Auntique & Uncle Tony

Sellers of Antique Bookends, Vintage Glass, & Collectibles

The Meteoric rise and fall of Kathodion Bronze Works

From ads that ran in the New York Times, Century Review, and The Literary Digest,

as early as 1914,  Kathodion Bronze Works,  from their location at 501 Fifth Avenue in New York, was selling a high-end line of  Artbronz Products distinctive gifts and decorative household items which included book rocks, boudoir lamps, ashtrays, paper weights and statuary.

Kathodion Bronze Works

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In 1915, the small concern fell victim to one of Wall Street’s most spectacular stock manipulation “get-rich-quick” schemes of the era.*    By 1918 Kathodion filed for bankruptcy.

 

Before World War I, they were hitched to the boom in automobile stocks by entering into a five-year contract to manufacture ten million tire stems annually.  Their stock was trading at $2.50 a share when Wall Street’s “pirates of promotion”*– C.R.Bergmann and Co. promoted the contract on the Wall Street Curb. Their stock advanced to $23 a share, although few tire stems were actually produced.

 

World War I created a perfect opportunity for The Bergmann Co. to promote talk of ammunition contracts. Kathodion’s stock skyrocketed to $68 a share.  Kathodion, believing they could secure profitable foreign contracts, bought  an abandoned warehouse in Nyack, New York and installed machinery for the production of ammunition.   Plans were laid to increase the company’s capital from $500,000 to $20,000,000 by selling more stock, earning millions in profits for the Bergmann outfit.

 

The foreign contracts never materialized.  Kathodion was swindled with its contracts for the purchase of munition-making machinery.  The stock passed completely off the Curb market and Kathodion filed for bankruptcy, leaving its investors with nothing more than  beautifully engraved stock certificates.

 

(*from “The World’s Work” , volume 37, Nov. 1918-April 1919)

Kathodion "Artbronze" advertisement

“Artbronz” Products, as Kathodion  describes it in their ads: 

“…represents the perfected development of a process that permits a scientific and heavy seamless deposit of Government test bronze applied over a reinforced baser core – resulting in a finished product, the equal of cast bronze in finish, workmanship and durability at one-tenth the prices.”   Artbronz Book Rocks sold for $5. the pair – “Unquestionably the greatest value ever offered at this price…”

To Purchase or inquire: Use BuyNow option from detail page or call/email and please include the ITM# for reference: 

 

Phone:   215-439-1297

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Young Wisdom bookends by Kathodion Bronze

“Young Wisdom”

“Elephant Book Rocks”

Circa 1913 . Outstanding mint condition!

Circa early 1910s. Rare century old treasure!

# 1116

# 1114

 $565/pr

 $365/pr

Elephant Book Rocks by Kathodion BronzeLarge Elephant Book Rocks by Kathodion Bronze

# 1115

 $395/pr

“Large Elephant Book Rocks”

Circa 1914. Inscribed.

Scribe Book Rocks by Kathodion Bronze

“Scribe Book Rocks”

Circa 1914. Outstanding condition!

# 1127

 $950/pr

Hercules statue by Kathodion bronze Works

“Hercules”

Circa 1914. One of the rarest, century old KBW pieces. Single bookend or statuette with beautifully detailed front and back.

# 1128

 $ 1250.

D'Artagnan bookends by kathodion Bronze Works

“D’Artagnan”

“Evil Spirit”

Circa 1914. Extremely rare.

# 1126

# 1133

 $1950 / pr

 $2250 / pr

Evil Spirit bookends by Kathodion Bronze Worksimage - Cow-boy book rock by Kathodian

“Cow-Boy”

Circa 1914 – single book rock. Very rare and in good condition with great patina.

# 1098

 $450.

Bronc Buster, figure by Kathodion Bronze

“Bronc Buster”

Circa 1915 . Gorgeous red-bronze patina.  Extremely rare!!

# 1049

 $1200 

Circa 1914. Mint condition. Centruy old patina.

“Elk”

Circa 1914. Beautifully detailed in excellent condition.

# 1132

 $1250 / pr