About as showy as they get, this is a top quality Victorian bookslide / bookends dating to around 1870. Made from exotic Coromandel, it is smothered with the finest engraved and polished brass mounts.
This one is the best quality and type each end is sprung and can be expanded and they would spring back to hug the books which would sit inside. The sprung action is unique to Betjemann's and each end is marked "Betjemann's Patent". Each of the ends is inset with an oval blue Wedgwood Jasperware plaque with two different classical scenes.
The base of the plaque is also inset with an engraved brass retailer's plaque "Melliship & Harris, 62 Westbourne Grove" which is in London's Notting Hill Gate.
Superb condition and as good as they get. 15 1/2" x 7" while closed.