Throughout history, dragons have inspired emotions ranging from fear to and respect to guardianship protection. Dragons and dragon heads have a storied history and the mythology that is reflected in artwork, stories and collectible bookends.
The mythology of the dragon can be traced back to early depictions of prehistoric animal life. Often portrayed as scaly and reptilian, dragons were thought of as legendary harbingers of doom and death. The ability to breathe fire is very common in dragon mythology and may be thought of as representing the fires of hell. Other interpretations of dragons show them as benevolent creatures that stand guard over places of sacred significance. Both characterizations portray dragons as creatures of great strength.
As with most creatures of myth, dragons have become part of many cultures that span the globe. Dragons in Asia are revered as servants of gods and messengers from the heavens. Dragons of Chinese and Japanese myth are thought to reside in lakes and rivers, which is synonymous with the reptilian nature of these magical beasts. The appearance of a dragon is thought to be an omen of luck and good fortune.
Speaking of dragon heads, an integral part of Greek mythology, the Hydra was a fearsome nine headed beast. The legend of the Hydra is infamous in its claim that removing one or more of the heads caused new heads to appear. This is no doubt a projection of reality as it pertains to certain species of lizards. There are lizard species that have the ability to grow a new tail if the other is damaged. Greek mythology has it that Hercules tried to slay the mighty Hydra and failed. It seems that, in theory, the Hydra was impossible to kill.
Dragons have been portrayed as characters of magic and whimsy. Puff the Magic Dragon was a song made famous by the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary of nineteen sixties fame. Friendly dragons have appeared in childrens books and movies most notably Dragon Tales. A classic of animation appeared in 1991 with Denny the Dragon Goes Air Surfing. Lance Kramer, now a producer with the Simpsons, directed this cartoon classic. Denny the Dragon awakens from his slumber and embarks on a flying spree that culminates in air surfing on a passenger jet as it whizzes though the air.
Dragon and dragon head bookends are popular among collectors of medieval items. Whether scary and scaly, fiery and fearsome or friendly guardians of childrens dreams, there are a dragon bookends for available for anyone interested in these magical and mythical beasts.