JOURNAL — Desk Accessories RSS



Countdown to Father’s Day – part V

Manufacturers have always sought ways to keep their names in front of potential purchasers—especially large industrial purchasing agents.  Shown above, a cast iron letter rack from the 1880’s.  Made for “Diamond K”—which I think was a tool manufacturer (Kreauter?)—this letter holder would be left-behind by a traveling company salesman.  Notes, letters or photos could be placed […]

Continue reading



Countdown to Father’s Day – part IV

Perhaps your dad’s an Anglophile.  How about an early Twentieth Century English brass letterknife?  A gallant knight stands at-the-read—exactly as he has since he was cast in brass in the 1910’s or 1920’s ($95). Please come into the shop to see him in person or call us for further information. More nice Father’s Day gift […]

Continue reading



Countdown to Father’s Day – part I

With Father’s Day at the end of the week, I thought we’d share some of our newly-acquired, Dad-appropriate gift items over the next few days. Whether or not your father was (or is) a mailman, he’s sure to appreciate this (very cool) cast iron coin bank from the 1910’s or 1920’s.  The original red paint […]

Continue reading



From Across the Sea

From afar off Japan comes this winsome little bear—made of cast iron and dressed in an antique brown finish.  He’d serve happily as a paperweight or loyally just standing-guard on your desk.  Please come into the shop to see him or call us for additional information.         See new merchandise first!  Follow […]

Continue reading



Silver, Amethyst & Gold

Stylish bands of silver and gold surround this Italian amethyst glass covered bowl.  On the lid, a circle of stylized, hand-painted leaves congregate around the knob.  Perfect as a candy dish, a desk caddy or as a place to (carefully) leave one’s keys and coins.  Please come into the shop to see it or call […]

Continue reading



Intelligent Correspondance

Owls have long symbolized Wisdom and Intelligence.  The Ancient Greeks associated them with the goddess of knowledge, Athena.  And because owls moved silently through the night, they were sometimes associated with mystery or “otherworldliness.”   Here a wise owl sits patiently on the pine branch of this American Art Nouveau letter rack, made in the […]

Continue reading



Lyin’ in Winter

After (seemingly endless) months of campaigning, boasting and (yes, sometimes) lying, the candidates vying for the White House will get their first dose of “meaningful feedback” tomorrow as the Iowa Caucuses finally take place.  Why a small number of people in a handful of small towns in a couple of small states should have such […]

Continue reading



Karel Palda

An exquisitely-cut Bohemian peach crystal bowl—probably the work of Czech glass master Karel Palda from the 1950’s ($275).  His workshop was founded in 1888 in the northern Czech village of Nový Bor (called Haida by the Germans—just a few miles away).  Palda is best known for his exquisite, sometimes over-the-top, Thirties Art Deco creations in enameled […]

Continue reading



The World Goes ‘Round

On my first post-Christmas shopping trip, I found this 1934 school library globe by Replogle. While some borders—and many names—of countries have changed in the past 80 years, the placement of the continents has shifted only a little.  Come into the shop to see this handsome and practical piece, well-spun and well-burnished by little hands […]

Continue reading



Notes From the Road – part IV

This week I’m sharing photos from my current buying trip—this time in Western Pennsylvania and the Midwest—like the schoolhouse globe, shown above, newly-acquired and very soon to be in-store.  While its vintage cartography is not up-to-the-minute, the characteristics of age and exposure result in an artifact of style, honesty and authority. Please come by the shop […]

Continue reading



Brass is Beautiful

Although I don’t smoke (and I don’t like smoking), I love the accoutrement of the pernicious practice—ashtrays, smoking stands, humidors and tobacco jars like the one shown above. I’ve sold many tobacco jars over the years and I can safely say, this is one of the nicest I’ve ever acquired.  Made around 1910, the faceted, […]

Continue reading



Stick with It

In the supposed “paperless world” of the modern age, one still can use the occasional help holding things together (now and then).  Let this simple and handsome Japanese tape dispenser assist.  Made of oak and offered in both dark and light finishes, the dispenser is heavy enough to stay-put while pulling a length of tape […]

Continue reading



Pelicans—in Russia?

No—from the other Saint Petersburg!  Florida! A cast spelter Pelican opens his bill to hold your keys, coins, or cigarette ashes.  A delightful souvenir from 1960’s Florida—and sure to be a conversation piece in your office, kitchen or at the doorway.  Perfect for holding paperclips.  ($95).  Please come into the shop to see him or […]

Continue reading



Back-to-School ? So Soon ?

When I was a kid, school re-convened after Labor Day, during the first week of September. Today, it seems, the kids are heading-back and we’ve barely left July!  Could today’s returning schoolboy be as excited as I used to be—considering he’s being sent back-to-task before the first sign of an Autumn chill? Perhaps an ultra-stylish […]

Continue reading



Before Bookends

Before the Twentieth Century, bookends were not commonplace—in fact, rarely were they needed.  For before World War I, most “ordinary” families owned very few books—perhaps a Bible, a dictionary, some poetry, and the occasional cookery book.  Large collections of books were to be found only in institutional libraries or the homes of very wealthy individuals—people […]

Continue reading



Ding!

On my buying trip last week, I assembled this small collection of desk bells—always a good-seller at LEO Design.  Made in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, they would have lived atop shop counters and hotel desks.  Mostly brass, some of them have cast iron bases ($125 – $165). Please come into the shop […]

Continue reading



Notes From the Road – part IV

As I wend my way through New England, finding great, new items for the shop, I’ve put-together a collection of heavy, industrial tape dispensers, pictured above.  Designed and made in the Art Deco 1930’s, they are made of heavy cast iron and were usually found in factories, workshops or sales counters.  Because of their substantial weight, […]

Continue reading



Earth Day

It was 1970.  War in Viet Nam was aflame, students were protesting on campuses across the country, and popular entertainers were writing songs like “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” And the environment was in shambles.  Air, water, and land were being poisoned with toxins—both intentionally and accidentally.  After a particularly upsetting oil spill off Santa Barbara, […]

Continue reading



A Hand-Tooled Beauty

Perhaps it’s a bit too late to store your outgoing Christmas cards here—but this would be a beautiful place to keep the cards you’ve received!  This English Arts & Crafts letter rack, made of oak and decorated with hand-tooled brass panels, depicts a fire-breathing, winged dragon and a spray of stylized flowers and foliage.  A […]

Continue reading



Notes From the Road – part XI

From Late Victorian England, a cast iron Aesthetic Movement money box, circa 1890. Behind it stands a much more modern West German vase, circa 1960.  What ties them together? Both pieces are inspired by earlier Asian design.  When interpreted (and modified) by Western artists, Asian design is called “Orientalism”—a movement very popular in the late […]

Continue reading



Gilded, Enameled and Jewelled

Like the photo frames shown yesterday, these handsome desk accessories are made of finely-cast pewter, plated with 24 karat gold, enameled, and decorated with hand-set Swarovski crystals.  Made by jeweler Edgar Berebi in Providence, Rhode Island, this magnifying glass and letter knife will prove useful—while adding a measure of good taste to your office or […]

Continue reading



“Functional Sculpture”

Though not “glassware” in the conventional sense, this newly-acquired piece is beautiful nevertheless.  Made in 1960’s Murano, Italy, it would make a substantial contribution to any domestic vignette—warm antique or cool modern.  While it functions as an ashtray, it also provides a sculptural anchor to any desk, credenza or coffee table. Please click on the […]

Continue reading



World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day, a day dedicated to raising global awareness of (and encouraging action toward) protecting nature and planet Earth.  It was first celebrated in 1973 after being declared by the United Nations the previous year.  A different country hosts each year’s celebration and an annual theme is selected; this year’s host is […]

Continue reading



Earth Day

In the winter of 1969, Denis Hayes gave a lecture at Columbia University, seeking to establish and promote the celebration of a new “holiday,” Earth Day.  A small group of local attendees took-up his challenge and agreed to organize and lead the New York City activities.  And what a good job they did!  On this […]

Continue reading



Around the World

On this day in 1828, French author Jules Verne was born in Nantes, France.  The author of Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days, Verne is considered one of the fathers of science fiction writing.  He wrote prolifically of voyages, exploration, and […]

Continue reading



French Brass

In turn-of-the-century Paris, electricity was rather new and inkwells were still de rigueur. And while drawn-ink is no longer mandatory, this antique French desk accessory will bring a touch of panaché to your Twenty First Century office. Come see it in-store or click on the photo above to learn more about it.

Continue reading



United Nations Day

On this day in 1945, the United Nations Charter was established and this anniversary date declared “United Nations Day.”  It’s a day devoted to making known—worldwide—the aims and achievements of this great body and appreciating the importance of its mission. In 1971, the U.N. further resolved that United Nations Day be an international holiday and […]

Continue reading