During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and probably before then as well, heavier women were more appreciated than the slender fashion models we admire today. Each of these bookends shows a softly-rounded lady wearing a cape and we guess she would have been very popular a few hundred years ago, and if she were even heavier she would have been even more desirable. This lady must be from just before the nineteen twenties flapper era when the boyish figures of the flapper took over.
The lady on this bookend is reminiscent of the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens. In 1630 Rubens, in his fifties, remarried after the death of his first wife. His second wife, Helene, a voluptuous 16 year old, became the inspiration for a number of his female figures. Click here to view The Three Graces displayed at the Prado Museum.
Ronson bookends featuring these female sculptures with a different base can be found in BOOKEND REVUE, figure 357, page 97 and in BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Design, figure 280, page 120. Another Ronson example can be found at Chuck DaCostas Antique Bookend Collection website. He has labeled his example, “Woman in Flight.”