The masterful casting of a crouching Indian hunter accompanied by his dog comprises a pair of bronzed bookends that are stunning in their many clearly defined details and their perfect patina. These are full-figure bookends, made to be seen in full from any angle, except of course for the flat side that props up the books. The hunter, on one knee in front of a rock outcropping, clutches a throwing stick in his right hand, searching intently for small game. His left hand holds the short leash that restrains his eagerly pointing dog. There are a pair of feathers in his topknot and a single braid hangs down his left shoulder.
Jennings Brothers Metal Foundry, started by three brothers in 1892 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, made high-quality metal wares until about 1953. They employed sculptors and artists, not machines, to use their talents to ensure the precise small-scale castings of original sculptures. Stamped into the bottom edge of the flat backs of this pair is "JB 1521," indicating they are model #1521 by Jennings Brothers. Incised into the bottom edge of the back side is "C. Veith," for Danish sculptor Carl Valdemar Veith (1870-1922), who made the original bronze sculpture of this scene.
The height of each bookend is 6 1/2 inches; the base measures approximately 4 1/4 by 5 1/4 inches. Each weighs nearly 3 pounds. The underside of each base retains its original green felt. One of them has a partial paper label from Dayton's Department Store in Minneapolis, Minnesota (these bookends were found in Minnesota). They would have been sold on the sixth floor ("Home Accessories") in the enormous downtown store. The store was expanded in the 1930's, which is when we believe these were made, when American interest in Native Americans became intense.
These bookends are in spectacular, cherished condition and are a truly wonderful find.