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Pirate Bookends

The Pompeian Bronze Company produced this set of electroformed bronze pirates, circa 1925.  Each bookend is marked with the name of Paul Herzel, the artist.  There is a pair of very similar pirates, from Armor Bronze, but with the foot resting on a treasure chest instead of a coiled rope.

Photo of Pirate Bookends

Pirate standing on Rope. 9.5 inches tall. Signed “Paul Herzel.”

Doubloons, swords, treasure chests, eye patches- everyone knows that all these identify pirates because Hollywood told us so.  But how does a pirate look?  Pirate bookends show us pirates in the round, and the bookends must be correcct, at least for the popular conception of pirates, because we immediately recognize  pirates on bookends.

This pirate wears knives on his colorful sash and leans on his sword while keeping one foot on a coil of rope.  The man’s shirt has been torn, undoubtedly in a fight, but, his close-fitting, nineteenth century pantaloons and his high boots are in good shape.  Finally, his mustache and tricorn hat and an ear ring in his left ear make him an elegant chap.  A red bandana peeks out from beneath the hat.  His haughty stance clearly advertises his power.

But, we do not need all these details of dress and accoutrements to identify a romantic pirate.  The pirate bust below gives us a recognizable pirate with only a stern mustached face, an ear ring and a red bandana.  These electroformed bronze bookends are also marked with the name of Paul Herzel, and they are attributed to Armor Bronze Inc.

Photo of Pirate Bust Bookends

Pirate Bust. 7″. Signed “Paul Herzel.”

Chuck DaCosta’s Antique Bookend Collection site contains a number of Pirate Bookends for your viewing.

 
 

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Welcome to The Bookend Collector

Photo of Pirate Couple

The Bookend Collector is dedicated to documentation, elucidation, and divination of bookends and their place in art, home decor, and libraries.  Please enjoy browsing the site. If you are not a bookend collector now, you may be one soon.

BOOKENDS:  OBJECTS OF ART AND FASHION, Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 2012 

Photo of Front Cover of Book

The preface to our 2012 book reads: “Donna and I 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 to all bookend lovers in this volume.      Robert Seecof, November 2011”

We remain fascinated by the beauty, variety, and art reflected in bookends.


 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Art Deco

 

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Hollywood Art Deco Pirates

Photo of Hirsch Pirate Bookends

Swashbuckling couple from the Hirsch Foundry ca. 1932

White bookends are not very frequently found, but here is a pirate couple clothed in white.  The pair was made circa 1932 for the deco all-white decor which was popular in America during 1931-33.  A number of movies from that time were filmed with white decor, some with Jean Harlow, the Platinum Blonde, who fit the decor nicely.  Pirate bookends were very popular during this same time period, perhaps due to the 20 pirate movies filmed between 1920 and 1935.  Jean Harlow starred in China Seas in 1935.  These bookends are paint on gray metal with attractive celluloid faces, and produced by the Hirsch foundry.  This white-pirate pair is rare.  Most of these pairs feature bronze-colored clothing.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Art Deco

 

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