Gryphon/Griffin Bronze Winged-Lion c.1920s Antique Bookends
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Stunning pair of Art Deco era solid bronze griffin antique bookends. Standing erect with back-swept wings, in likeness to the famous bronze statue situated on the University Embankment in front of the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. The erect stance of these griffin bookends is very similar to the St. Petersburg griffin, but the artist modeled these with more angular Art Deco features, and but a single foot where the creature is attached to the base. Our best guess is circa 1920s though they could be a bit older or a bit more recent.
SPECS: Each bookend measures 7.4 inches tall by 5.1 inches nose to wingtips, the base measures about 4.6" by 3.4". The pair weigh in at 4 lbs 10 oz. Original felt; patina consistent with age.
Wikipedia: The griffin, griffon, or gryphon, is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and sometimes an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts, and the eagle the king of the birds, by the Middle Ages, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.
A mythological creature spanning many cultures, griffin-like hybrids with four legs and a beaked head appeared in Ancient Egyptian art dating back to before 3000 BC; later in Iranian mythology; in Syrian, Anatolian and Minoan art; in heraldry and coat of arms. Since classical antiquity, griffins were known for guarding treasures and priceless possessions.
Griffins appear in Persian poetry, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and in the Harry Potter series the character Albus Dumbledore has a griffin-shaped knocker. The griffin is the symbol of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; used in the logo of United Paper Mills, Vauxhall Motors, and of Scania and its former partners Saab Group and Saab Automobile; also in fantasy-oriented franchises such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warcraft, Heroes of Might and Magic, and others.