Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The willingness of buyers to continue to throw down 1, 2, or even 3+ hundred dollars for a set of Jack bookends is simply beyond my comprehension.  They're an undeniably cool piece of retro decor, but are they really worth that serious amount of scratch?

Perhaps the widespread misattribution to George Nelson throws people, but even a cursory Google search now turns up a number of pages debunking this link atop the list of results.  As discussed in an earlier post, the actual maker was Bill Curry and his company, Design Line, Incorporated.  

Source: billcurry-designline.blogspot.com

However, most of the jacks available aren't even original Design Line.  They're from the myriad of other firms that churned out knockoffs, and it is, as far as I've seen, nearly impossible to tell the difference.

Many collectors value the connection to a famous designer, but lacking that, aren't these bookends really just a hunk of jack-shaped iron?  Is there something I'm missing here?  Do these people just have money to burn?

I certainly don't, so I'm lucky that I snagged a set of three (one not pictured) for about 1/10 of what they're charging elsewhere.

They may not be vintage, but this is one of the few cases where I would say that age is inconsequential.    These were cheap enough that I may even grab another set and spray in an array of different colors, just like the originals.

Now I need an entrepreneurial reader to start producing the doorstop-sized version so that I can kit the whole place out.  Get to it!


  1. They look great! And it's supposed to be about affordable design!

  2. hmmm iron can be melted and poured but needs high temp bronze or brass however has a lower melting point and and enough scrap from the thrift shops could be collected to make nice heavy doorstop. Gears are turning now.

  3. You finally snagged yourself a pair! I have my one lonely one I snagged at the Green Shag a while ago for $3 sitting on my desk. I hope I can find it a companion some day.

    Here's mine: http://i.imgur.com/pAONuRQ.jpg

  4. My eyes went directly to the Olivetti Studio 44. Love it!

  5. A kitchy little candle shop sells these up my way along with a myriad of other cast pieces all made and shipped here from China. Whose the smart ones now for buying all the north american scrap metal.

  6. I just bought a set on Etsy for about $100. They are bright green and although they are reproductions, they are really cool.