Pewter Perfect - part IV

Polished Pewter Notepad Holder by Erik Magnussen for Royal Selangor (LEO Design)

One of the nice things about pewter is that it can be cast and finished in multiple ways. Earlier this week, we saw "sand-cast" pewter which exhibits charming flaws, character and idiosyncrasies. Old pewter, often containing lead, develops a rich, dark, velvety patina. And pewter can also be highly polished, like the handsome notepaper holder, shown above. It was conceived by Danish designer Erik Magnussen (1940-2014) and crafted by Royal Selangor, one of the world's top pewterers.

Erik Magnussen is a legend amongst Post-War Modernist designers. Trained as a ceramicist, he worked in many materials and had collaborative relationships with many large scale gift and decorative art manufacturers. Royal Selangor was founded in 1885 by a Malaysian Chinese pewterer. His original wares were mostly Chinese ceremonial and religious items for home altars and temples and he used textured leaves to polish them. When British colonials took root in Malaysia, he began to make Western items (tankards, ashtrays, candlesticks) for them. His company grew and, eventually, began exporting tableware, giftware and other decorative objects worldwide. Royal Selangor has long sought collaborative relationships with important designers, like Erik Magnussen, who's notepaper holder is shown above. Click on the photo to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248