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Bookstand. Circa 1870–90. Cast iron; wood [Renaissance Revival style] Acc. No. 96720


Description: Four feet with casters below a flared center column. mall, round, pierced platform on top. Two metal brackets hold removable lecterns. Two other metal brackets for holding additional books. All sections of the piece are elaborately decorated with incised abstract floral and geometric linear designs. These designs are currently painted gold in contrast to the flat black of the overall piece. On the platform top is inscribed: "Holloway Reading Stand & Dictionary Holder / Style A / Cuyahoga Falls / Ohio / U.S.A." 

Discussion: Advertisements for this and similar kinds of movable stands show their use both in home libraries and as a convenience for invalids confined to chairs or beds. Though this bookstand was marketed as a useful piece of furniture, there is no doubt that it was meant as a luxury product intended to decorate an upper middle-class home. The entire piece was repainted sometime prior to 1980, and the wood bookrests may be replacements. No history of this artifact was recorded. It was donated to the Florida State Museum in 1961 and transferred to the Museum of Florida History in 1980. Currently on exhibit in the Collections Gallery of the Main Gallery.


Ketchum, William C. Furniture: Chests, Cupboards, Desks & Other Pieces (The Knopf
Collectors' Guides to American Antiques). New York: Knopf, 1982. (See pp. 79–80, 316)