These well-cast iron bookends by Connecticut Foundry are of the West Face of the Lichfield Cathedral in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. LIchfield Cathedral was built during the thirteenth century and stands today as a premier example of Gothic architecture in England. It is the only medieval church in England with 3 spires. The two spires depicted on the bookends are about 200 feet high. A third and taller spire at the east end of the cathedral is not represented on the bookends. The three spires together are known locally as the “Ladies of the Vale”. It is thought that Anna Seward, a late-eighteenth century romantic poet, daughter of the Canon of Lichfield Cathedral, and called the “Swan of Lichfield”, popularized this appellation through her writings.
There are several pairs of bookends depicting the Lichfield Cathedral. This pair was cast by the Connecticut Foundry. Not much is known about this foundry, but they issued numerous bookends in the first few decades of the twentieth century. Connecticut Foundry bookends are nearly all unpainted iron with a light brown finish and in low relief. These bookends are a special effort by the foundry because they are cast with great detail and are painted gold.
These Lichfield Cathedral bookends were a gift from Souvenir Building Collector, Mark Fine.