C. M. Coolidge (1844-1934), who created pooch-personification pop art, was best known for his illustrations of dogs playing poker and smoking cigars. His works caught the attention of both principals of Bey-Berk International, Kurken Berksanlar and Serop Beylerian, who are avid cigar smokers and take a personal interest in the new cigar-related products being developed by their giftware company. They created the Coolidge-like canines, but with function.
The bookends are identical three-pound pieces, each featuring a bulldog garbed in a jacket and tie, fitted with a green hat, and smoking a cigar clamped within its droopy jowls. From a distance, one of the Smoking Bulldogs perched on its own may bring to mind a bust of a homely, long-gone elder, but taken together, the seven-inch-high bookends admirably perform their task of supporting hardcovers upright. The base is made of solid wood and has a non-skid bottom. The dogs are made of solid brass with an Italian patina and antique brass accents. Their brass cigars are claro-colored.
Smoking Bulldogs retail for $85 for the pair. Contact Bey-Berk International, based in Chatsworth, California, for more information. 800-323-9926.
Photo by Jean Schwarzwalder