Tag Archives: Pompeian Bronze

Monk Bookends: We missed out!

Really enjoyed our perusal of the booths at the Portland Expo Antique Show.  However, we missed out on a pair of very attractive bookends that we would have loved to have added to our collection.  When we first passed Silver Bear Antiques’ booth, they were not yet unpacked.  On the second pass they had been purchased just minutes before we saw them.  Just goes to show that luck and early attendance are not always in sync.  Somewhere someone has a really nice pair.



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“Trecking West” Prairie Schooner Bookends

Photo of Trecking West Bookends

“Trecking West”, Painted Iron. 6″. Circa 1930. Cincinnati Artistic.

From the 1840s to the 1860s, wagons called Prairie Schooners, Covered Wagons, Conestoga Wagons, or the Camels of the Prairies provided the transportation of migrating families, merchants, gold-seekers, and more, across the plains and the mountains of the western United States.  This bookend pair is cast in low relief, but it is busy. The artist has managed to include one covered wagon, two pairs of yoked oxen, two people, and the title – “Trecking West”.  The title honors the American “Trek”, a word borrowed from the South African Boers’ depiction of their migration in the 1830s to the more northerly territories on the African Continent.

Photo of Cincinnati Artistic inscription

Reverse of “Trecking West” bookends showing Cincinnati Artistic and Patent Appl. For inscriptions

The foundry that made “Trecking West” is more than likely Cincinnati Artistic Wrought Iron Works Co. This company operated from the late 1890s until August of 1995 when as Artistic Wrought Iron it sold off it’s remaining stock with an advertisement in the “antiques” classifieds of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  It was known for it’s quality lamps and other architectural wrought iron items during the 1930s. A lamp from Cincinnati Artistic Wrought Iron Works was appraised by David P. McCarron on the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in 2010. Click here to reach that appraisal video.

Several Western bookends feature covered wagons. Hubley made at least 2 different versions, one of which is shown below. W.H. Howell’s contribution to the genre is documented in the BOOKEND REVUE, Fig. 194, Seecof & Seecof, and in Gerald P. McBride’s book, A Collector’s Guide to CAST METAL BOOKENDS, on page 108.

Electroformed bronze Covered Wagon bookends signed by Paul Herzel and attributed to Pompeian Bronze can be found on page 48 of BOOKENDS: Objects of Art and Fashion, Seecof & Seecof, 2012.

Photo of Covered Wagon bookends

The Covered Wagon. 5.5″, electroformed bronze. Signed Paul Herzel. Attrib. to Pompeian Bronze. Circa 1920.


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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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