Nothing Fresher

Crown Ducal English Ceramic Platter with Hand-Painted Orange Trees by Norman Keates (LEO Design)

During these chilly Winter days, we are featuring a selection of trays now in-stock at LEO Design. We look-forward to the time (the sooner, the better) when we can use these trays to serve family, friends and other loved ones.

Hand-painted trees, heavy with ripe oranges, surround the octagonal perimeter of this English Art Deco platter by Norman Keates for Crown Ducal.  At the time this platter was made, circa 1925, oranges were still a small luxury in middle class England—thus the decorative embellishment might have promoted a touch of wistful aspiration.  Oranges were first cultivated in China; Medieval traders and explorers brought them back to the West where they were grown in temperate (Mediterranean) locales. At the time, however, only the richest of aristocrats could afford to purchase the expensive, imported fruit.  In the late Nineteenth Century, when Christmas gift-giving became customary, an orange might be left in the toe of a child's Christmas stocking (and, at this point, oranges were still costly, but a working family might be able to afford a few for the kids at Christmas).  The platter above, which strikes our modern eyes as "Thirties Charmng," probably elicited a more luxurious reaction when it was made almost a century ago.

Please click on the photo above to learn more about this tray.

More selections from our expansive tray collection tomorrow and in the days to come.


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