Pre-Summer Blues - part I

Denby "Orientware" English Arts & Crafts Ashtray with Iznik Blue & Plum Glazes (LEO Design)

As James Joyce aptly noted, "Summer" and "Afternoon" have always been "the two most beautiful words in the English language." Well, summer is four weeks away and I'm already dreaming of blue skies & blue seas.

Over the next few days, we'll share a collection of ceramics that celebrate the up-coming season—naturally, in shades of blue.

The English Arts & Crafts ceramic ashtray, shown above, was made in the 1920's by Denby for their "Orientware" line. Using Iznik Blue and plum glazes, "Orientware" attempted to capture exotic Eastern design—which was very popular in the West—for customers who could not afford to travel to Asia or invest in precious Oriental ceramics. Consider this piece as a handsome thank you gift for your smoker-friend-host who's lending you his country cabin for that perfect week in July. Click on the photo above 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

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