Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The world’s largest known collection of Art Deco bookends is to be sold at Bonhams in London. The vast collection of 180 pairs will be offered over two sales, the first being the 2nd April Decorative Arts sale at Bonhams, Knightsbridge. Classic Art Deco designs in bronze, glass, iron and marble are sculpted into animal form – elephants, pelicans and swallows – as well as nude maidens. Estimates range from £200 to £3,500.

Mark Oliver, Director of Bonhams Decorative Arts Department comments: “The vendor lives in Europe and had a passion for books and book ends, devoting 40 years to acquiring every Art Deco bookend he could find. Now downsizing, he has no room for the thousands of books and hundreds of bookends. We believe that this is the most extensive collection ever put together.”

The top lot in the collection is a pair of bronze modeled elephant bookends made circa 1920 by Ary Bitter (French, 1883-1973). The bronze beasts throw their weight against wooden props, straining against the load of the books between them. Each bookend stands at 17.5cm high and the pair is offered with estimates of £2,500-£3,500.

Other highlights include some quirky wrought-iron Pelican Bookends made circa 1925 by Edgar-William Brandt (French, 1880-1960) which are estimated at £1,500-£2,000. The stylised pelicans are depicted with open beaks and fountains of water pouring into their mouths.

René Lalique (French, 1860-1945), the famed Art Deco glass designer, features in the collection with Hirondelle an elegant pair of frosted and polished glass swallows. The glass bookends are etched ‘R.LALIQUE FRANCE’ on the base and valued at £1,000-1,500.