This pair of gilt bronze bookends were produced by Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. around 1920.
While most of the bookends produced by Tiffany’s companies were coordinated pieces of a larger desk set, this particular example was a standalone design.
The outward facing flat plane of each bookend depicts a sylvan landscape in relief: two trees, with leaf-laden boughs forming an arch along the curved upper rim, flank a marshy river with flowers in the foreground and cattails along the banks as the water recedes into a distant mountainous landscape.
The composition was likely inspired by a series of Tiffany Windows known as the “River of Life” windows, most of which were designed by Agnes Northrop, one of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s most trusted designers. Northrop mainly designed landscape and floral windows, and was responsible for some of the most famous Tiffany Windows known today. The River of Life of windows were often sited in memorials intended to symbolically depict the journey through existence to the afterlife.
Height: 4 ¾ inches (12.1 cm)
Width: 4 ¾ inches (12.1 cm)
Depth: 4 inches (10.2 cm)