Bespoke for Penguin Books: Engraved Oak Bookends

| 10th May

Another stunning example of what comes out of our tiny workshop in the Surrey Hills…

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These beautifully carved solid oak bookends were one of many pieces made for Penguin Books, available to buy in their new online shop.

Handcrafted from a solid piece of Prime Grade English Oak in our Surrey Hills workshop, these wooden bookends are of the highest quality. Of course, carving into wood is something we do on a daily basis, but it is jobs like this that sets us apart from the rest of the crowd. There’s a reason we’re chosen to undertake such delicate and tricky bespoke carvings… simply because we’re really good at it! Our eye for detail and our finish on every product is what makes Make Me Something Special… so special!

The front of the bookend is engraved with an intricate flower design by award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith who works in-house for Penguin Books. It is taken from the Penguin Clothbound edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

I love these books. Especially the hardback clothbound versions like this. If you’re going to buy a classic that you want to keep for ever, you can’t beat it. And now you can buy a complete collection with carved oak bookends to complete the look.

Let me explain a little bit about the attention to detail I often refer to.

The Design:

Each bookend is identical in size, shape, finish and carving. A great deal of care and attention to detail goes into making each bookend with every flower petal and stem being sharp and easy to identify. Take a look at the curly stem that actually sits around the main stem at the base of the flower. This is very intricate and is repeated 9 times over. Another is the main flower bud itself, with its seven tiny dome-shaped clusters – very difficult to achieve on such a small scale. And my personal favourite, each leaf just below the largest two flower buds. Instead of just carving these out, we actually left an internal stem, giving more of a 3D effect to the carving.

Such tiny details go over looked, but if you were to buy a pair of these lovely wooden bookends you are sure to take a moment to study the complexity of the detail.


The Quality of the Timber:

English Oak, of course, locally sourced from as little as 20 miles away from our workshop. The timber comes from West Sussex and is grown and felled on a local historic country estate. 

As you can see, the grain structure is just stunning, with a beautiful golden honey colour. Each piece we hand select ourselves to ensure the highest quality. Timber even at this grade will have the tiniest natural defects like hairline capillary splits and mainsail birds eye knots. After-all, wood is a natural material, but these are kept to an absolute minimum. This is what you’re paying for: a real high quality item that is going to last a lifetime.

Each engraved wooden bookend is hand sanded to perfection and finished in Superior Danish Oil.


Attention to detail:

If you look close enough, you will see the outer borderline of the carved pattern sits inline with the cloth bound border lines. So once in place, you get a continuous line of symmetry from one end to the other.

The height is the same as Penguin books and heavy enough to hold a huge amount of paper and hardback books, weighing at 2kg per bookend. 

The chamfered edges running around the edges of the wooden bookends are all the same width and consistent to the point that when they meet at the corners it creates a kind of 3-way triangle. Something we discovered completely by accident whilst making our first range of personalised wooden bookends, and since then, have made it a feature on our bookends.

These are gorgeous works of art and will look simply stunning on your bookshelf.

The bookends are available to buy by themselves, as a pair, or paired with Jane Austen’s six novels from the sumptuous Penguin Clothbound hardback series, bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Each with their own stunning pattern.

Make Me Something Special:

A privilege and a pleasure to work with a Penguin Publishers. Having done bespoke works for companies like The National Trust, Emma Bridgewater, Yeo Valley, Luxury Family Hotels, Twitter, Google, The Royal Family, The Goring Hotel, The Ritz Hotel and so many others… for us, this is another feather in our cap. We love nothing more to use our create skills and create something truly special.

These stunning bookends can be purchased directly from Penguin’s new online shop. To visit click here: Penguin Shop

If however, you like what you see and would like to purchase a personalised pair of beautiful wooden bookends, then visit our online shop where you can order personalised oak bookends with your own carved message. Perfect for Christenings, wedding gifts, 5th wedding anniversary gifts and other important occasions where a good quality gift is needed.


To personalise and purchase your own book ends, give us a call on the number above or click here to see them in the shop.

About Davina

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Co founder of Make Me Something Special and full of creative ideas

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