensen was a metalworker in bronze and copper who had a shop in Philadelphia round about 1914. He produced desk sets and other items in the Arts-and Crafts style. Sorensen was an early competitor of Louis Tiffany but later worked for Tiffany as a designer in the nineteen twenties and thirties. Two of his small animal sculptures can be seen on the Indiana University Art Museum website. They are part of the Dr. Arthur R. Metz Collection.
Sorensen’s bear bookends shown here have traditional Arts-and Crafts style bases of simple metal sheeting cut to size, and naturalistic subject material, as favored by Arts and Crafts workers, in this case a bear.
The natural curves of the bear are converted into flat geometric planes, and this is Art Deco rather than Arts and Crafts design. Art Deco was already showing geometric designs by the nineteen twenties. The Chase Copper and Bronze foundry was producing exclusively geometric bookends by about 1930, for example. We judge that these bear bookends were produced circa 1920, which would make these bookends a transitional form between Arts and Crafts and Art-Deco styles and Sorensen a progressive and enterprising designer and artisan. We have seen numerous different bookend animals with curves converted into planes, chiefly produced during the thirties, by various foundries.