Vintage Metal Bookends Gain New Fans as Unique, Top-Shelf Gifts for the Home

Share Article,, the online marketer of vintage and antique metal bookends. and Antiques Roadshow Insider, a newsletter on trends in collectibles, agree that vintage and antique bookends are beloved as miniature works of art, and more popular than ever.

Vintage metal bookends offer fine design and craftsmanship, complement any décor, and usually appreciate in value. They make intelligent, thoughtful and unusual gifts

“Rare” and “unique” are the two words that best describe the gift offerings now available at,, the online marketer of vintage and antique metal bookends.

The site offers an array of bookends made from bronze, cast iron, brass, pewter, aluminum, and copper. Shoppers can search by price, ranging from below $100 to over $500, and by category, including 22 themes or subjects such as animals, nature, sports, literature and reading, history, architecture, Americana/patriotic, theater, and music.

Vintage bookends were the subject of a recent in-depth report in Antiques Roadshow Insider (September 2011), a newsletter covering trends in antiques and collectibles. According to the article, “Avid readers love vintage bookends; so do decorators and collectors.” Produced in foundries from the early 1900s to the start of World War II, each original design for the bookends was issued in limited quantities. As the prized possessions of American families, they were passed down from generation to generation.

Berton Miller, President of Old Friends, Inc., said, “Vintage bookends require no special knowledge or expertise to appreciate. They offer fine design and craftsmanship, complement any décor, and usually appreciate in value. Functional and beautiful works of art, they make intelligent, thoughtful and unusual gifts.”

To enhance gift-giving, Old Friends Bookends packages each set in a gold-tone box with a Certificate of Heritage explaining the story of the bookends, their history, material, foundry name, artist’s name (if known) and approximate age.

New items featured on the site include “Jumping Dolphins,” $175, a pair of large, graceful dolphins leaping from the ocean, made from bronze-coated gray metal and produced circa the 1930s. Another set is “Classical Instruments,” $450, rare bronze bookends featuring three beautifully detailed instruments -- violin, trumpet, and French horn – produced circa the 1920s.

Miller was quoted in the Roadshow newsletter: “Our business started when my wife bought me, as a birthday gift, a set of Shakespeare bookends she found in an antique shop… I did a little research…It turned out that what she got me was the Armor Bronze Shakespeare Bust dated from 1920. We became intrigued with this little-known field and began acquiring more.”

Though gift-givers are its primary customers, Old Friends Bookends has seen increased interest from interior designers. “We recently sold five sets of bookends on the recommendation of an interior designer in California to her client, a large corporation outfitting its new headquarters,” Miller said.

“Decorative bookends answer the age old conundrum of what to get the person who has everything,” Miller added. According to the Roadshow article, “There will always be a place for art on tables, mantles, shelves and bookcases.”

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