Bronze Lion Bookends

  • A pair of bronze tone metal lion bookends by Jennings Brothers Manufacturing Company. These pieces, likely meant to be bookends, each depict the same lion prowling with his head slightly lowered. They are marked ‘JB 2038’ to their bases and one includes protective felt to its underside. Jennings Brothers was known for producing art-inspired.
  • The world-renowned pair of marble lion statues that stand proudly before the majestic Beaux-Arts building of The New York Public Library have captured the imagination and affection of residents and visitors alike since the library opened in 1911.

Check out our bookend bronze lion selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops.

Most bronze-clad bookends were made during the Art Deco Period of 1920 to 1935. The Roaring Twenties fostered a thriving business for a handful of US companies working in bronze-clad, producing a large variety of bookends, figurines, and religious statuettes. The Art Deco aesthetic originated in Paris in the early decades of the 20th century and affected all areas of design through the 1920s and 1930s, and so falls between Art Nouveau (1890-1905) and the post-World War II art movement of Abstract expressionism. From our research: A brief history of the companies that produced bronze-clad.

What is bronze-clad?
Visit our Bookends 101

Armor Bronze


Buy ▲ this pair

The company we know as Armor Bronze started as The National Metalizing Company. While some folks seem to think that the company was in business as far back as 1880, our research leads us to believe 1910 is closer to the actual founding date. The print advertisement at right, from 1915, lists their studio and showroom at 333 Fourth Avenue in New York City; their main office and factory was in Garwood, New Jersey. Attesting to their range of products, the ad also states: “This lamp is only one of many Armor Bronze Lamps and Works of Art, Doorstops, Bookends and Trays of exceptional beauty and charm.” During this period ‘Armor Bronze’ was advertised right alongside the company name; beginning around 1920 National Metalizing was dropped and they became the Armor Bronze Company. The company resurfaces in Taunton Massachusetts in the mid-1930’s, with production ceasing around 1948. ©AntiqueBookends.us

Galvano Bronze


Buy ▲ this pair

The term ‘galvano bronze’ is essentially generic, it was often used by all of the makers in their literature to refer to the galvanic process that is the physics behind electroplating and electroforming. Galvano Bronze Company refers to P. Mori and Son, based in New York City. Although the electroforming process was discovered around 1830 in Europe, it was recent immigrant Paul Mori who founded the first sizable commercial venture that used the process — and coined the trade name ‘Galvano Bronze’ to market their products. (Their label reads: Galvano Bronze, P.Mori & Son, hence the obvious practice of appending ‘Company’ to its trade name.) The company appears to have been founded in 1889, but some references list 1915 as the earliest date for a pair of bookends. Early advertising suggests that the company may have initially produced architectural products in bronze-clad. Some references state that the company was sold to its employees, later to become the Pompeian Bronze Company. ©AntiqueBookends.us

Kathodion Bronze Works

KBW marketed their products using the trade name ‘ARTBRONZ’, and sold ‘Book Rocks’ (bookends), lamps, ashtrays, and more. The print advertisement at right, from 1914, lists their retail address at 501 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The ad also states: “Artbronz is the standard of perfection and has been for the past five years”; putting their likely founding at about 1910. Despite many fine products, the company was short-lived. In 1915 they fell victim to one of Wall Street’s most notorious stock manipulation schemes — cooked up by C.R. Bergmann & Co. — KBW was first promoted as a contractor to supply auto tire stems, then to supply ammunition for World War I. Bergmann profited from trumping up KBW stock in a push to raise capital forty-fold, with the stock skyrocketing from $3 to almost $70 per share. Alas, it was not to be … they should have stayed with bookends, since by 1918 Kathodion Bronze Works had filed for bankruptcy. ©AntiqueBookends.us

Marion Bronze

Founded in 1922 by Arthur and Marion France, the Marion Bronze Company produced bronze-clad bookends, lamps, candlesticks, mirrors, wall plaques, and religious statuettes at a small production facility behind their house in Metuchen, New Jersey. Production by the couple continued until they retired and sold the business in 1958 — with the subsequent owner continuing production until 1971. A catalog of theirs from the 1950s states: “Our skilled craftsmen hand cast each piece into ‘Cerama-Stone’, a scientific exclusive formula which permits high fidelity reproduction. Each piece is then carefully prepared so that it can be encased in real bronze metal. Unlike most metal castings, which are hollow, the Marion Galvano Bronze method makes a solid reproduction of the proper weight for lifetime durability.” Marion Bronze was the longest-lived company producing bronze-clad bookends. ©AntiqueBookends.us

Pompeian Bronze


Buy ▲ this pair

Based in Brooklyn New York, the Pompeian Bronze Company produced bookends in bronze-clad and in spelter, as well as lamps, ashtrays, and more. In 1921 alone, Peter Manfredi, of Pompeian Bronze, registered 27 designs of bookends and lamps with the US Library of Congress Copyright Office, including some of the finest designs ever created. But PB too was gone by sometime around 1930. Some reports suggest that the company, upon dissolution, sold its plaster molds and plating tanks to Marion Bronze — we’ve not come across any printed evidence to support this — but it seems plausible, and it would explain why a number of later-produced bookends by Marion Bronze are nearly identical to earlier Pompeian designs. ©AntiqueBookends.us

Next Gallery

Selected Objects from the Smithsonian Institution Castle Collection

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 5.75' x W. 4.5' x D. 2.75.' SI.1992.015 a&b.

A bust of Shakespeare in full relief is set into a niche; a brass label engraved with the name Shakespeare is mounted with two brass pins along the front edge of the base. Decorative elements on the niche include two urns with palm branches, finials and rosettes. These bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the lower back. The finish is treated to look like patinated bronze. The original green felt is glued to the bottom.

BookendsBack to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 5' x W. 3.75' x D. 2.125.' SI.1991.015 a&b.

The overall shape is that of an early American sign board consisting of a vertical plaque flanked by two turned spindles, surmounted by a scrolled pediment with three finials. The 'signboard' is mounted to a semi-circular base. The plaque has a scene of a log cabin and trees in low bas-relief. The bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom center.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 6' x W. 4.615' x D. 2.5.' SI.1991.014 a&b.

Designed to resemble an architectural memorial with a stepped base on which rests a vertical plaque flanked by two fluted columns and surmounted by an arched pediment. Set into the pediment is an oval medallion with a bas-relief portrait of Charles Dickens (1812-1870) surrounded by a laurel wreath. Inscribed in raised, partially gilded letters: And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless us, everyone. Dickens. The bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom right.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 4' x W. 5.87' x D. 2.125.' SI.1991.003 a&b.

The bookends are inscribed Temple of Isis on an attached brass plaque and have three steps that rise from a base supporting five Egyptian lotus columns. The columns are topped by an entablature with a concave cornice having a central ornament of the Winged Sun, the symbol of royalty dating from the Ancient Kingdom of the Egyptians. The bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom left.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 5.5' x W. 5' x D. 2.25.' SI.2003.062 a&b.

The bookends are inscribed Bramshill in script on the back upper right hand corner. Bramshill House, built by Lord Zouche during the early part of the 1600s, is one of the finest examples of early Jacobean architecture in England. It features a stately entrance with an oriel window and decorative parapets. This pair of bookends are finished in a faux patinated bronze. The bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom left.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 5.425' x W. 5.25' x D. 2.' SI.2003.059.

Antique lion bookends

This single bookend features five Ionic columns supporting a Classical entablature and resting on a plinth base scored to resemble stone. An identical pair of marked bookends bear a brass plaque labeled: 'Temple of Saturn.' The finish is a deep even brown color. The bookends bear the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom right.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 6' x W. 4.615' x D. 2.5.' SI.2003.060.

Designed to resemble an architectural memorial with a stepped base on which rests a vertical plaque flanked by two fluted columns and surmounted by an arched pediment. Set into the pediment is an oval medallion with a bas-relief portrait of John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) surrounded by a laurel wreath. Inscribed in raised, letters: And step by step, since time began, I see the steady gain of man. Whittier. The bookend bears the round B&Hmark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom right.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, one of a pair, ca.1920, cast iron. H. 6' x W. 4.25' x D. 2.' SI.2003.061 a&b.

This pair of bookends were designed in the form of Sheraton chair backs with a central draped urn with Prince of Wales feathers framed by an inner pair of plain slender columns and an outer pair of columns with palm leaf capitals. The design is almost identical to one in plate 36 of Thomas Sheraton's The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book, published in 1802. The finish on these bookends is a reddish brown with ochre highlights. Both bear the round B&H mark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom center.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Bookend, ca.1934, cast iron. H. 3..615' x W. 6.425' x D. 2.5.' SI.2003.058.

This single bookend is in the form of the facade of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated May 12, 1922 in Washington, DC. It is inscribed Lincoln Memorial in script center back. Matches item 9871 in the 1934 Bradley and Hubbard catalogue Distinctive Metalware, the finish is 'antique bronze.' The bookend bears the round B&H mark with printer's flowers cast into the back bottom right.

Back to The Bradley & Hubbard main page

Antique Lion Bookends

Created by Richard E. Stamm
© Smithsonian Institution