Each bookend shows one Indian beating a drum and one Indian dancing with a knife in one hand and a tomahawk in the other. The depiction obviously seems to be a war dance or more generally a weapon dance, probably ceremonial. Most, or perhaps all, American Indian weapon dances were performed en masse with the dancers moving in a circle. A single dancer with a single drummer probably does not show any traditional ritual dance. More likely, the figures probably stem from the artist’s imagination. Regardless of authenticity or the weapons shown, these bookends are outstanding as examples of action in sculpture.
We purchased these very rare bookends from a private individual who contacted us after seeing our request in the BOOKENDS WANTED section of this blog.