Pair of cold-painted Austrian antique bronze horsehead bookends mounted on marble bases. The bookends measure 7 inches in height. In fine condition. A handsome example. Equine and equestrian statuary dates as far back as Archaic Greece. Found on the Athenian acropolis, the sixth century BC statue known as the Rampin Rider depicts a kouros mounted on horseback. Statues commemorating military leadership featuring equestrian riders became popular in Ancient Rome and extended through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and into the 20th century. In the United States and the United Kingdom, an urban legend states that if the horse is rearing (both front legs in the air), the rider died from battle; one front leg up means the rider died in battle; and if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider died outside battle. A common element of home decor throughout centuries, bookends were first patented in 1877 by William Stebbins Barnard.