JOURNAL — Sculpture RSS



Talk Like a Pirate!

Two friends, Mark Summers and John Bauer, were playing a friendly game of racquetball. “Ahrrrrrr!” one cried as the ball hit him.  And, thus, was born “International Talk Like a Pirate Day!”  In truth, the founding incident took place on 6 June 1995—commemorated as D-Day—but out of respect for that historical milestone, they decided to […]

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What To Do?

What to do?  What to do?  What to do?  These hand-crafted cast pewter tokens will help you make executive decisions with ease—whether you should "Risk It" or "Play It Safe."  Made in California and sold in sets of four.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Autumn Shades - part V

Warm brass, warm heart.  This little hand-sculpted, cast pewter heart is finished with a brassy wash and fitted with a keyring.  Useful, handsome and sentimental. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Key to a Heart

Wonderfully tactile, this pewter heart makes a lovely keyring—and a handsome, sentimental gift.  It comes in both the original pewter (shown) and a brassy finish.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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“Extra! Extra!”

Today is National Paperboys’ Day.  On this day in 1833, ten year old Barney Flaherty was hired to deliver the New York Sun.  Little Barney—responding to a classified ad seeking “a number of steady men”—was the first of countless boys who made money delivering newspapers door-to-door or on the streets.  Despite the romanticized, iconic image […]

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Working Man Hero

From time to time, a country, a community or a culture will re-discover its appreciation for the talented working man (or woman).  During the Renaissance, important and powerful guilds were formed to enforce high standards amongst its members and to protect the workers and the reputation of the trade.  During the Age of Industrialization, newly-formed unions ensured that tradesmen were trained, properly compensated and kept safe.  In the early twentieth century—between the wars—there was an artistic movement which sought to present the laborer (and his class) in a dramatic, dynamic, or heroic manner (think of the American Ash Can painters, Soviet poster art, or the muscular human sculpture which embellishes 1930‘s Art Deco architecture).  After World War II, the Danish...

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More Birdsong

Yesterday we talked about the Fifth International Scouting Jamboree in Vogelenzang (“birdsong”), Netherlands in 1937.  Carrying-on with this theme, you’ll see above a hand-painted plaque with two fluffy birds (c. 1960’s – 1970’s). Siblings? Spouses? Mother & Chick?  I'm just not sure.  What I do know is that it's beautifully designed, nicely hand-painted and would make a handsome addition to any desk, home or office.  It was made in Denmark by Fajence Aluminia.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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Lots of LEOs - XVII

  Let's end our parade of LEOs with this whimsical offering: a Danish Modern stoneware plaque by Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen. This frisky feline is caught in mid-leap, paw extended toward his feathered feast.  It's made to hang on the wall, though it could also be permanently mounted into a tile installation.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"  

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Lots of LEOs - XVI

The muscular energy of this cast bronze lioness belies her small size and simplicity of design.  And yet, the sculptor has captured—with great economy—the powerful control of this athletic huntress.  Learn more about her by clicking on the photo above. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - XV

The only thing better than a LEO is—two LEOs!  This pair of bookends, made by Bradley & Hubbard (Meriden, CT) in the 1930's, are crafted of cast iron and finished with a golden wash.  They are inspired by the Nineteenth Century work of French anamalier Antoine-Louis Barye.  Because they are "mirrored"—that is, one faces left while the other faces right—two moulds were required (and twice as much work).  It also means that both of your lions will be facing forward on your bookshelf.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.  Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which...

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Lots of LEOs - XIV

Another domestic lioness—house trained, yes, but still a lion at heart!  Sculpted of cast brass and finished with a verdigris bronze patina, the sculptor has captured beautifully the intelligence, intensity and coiled energy of a cat ready-to-spring. She'll faithfully guard your coffee table, occupy your windowsill, or even hold open a door for you.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about her. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - XIII

Don't let this LEO's modest size (and price) obscure his style and presence He's full of himself, indeed.  Legs astride, he conveys a bold confidence—and will guard your desk or bookshelf zealously.  He's made of cast bronze in the American MidWest.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about him.  Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - XII

This cast iron lion is a bank and was made around 1900.  He can be opened with a screwdriver and still has traces of the original paint which dressed him.  Perhaps a young LEO can practice his saving skills with this handsome and useful gift.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about him. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - X

Today we enter August and—as suggested above—the sun remains high in LEO’s segment of the heavens.  The regal bronze-clad lion sculpture, shown above, is modeled after the famous walking lion by French anamalier Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875).  It is the jewel in the crown of our collection of handsome lions, now in-store.  Perhaps it would make a nice gift for your favorite LEO?

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Lots of LEOs - VI

Many lions drift toward "fierce."  This little cast bronze lion is unabashedly cute—and, perhaps, just a little vulnerable. Made in the Michigan, he'll keep you in his gaze with his (dare I say it?) puppy eyes.  Click on the photo above to learn more about him. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - III

Just remember: not all LEOs are boys!  This cast bronze lioness will stalk your desk with style—holding-down your papers, if you wish.  Click on the picture above to learn more about her. Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Lots of LEOs - II

This little LEO—made of cast bronze in California—has the word "Courage" impressed upon his tummy.  Though small, he is full of style (and substance).  And a welcome gift for any LEO in your life.  Click on the photo above to learn more about him Another LEO tomorrow.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Stage Beauties of 1907

On this evening in 1907, master showman, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., staged his first-ever Ziegfeld Follies production atop the roof of the New York Theatre, 46 Bowery, on New York’s Lower East Side.  Dressed in elaborate costumes and standing upon fantastical stage settings, Ziegfeld’s hand-picked beauties would sing and dance to the music of American composers […]

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Rolling into July

Tomorrow we roll into July—and a hot, sticky summer.  Maybe this little guy will help to keep us cool.  He was made in Denmark for Royal Copenhagen in the 1960's or 1970's.  Let him keep you company on your desk or coffee table—and, just maybe, he'll bring you back to a crisp, cool wintery day.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Terracotta Twins

Father and son team, Franz Detleff Goebel and William Goebel, founded F. & W. Goebel in 1871.  Soon afterward, they discovered their niche: beautifully-crafted sculptures and figurines aimed at the collector’s market.  For the next 140+ years, the company has grown and evolved—all the while adapting its product to satisfy the tastes of the times. […]

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Juneteenth

Although The Emancipation Proclamation was passed on 22 September 1862, and it was supposed to be effective—nation-wide—on 1 January 1863, Texas had other ideas.  It seems a contingent of anti-government Texas zealots refused to observe the new American law—something about Federal Oppression and States Rights.  So, Texans never informed their slaves that they had been […]

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Bedtime Stories

Rupert Bear was brought to life on 8 November 1920 under the pen of English artist Mary Tourtel.  He was commissioned by the Daily Express as a means of luring readers away from rival newspapers.  Over the years, a succession of artists have inherited Tourtel's creation—and, indeed, the comic strip still runs to this day.  In it, Rupert Bear and his best friend Bill Badger have adventures with their many chums, including Edward Trunk the elephant, Willie the mouse, Pong-Ping the Pekingese pup, twins Reggie & Rex Rabbit, and Ming the dragon. The little brass sculpture, pictured above, was made in England in the 1920's.  He will be a faithful companion on dad's desk or bedside—and may remind him of the many bedtime...

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A Football is Round!

The quadrennial FIFA World Cup begins today in Russia. "Russia?" you ask. Umm-Hmm. And on Day One they play . . . Saudi Arabia!  It seems Russia is everywhere these days!  In this one case, however, America will not be in-collusion: the U.S. failed to make it into the final 32 qualifying teams. (So much for Making America Great Again). The U.S. team does have notable company on the sidelines: Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast all failed to make it into the tournament.  Fox Broadcasting, which had already purchased the U.S. rights to cover the games, is concerned that American viewership will be even lower than usual (given no American team in the competition). Instead, they will...

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King of the Jungle

Let the countdown begin!  Two months 'til LEO! The day this noble beast followed me home, I photographed him and  popped him right onto the website! Beautifully sculpted—and, alas, so much better-looking in-person—this bronze-clad sculpture captures the confident strength (and muscles) of the King of All Animals.  Made in the 1920's, he's based on the original design by Antoine-Louis Bayre, the French anamalier extraordinaire from the Nineteenth Century.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about him.

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Happy Mother’s Day

A special Mother’s Day wish for all moms—and for all the women who give selflessly of themselves for the benefit of others.  Thank you! Shown above, an attentive mare relaxes and grazes while her inquisitive foal heads-off exploring.  Cast of bronze, the mare is $95 and the foal is $68.  Please come into the shop […]

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Mama Bear (and Her Cubs)

This sweet trio of bears—Mama, First Born and Second Born—is cast in bronze then hand-finished, patinated and buffed.  Individually or as a group, these little critters will remind Mom of her cute little cubs.  Mama: $38.  Cubs: $28 each. Please come into the shop to see them or call for further information. More Mother’s Day […]

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May the Fourth be with You

Today is “Star Wars Day,” a day on which sci-fi geeks and film buffs celebrate all things Star Wars.  The date, May 4th, was chosen because it sounds like the iconic phrase “May the Force be with you.”  The first organized celebration was held in Toronto in 2011.  Activities included a trivia game show, a […]

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Maggie the Cat

On this day in 1955, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by playwright Tennessee Williams.  The judging committee, comprised of four critics and one academic, had always been subject to override by the Pulitzer organization—and, in this instance, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. lobbied hard on behalf of Tennessee […]

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International Workers’ Memorial Day

Begun in Canada in 1984, International Workers’ Memorial Day is celebrated to remember those who have perished at work and to highlight the often-preventable nature of such incidents.  In the United States, 12 people die every day in work-related accidents. Worldwide, a worker is killed every 15 seconds. Advocates continue to push for safer working […]

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Welcome, Taurus

From William Shakespeare, Harry Truman, and Queen Elizabeth II, to David Beckham, Penelope Cruz, and Cherilyn Sarkisian (aka: Cher), Taureans have long been pushing-forward, holding-the-line, and making the world a more comfortable place.  Known for their determination and sensibility, Taureans are also quite aesthetically-minded.  They like comfortable—though not necessarily grand—surroundings and value words, music and […]

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Where the Buffalo Roam...

A pair of dramatically-sculpted bison will stampede across your bookshelf in this handsome pair of bronze-clad bookends, made in the 1920's.  Enormous herds of bison roamed the American grasslands until the Nineteenth Century, when they were hunted to near-extinction. Today, small herds have made a comeback—mostly in National parks.  Weighing upwards of 2,200 pounds, the animal is the largest "bovid" in the world and the largest wild land animal in the Americas. Please click upon the photo above to learn more about these bookends.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook:...

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Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris is one of the World's great cathedrals.  The name means "Our Lady of Paris" and refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Construction was begun in 1163 and continued for the next 182 years.  It was built in the "new" French Gothic style on the Île de la Cité—a natural island floating within the Seine—which was the defensible center of Medieval Paris.  The building, including its many gargoyles and chimera, was originally colored though (after 800 years) the paint has mostly worn off.  And the structure is the first building in the world to employ "flying buttresses"—the arched ribs which hold-up the cathedral's walls. Two bell towers stand at the front of the church.  In the Southern...

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America’s First Elephant

On this day in 1796, America’s first elephant arrived in New York City.  Captain Jacob Crowninshield purchased her in India and sailed from Calcutta.  The captain bought her on speculation—for $450, including transit—expecting he could profit from exhibiting her. And exhibit her he did!  For more than a dozen years, she was trundled from New […]

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Thinking about Spring

Rodin first created "Le Penseur" in 1880 as part of a larger sculpted grouping called "The Gates of Hell." The work was based on Dante's The Divine Comedy.  It wasn't until 1904 that the first large stand-alone casting was made—and the broad public got its first exposure to a work which perfectly suited the times.  Psychology increasingly was viewed as a legitimate science and the public was intrigued with the human mind and the theories of Sigmund Freud.  "The Thinker" became an icon of the Turn-of-the-Century zeitgeist. The bookends shown above were made in the 1920's—when "The Thinker" was still a relatively recent novelty.  First, an artful and accurate model—which captured the spirit and energy of Rodin's original—had to be sculpted.  From this...

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Henry Bergh’s Mission

Henry Bergh was the son of a wealthy shipbuilder and, as such, enjoyed a life of privilege, art and leisure.  While in London, he studied The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and committed to starting such an organization in America. On this day in 1866, Bergh founded the ASPCA in New […]

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A Monk Reading

Reginald Guy Cowan was born in 1884 in East Liverpool, Ohio—at the time an important center of American ceramics production. His father worked as a pottery designer.  While Cowan was still a boy, his family moved to Syracuse,  another pottery-producing center. Cowan was trained at the New York State School of Clayworking and Ceramics, a […]

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For the Dogs

The first dog show was held in the United Kingdom in 1859 and they became increasingly popular as the Nineteenth Century progressed.  Participants could find the competitions frustrating, however, as there was little consistency from show to show:  no governing body, no breed standards, no consistent show rules.  Dog breeder and enthusiast Seawallis Shirley assembled […]

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Monkey Business

Amongst the finest pieces of ceramic sculpture I’ve ever had is this Danish stoneware monkey by Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen. Sculpted in the 1920’s, it captures a most-dramatic scene of a (howling?) monkey threatened by a coiled snake, ready-to-strike.  The gorgeous sang de boeuf glaze adds drama—and a bit of Orientalist mystery—to the timeless […]

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Easter Greetings!

  A joyous Easter to my Christian customers—and a wonderful Springtime to all! This little jackrabbit is ready to hop off to your desk, bookshelf or mantelpiece.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about him.   LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"

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Nya Sverige

In the mid-Seventeenth Century, Sweden was quite the world power.  Its European territory included Sweden, of course, plus Finland, Estonia, and parts of modern-day Russia, Germany, Poland, and Latvia.  And so, when the riches of the New World began glimmering across the Atlantic, Sweden was loathe to leave the riches to the French and English. […]

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Italians in Sweden

Two Italian brothers, Josef & Benito Marcolin, learned the art of glass-making on the Venetian island of Murano, Italy, long-regarded as one of the world’s top art glass producers.   They moved to Sweden and, in 1962, opened a little workshop in Ronneby—the picturesque “Garden of Sweden” on the southern tip of that peninsular country. […]

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On This Day, Twelve Years Ago

On 21 March 2006—twelve years and a lifetime ago (to some)—Twitter was inflicted bequeathed upon an unsuspecting world.  Since then, in as few as 140 (make that 280) characters, fortunes have been made, careers have been ended, and proper grammar, punctuation and spelling have been tossed out the window. Well, let the Twits keep their Tweets!  As for me, I prefer my twitter-ing from the songbirds in the trees—perhaps the most pleasant sound of all. Speaking of Tweets, please observe the Danish Modern ceramic plaque, made by Beth Breyen for Royal Copenhagen in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  Please click on the photo to learn more about it. 

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Pick of the Litter

Look who scampered in today!  With the all the character—and the energy—of the real thing, this sculpture slouches perfectly on a desk, coffee table or bookcase.  He could even be used as a bookend or doorstop. Please come in to visit (and, perhaps, adopt) him or click on the photo above to learn more about […]

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The Musk Ox

Musk oxen are an Arctic mammal, found in Greenland, Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada and parts of Northern Scandinavia.  They travel in small packs of 8 – 12 animals which, during the June and July breeding season, consist of a dominant male (“bull”) and several females (“cows”)—plus their offspring.  They have extremely thick coats—which protect them […]

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Equirria

In Ancient Rome, the New Year began with March.  To celebrate the end of the old year—and to honor the god Mars—Romans marked 27 February as Equirria, a day of horse racing in the Campus Martius (“Field of Mars”).  In a sense, every New Year was a “Year of the Horse.” Mars—the God of War […]

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LEO Marches On!

Today's a red letter day at LEO Design—we launch our new and improved website!  While our older website has served us well for several years, we wanted a site that allowed for bigger, better product pictures and would be reliable (under the hood) for years to come. Our new site allows customers to contact us via e-mail and jump directly to our Instagram and Facebook accounts.  We hope you like it! Mountains of credit go to my webmaster extraordinaire, Brad Soucy, who created this new site—despite a super-busy life as a father, husband and technology bigwig at Virginia Tech.  If he weren't so busy, I'd propose all of you hire him.  You'd not regret it!  He's a talented artist, a super person...

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A Capital Capitol!

The U.S. Capitol building—one of Washington D.C.’s cardinal landmarks—sits atop a hill, overlooking the Washington Mall.  It’s most basic function is to house the two chambers of the Congress, although many other important occasions are celebrated or performed there. Presidents are usually inaugurated upon an exterior platform built off the West façade (which overlooks the […]

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A Day for the Other Football

All right, I admit it.  I am not now and never have been a fan of American Football.  Part of it's the violence and the concussions.  Part of it's the anonymity of the players—buried as they are under layers and layers of concealing nylon and plastic.  For me, American Football will never be as satisfying as the real Football (which is kicked with one's feet)—which, I think, requires much more stamina, fitness and constant running.  If you're  a fan of American Football, perhaps this “crystal ball” will score.  Made in Japan in the 1970’s or 1980’s, it would make a handsome paperweight or conversation-starter on a desk or bookshelf.  And with, Father's Day in the near future, perhaps it will help Dad...

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National Bird-Feeding Month

February is National Bird-Feeding Month, a period during which the public is educated about the feeding and watching of wild birds.  It began on 23 February 1994 when Representative John Porter (R – Illinois) introduced into the record a plea for individuals to provide food, water, and shelter for wild birds—especially in February, one of […]

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The Satyress

A Satyress is the female version of the Satyr—in this case, a human woman, usually bare-breasted, with the legs of a goat. While male Satyrs are commonplace in art, architecture and design, female Satyresses are not.  Because the male creatures are usually associated with drunkeness, mischief and raw, animalistic sexuality, perhaps Classical and Rennaisance artists avoided […]

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Bronze

Bronze is an alloy (a “blended” metal) of copper (generally 88%) and tin (12%)—though the mixture is often manipulated depending upon the intended use of the crafted object.  The first known use of bronze was in what is modern-day Iran, around 3600 BC.  The name, “bronze,” is derived from the Italian bronzo (from the Latin […]

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Benjamin Franklin

Besides keeping busy as a true Renaissance Man, Benjamin Franklin found time to help found The United States of America.  He was born on this day in 1706. Franklin was one of 10 children, born to a poor soap- and candle-maker in Boston.  Ben was smart and industrious; alas, his father could only afford two […]

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The 1910’s: “The Cathedral of Commerce”

When the Woolworth Building was completed in 1913, at 792 feet it was the tallest building in the world—and would remain so until the Chrysler Building surpassed it in 1930. Employing state-of-the-art principles like steel frame construction and high-speed elevators, the Woolworth Building paved the way for even taller skyscrapers in the future.  Yet, despite […]

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Frisky Feline

Let's start the New Year with a jump: a frisky feline leaps—half-heartedly—toward his temptingly delicious prey on this Danish Modern stoneware plaque.  Sculpted by artist Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen, this oversized tile can be hung on the wall or permanently mounted with other tile work.  Please click on the photo to learn more about it.

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Welcome, Capricorn!

Today the Sun enters the heavenly zone of Capricorn (21 December - 19 January). Capricorns are the "Big Daddies" of the zodiac. They are realists, goal setters and strategists. They analyze, pick their destination, determine the shortest route and then keep their foot on the gas pedal. They make good, practical leaders, who keep their troops on the straight-and-narrow—not easily pulled off-track to "smell the flowers" or "try something new." They enjoy family and work life, and are often happiest when they can blend work and pleasure.  All this stoic self-direction can have negative aspects, however. Ruled by Saturn, Capricorns can be stern taskmasters—with no appreciation of spontaneousness or creative chaos. Foolish decisions really get their goat! And their paternalistic...

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One That Didn't Get Away!

I spent 10 days in Japan this summer—and did not see ONE of these fantastic hand-carved Hokkaido bears.  Instead, I came across a Japanese collector in London who was selling his collection of them!  I bought four (which can be seen on the website, www.LEOdesignNYC.com).  This one is the biggest—and amongst the biggest carved bears I've ever had.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it. LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (www.LEOdesignNYC.com). Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts" Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"  

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Women Getting Ahead

On this day in 1850, the first “National Women’s Rights Convention” was assembled in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Lectures, discussions, and speeches addressed issues of equality for women:  wages, education & careers, property rights, and, of course, voting.  Also present were groups advocating temperance and the abolition of slavery. The idea germinated ten years earlier, in 1840, […]

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Anaheim, California

On this day in 1857, the city of Anaheim, California was founded by 50 German families—grape farmers and vintners.  The name is a compound of “Ana” (for the nearby Santa Ana River) and “Heim,” German for “home.”  When the grape crops were destroyed by disease, farmers began to plant nut trees and citrus. On the […]

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Lucky Break

Sometimes a little bit of luck can’t hurt!  Maybe this sterling silver wishbone will push things over the finish line.  Made in California, this little sculpture makes for a thoughtful “good luck” wish—and a reminder to give thanks for lucky moments in the past.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it. […]

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Deer Father

For the dad with taste and an appreciation for craftsmanship, here’s an idea:  a damascened plate, possibly from Toledo, Spain.  Damascening—named after the luxurious damask fabrics from the ancient Syrian city—is the inlaying of a (usually) precious metal into another, more common metal base.  Intricacy and precision are the watchwords—and the plate above ticks all […]

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Sailing Off

The moving truck comes tomorrow morning.  The boxes are (mostly) packed and the shop fixtures are arranged by the front door.  In two days, I’ll set-sail for new (and exciting?) shores.  If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say goodbye.     LEO Design will be closing its doors on 31 January.  Please […]

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Difficult to Bear

Over the past three weeks, I’ve been blessed with visits from my most loyal and supportive customers.  At some point, they ask, “How are you handling the closing?”  My response is always the same:  “If I weren’t so busy closing-up, I might have time to feel a bit wistful.”  In three days, when I turn […]

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Riding Off

Before we close our doors, we want to go-out with a bang!  All merchandise (in-store and on-line) is marked-down—from 25% to 75%.  Please come in and, perhaps, get yourself that late Christmas gift—now on-sale.  But hurry; merchandise is moving fast.  Shown above: bronze sculptures of a mare and her foal.   LEO Design will be […]

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Owl Be Seeing You…

Not too much time left—this weekend will probably be the last chance to find a full assortment of merchandise in-store.  We’re selling a lot and starting to pack.  And all merchandise—in-store and on-line—is now marked down (at least) 25% (and some even more).  Here’s a cast iron owl paperweight from Japan—now on sale!   LEO […]

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Ready to Pounce

Like the handsome feline sculpture above, our customers have been pouncing on great buys at LEO Design—where everything (remaining) has been marked-down (both in-store and on-line).   Please come visit us or check-out our on-line shop.   LEO Design will be closing its doors on 31 January.  Please visit the store (or website) where all […]

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Be Prepared!

It’s been a while since I fit into my Cub Scout uniform—but I do remember the motto: “Be Prepared!”  And, indeed, this little Boy Scout sculpture is prepared to take up residence on your desk, bookshelf or mantlepiece.  Please come in and see him. All merchandise (in-store or on-line) is now25% off—and some merchandise is […]

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Not So Slow!

Things have been very brisk since we announced the pending closure of our brick-and-mortar store in Greenwich Village.  Despite the excitement, this Canadian bronze snail continues his slow and careful pace.  Come in to the shop to see him. All merchandise (in-store or on-line) is now (at least) 25% off—making it the perfect time to […]

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Get Used to It!

Although I love this bull—sculpted in stoneware by Danish artist Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen—the other kind of bull has left me depleted (and we haven’t even reached Inauguration Day!).  Buy him now, before we close our store, and get him for 25% off.  Please come into the shop to see him or click on […]

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It’s Getting Frosty!

From afar-off Japan, a little bronze penguin, finely cast (see his feathers?) and cold-painted by hand.  He’s enjoying the cold snap now visiting us here in New York City. And he’s one of the many Handsome Gifts still in-stock and now on-sale at LEO Design.  All merchandise (in-store or on-line) is now (at least) 25% off—and […]

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Comfort and Joy

Another Christmas is here—and there’s a new year waiting right around the corner!  This has been our 22nd Holiday Season in the neighborhood.  Where has the time gone?  We are grateful for the support of our many wonderful customers. Wishing all a joyful and restful Christmas.  May 2017 be a year of unexpected happiness. Today […]

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Modern Traditions

Prepare for The Season of Lights with this cast bronze Modernist Menorah. Sculpted in the American Midwest, it will see you through the eight days of Hanukkah in style.  Please come into the shop to see it in-person or click on the photo above to learn more about it.  Happy Holidays!     Today—and daily […]

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Zero Hour, Nine A.M.

Our cast bronze Rocketman has just touched-down—and climbed-down from his cast aluminum rocketship (which is also a bank!).  The space ship has the early Twentieth Century riveted look of a Jules Verne travel craft.  It will make a nice aesthetic statement in any modern or vintage setting.  And it provides a great place to start […]

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Elephant Block

This little guy—a baby elephant—is a doorstop and was made of cast iron from the 1920’s. He trumpets to his mother—while never leaving his post (right beside your open door). Please click on the photo above to learn more about him.       Today—and daily through 23 December—LEO Design will be open from Noon […]

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Make the Holidays a Snap!

Though you’d rather not break-apart this wishbone, it still is lucky, nevertheless.  Cast of sterling silver in California, it is a handsome and sentimental token—a good luck wish and a thoughtful gift.  Please come into the shop to see it or call us for further information.       From the 5th to 23rd of […]

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Bearing Gifts

The season will soon be upon us.  Perhaps a handsome (and sizable) stoneware bear might be just the right gift.  Large enough to make an impact on any table, sideboard or mantelpiece, this bear was sculpted by Arne Ingdam in Denmark in the 1960’s.  Please come into the shop to see him or click on […]

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Another Subliminal Suggestion . . .

This little bronze donkey is made in California and he has a little secret.  Under each of his four hooves is a letter spelling K – I – C – K.  Let’s Kick Ass! Another subliminal suggestion, brought to you by your good friends at LEO Design.       See new merchandise first!  Follow […]

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A Subliminal Suggestion . . .

I found this little fella in Pennsylvania, maybe a year ago.  Since then, I haven’t had the heart to put a price ticket on him.  No, instead he’s been sitting on the oak filing cabinet behind the sales counter—quietly radiating a subliminal suggestion to every customer and passerby. He was made in the 1960’s by […]

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Boo!

Scare the neighbors—and their Trick-or-Treating kids—with this European ceramic wall plaque from the 1960’s. This sculpted, bas-relief “Aries” is a bold and expressive rendering of the zodiac character—who is also a notorious player from mythology and fable.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it. LEO Design will be open from Noon […]

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Notes From the Road – part VIII

I have always loved dogs, though none as much as my little shop dog, Benji.  While he sleeps in his crate behind the cash wrap, little vintage canines rest contentedly in the antique display case.  In England this week, I’ve added a few more to the collection, examples shown above.  A silver-plated brass Dachshund folds […]

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Notes From the Road – part III

Besides finding wonderful and handsome gifts for my shop, being in England this week provides me another benefit:  I am avoiding the constant scrum of the current political fracas. Though I am, admittedly, a committed partisan, I nevertheless cannot wait for 8 November to come and go.  And I’m sure I’m not alone! Finding this […]

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Sixties Stag Party

And you thought Mad Men was over!  Not quite yet.  Shown above, a Danish Modern stoneware plaque by sculptor Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen.  Made in 1968, it was intended as a decorative object to hang upon the wall or it could be permanently mounted within a larger ceramics installation. On the plaque, two playful bucks cavort amidst a […]

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The United Nations

In the aftermath of World War II and its devastation, the world’s leaders sought a means to prevent such conflicts in the future—and decided to create the United Nations.  Multiple sites were considered, including Flushing Meadow, in Queens, site of the 1939 World’s Fair. When a development project in Manhattan (along the East River) fell-apart, […]

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Squirrel Crazy!

I just took my seven year old niece to Washington, DC.  We saw the White House, the Capitol, the National Zoo, the Lincoln Memorial and the Museum of Natural History. What did she like best?  The squirrels! My niece, who was visiting from Hawaii, had never seen one of the restless rodents before. She put […]

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An Octopus’s Garden

When I think of Ruscha West German Modernist art pottery, I usually think of vases—vases with wonderful dripping, complex and organic glazes.  Until I found the plaque above, which shakes-up my concept of Ruscha. Here sea grasses sway, anchored in a bed of blooming anemones, while bubbles bobble to the surface. Brown lobes of coral […]

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Spring Chickens

Come into the shop to see this sweet little pair of hand-painted ceramic chickens—a rooster and a hen.  They’re made in Southern California (where they are cast in vintage molds), and, while they aren’t antiques, they have a wonderful old-time coloration to them.         See new merchandise first!  Follow us on Instagram: […]

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Be Prepared

A Boy Scout is always prepared—but does he have a vintage trophy?  Celebrate the scout (or former scout) with this  1920’s cast spelter statuette modeled by Canadian Renaissance Man Robert Tait McKenzie in 1915.  Around its base are inscribed the characteristics which form the ideal Scout: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, […]

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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 […]

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The Old King of the Forest

At LEO Design we love the King of the Forest—and all things Leonine. But, long before lions ruled, there was another King: the Tyrannosaurus Rex. His name, literally translated, is “Tyrant Lizard King.” He was the apex predator, top of the food chain.  At 40 feet long, his long, heavy tail was required to balance […]

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A Four-Footed Friend

Pigs are popular—all things pigs!  Shown above, a cast brass piglet, finished with a verdigris bronze patina.  He’ll sit happily on your shelf, desk or windowsill—or even in your garden (though he will weather in the out-of-doors elements).  Come in and see him—and his “sty mates”—or call us for additional information.       See […]

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Poetry Ex Cathedra

I like Dante. And so do my customers, apparently.  I buy just about every pair of Dante bookends I can get my hands on and they continue to sell.  Here’s a pair that’s a little different.  Instead of the typical dour Medieval Florentine poet, we get an energized—almost sprightly—Dante, leaning forward in his throne. The […]

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Boundless gratitude to all the women who have lifted us up, made us smile and showed us that we were the most important thing in their lives.         See new merchandise first!  Follow us on Instagram: “leodesignhandsomegifts”

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Countdown to Mother’s Day – part V

While all mothers are welcomed at LEO Design, “Leo Moms” always stir-up a little extra enthusiasm. And for just such a mother, how about an Italian cast pewter lion?  Hand-made outside of Florence, this King of the Jungle will be happy to reign over your mom’s desktop, bookshelf or mantelpiece.  Please come into the shop […]

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Countdown to Mother’s Day – part IV

For “Cat Mothers,” perhaps our (half-sized) Crouching Cat sculpture would do the trick. Made of cast brass and finished with a verdigris bronze patina, this feline is all tension and coiled energy—eyes on the prize, ready to spring!  It would look great on a hearthstone, bookshelf or even in the garden (where it will develop […]

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April’s End

April bids us “Farewell”—or rather this winsome rabbit does. He’s made in Japan of cast zinc and has a Cubist design.  He’s part of our large collection of rabbit sculptures—in zinc, bronze, brass and ceramic.  Please come into the shop to see him and his warren mates.         See new merchandise first! […]

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Just Alighted

A pair of engaging birds—a warbler and a nuthatch—have alighted at LEO Design this spring.  Made in Canada of heavy cast bronze, they’d be happily employed as paperweights or content to just sit around, looking pretty.  Please call or come into the shop to see them.         See new merchandise first!  Follow […]

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Three Little Bears

With the winter’s cold, in comes this trio of playful Danish bears. Designed by sculptor Knud Kyhn and made by Royal Copenhagen in the 1970’s, they have taken-up residence with our large collection of mid-century stoneware bears.  Please come by to see them and their case-mates here at LEO Design.       See new […]

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Year of the Monkey – part IV

We’ll end our “Week of the Monkey” with this simian fellow—tense with anticipation, wound-up and ready to spring!  He was made in 1959 by artist Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen.  He’d bring a good deal of coiled energy to your bookshelf, mantelpiece or coffee table.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about […]

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Year of the Monkey – part III

Here’s a super monkey for the Year of the Fire Monkey.  Made in the 1920’s by Danish ceramicist Knud Kyhn, it is impressive in size, style and artistic impact—certainly a “statement piece” in any interior design setting.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about him or come into the shop to see […]

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Year of the Monkey – part II

Since we’ve just started the Year of the Monkey, why not make it the Week of the Monkey? Over the next few days, we’ll share a few of our interesting primate offerings from the shop. Shown above, a happy chimp, arms raised in victory.  Modeled by ceramicist Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen and produced in […]

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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 […]

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