RSS

Category Archives: Sports

Depicts sport activity or sport personality

Charro Bookends

Charro Bookends:  Gray metal and “mexican marble or onyx”.  Height 6.25 inches.  Inscription:  ArtemetalicA  S.A.  Hecho en Mexico.

Charro Bookends:  Gray metal and “mexican marble or onyx”.  Height 6.25 inches.  Inscription:  ArtemetalicA  S.A.  Hecho en Mexico.

The charro is a Mexican horseman or cowboy who competes in a charreada.   HIs traditional costume is a fancy sombrero, a beautifully-embroidered short jacket, tightly-cut and decorated trousers, and boots.  With lariat in hand, our bookend charro is ready to win the heart of a lady while showing off his skill with the rope.

The Charreada is a Mexican rodeo, and it is the national sport of Mexico.  It is a formal exhibition of horsemanship that dates back to the sixteenth century and is a predecessor of the American rodeo.  Today charreadas can  be seen in Mexico (Click here for photos of a Charreada from The Guardian in 2014) and in the U.S (Click here for a link to the San Antonio, Texas organization ). We found these bookends in the heart of California’s Central Valley, which has a tradition of rodeos and vaqueros.

It is unusual to see metal bookends from Mexico.  Most Mexican bookends we see are relatively crudely shaped stone pairs, generally greenish yellow, sold as mexican onyx. They can be found in craft and tourist shops at border crossings.

These Charro figures are finely cast of metal and each is mounted on single block of mexican onyx. The detail is excellent. You can see the embroidery on the jacket and the metal “galas” down the outside seams of the pants.  There is a paper label on one of the bookends identifying the maker as

Paper labels on base of one of the Charro Bookends

Paper labels on base of one of the Charro Bookends

Recently we visited a bronze foundry in Tijuana, B.C.,Mex. . While our bookends were not made at this particular foundry, it is an example of the type of foundries to be found in Mexico where quality casting work like this is done today.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Olympic Bookends

Photo of Olympic Bookends

Each bookend is 8″ tall and weighs 6.5 lbs. Bronze. No maker’s mark.

Celebrating the Olympiads of ancient Greece, this old pair of bookends is big and heavy.

Photo of Greek Inscription

Greek Inscription

Each bookend pictures a Greek warrior in profile against a shield, with swords and war hammers in the background.  Above the warrior’s head there is a motto in the Greek language which translates to “through toil, victory”  meaning “victory is the result of effort/work.”  This motto is taken from a statement by the Greek poet Pindar giving praise to Hagesidamus of Western Locri, Victor in Boys‘ Boxing, 476 BC.

 
 

Tags: , ,

Olympiad Bookends

Photo of Olympiad Bookends

Each bookend is 8 inches tall and weighs 6.5 pounds, solid bronze,no maker’s mark.

BE_Olympiad_PindarCelebrating the Olympiads of ancient Greece this old pair of bookends is big and heavy. Each bookend pictures a Greek warrior in profile against a shield, with swords and war hammers in the background.  Above the warrior’s head there is a motto in the Greek language which translates to “through toil, victory” meaning “victory is the result of effort/work.” This motto is taken from a statement by the Greek poet Pindar giving praise to Hagesidamus of Western Locri, victor in boys‘ boxing, 476 BC.

 

Tags: , , ,

Bulldog Bookends

Photo of Bulldog Bookends

Trophy style Bulldog Bookends attributed to Dodge.

Dogs are very popular subjects for bookends.  There are German Shepherds, Scottish Terriers, Greyhounds, or Wolfhounds.  Bulldogs are not so frequently seen, but here are bookends for English and American Bulldog fanciers, animals with  typical wrinkled faces, stubby tails, bowed legs and  sturdy appearances.  Each bookend is gray metal with a bronzed finish, 4.25 inches high, and weighs 2.5 lbs.  The pair is unmarked, but attributed to Dodge.

Bulldogs were used in medieval England for bull baiting, a very popular diversion.  A bull was tethered to a stake and big dogs attacked the bull, one dog at a time.  The dogs were trained to attack the bull by biting on to its nose and holding there until the bull fell over.  The bull attempted to dislodge the dog and kill it.  Men would crowd around for the spectacle and bet on the outcomes. The British Parliament banned the practice in 1835.  In the aftermath of the ban, the bulldog, much beloved and admired by those who owned the breed, was bred as a companion dog.  As it became more of a household pet it nevertheless retained its reputation for tenacity and fearlessness, as reflected in editorial cartoons and common phrases such as “bull-dogging”.

The original English bulldogs had straight tails, faces that were less wrinkled, and were not bandy legged.  Today’s American bulldog has been modified for looks and could not be used for bull baiting because it lacks the necessary ferocity and size, but it still is ready for a “sporting” challenge.  Take a look at “Tillman, the Surfing Bulldog” in the 8th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Dog Surfing Competition in Imperial Beach on June 22, 2013.  Video shot and edited by Matt Peace.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Animals, Sports, Victorian

 

Tags: , , , ,

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! – BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion by Robert and Donna Seecof

Robert and Donna Seecof wrote the first book on bookends in 1995 (Bookend Revue, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1996). At that time we briefly addressed bookends as works of art. Since that time we have become more aware of bookends as a medium of art and fashion, and we have attempted to show these relationships in this new volume, BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion, available now from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

We owe special thanks to Charles DeCosta, who generously allowed us to present some of the bookends from his outstanding collection, which can be viewed at antiquebookendcollection.com.

Over 350 vivid color photos and engaging text reveal that bookends have been a medium of art from the turn of the twentieth century to today. The photos illustrate 350 pairs of bookends from principal art styles, and the research places them in historical context, creating an illustrated art history of the twentieth century.  Accompanying the photos are identification of the production date, the foundry, sculptor, art style, commentary, and values. The bookends presented have documented American art fashions for the past one hundred years. This novel guide also organizes bookends by art style and historical period, rather than subject matter, which gives the reader new insight into the evolution of bookends in a dynamic culture. Reader will come to regard bookends as works of art and will be knowledgeable about their rightful place in the art world.

Front Cover of BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion by Robert and Donna Seecof

Front Cover of BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion by Robert and Donna Seecof

BEBackCover

Back Cover of BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion illustrating some of the fashionable bookends of the 20th Century

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Swim, Girl, Swim

Photo of Gertrude Ederle Bookends

Gertrude Ederle “Queen of the Waves”

Here is a pair of bookends that almost certainly represents Gertrude Ederle.  Ms. Ederle was one of the most celebrated female athletes of the twentieth century.  Between 1921 and 1925, she held 29 US freestyle national and world titles. At the 1924 Olympic Games she won three medals in swimming.  In 1926, at the age of 20, she was the first woman to swim the English channel, through rain and heavy swells and finishing in a record time that lasted until 1950.  She was greeted with a ticker tape parade and a crowd of 2 million when she returned to New York City after the channel swim. President Calvin Coolidge called her “America’s Best Girl.”  She made a movie short, “Swim, Girl, Swim”. about herself.  Later she claimed to have invented the bikini style by wearing a cut-down swimsuit.  Today she remains a feminist icon, an inspiration to all female athletes the world over.  “People said women couldn’t swim the Channel but I proved they could.”

Photo of Gertrude Ederle

Conquering the Channel

Photo of "America's Best Girl"

“America’s Best Girl”

We purchased this pair in December 2010 on eBay. It is unmarked, but we attribute it to Armor Bronze.  It was probably sold in about 1926, at the height of her fame. The pair is 4 inches high and 8.5 inches wide in electroformed bronze.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Sports

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: