Western artists, designers and craftsmen have often tapped classic Asian design for its artistic inspiration. During the late Nineteenth Century (and at many other times in history), Westerners were enchanted by "The Exotic East." Sometimes these penchants became embarrassing and demeaning fetishes. But, at other times, such an appropriation was simply the recognition that classic Asian designers did beautiful work—and imitation is recognized as the sincerest form of flattery.
The piece above takes the form of a classic "ginger jar"—the Chinese covered vessel originally intended to hold spices, oils and other valuable foodstuffs. Many centuries ago, Western merchants began to ship them back home to a hungry European population which used such ginger jars in their collecting and home decorating.
This hand-hammered copper version—complete with lid—can be used alone as a decorative object. It can be converted into a handsome lamp. Or it can even be used as an urn for the cremated remains of a loved one or pet. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
This photo shows a detail of the ginger jar cover. This cap can be sealed onto the jar if one wished to use the vessel for cremated remains.
This is a second canister option—more inspired by the form of an Egyptian "Canopic" Jar. It also has a lid and can be converted into a handsome lamp. Click on either photo to learn more about these pieces.
More hand-hammered copper items 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 (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248