December is Here!


Roseville "Tourmaline" Vase with Navajo-Inspired Form and Mottled Turquoise Glazing (LEO Design)


December is here!  The final lap of 2021!  Experience the Winter's chill, the Holiday bustle, and the sublime Turquoise—the birthstone for the month of December.

Ancient civilizations in Egypt, China, Persia and North America have been mining, collecting and using turquoise for millennia.  In the American Southwest, turquoise has been used in jewelry-making and other decorative arts for centuries—and continues to be popular to this day.  The name derives from the French word for "Turks"—for it was through Turkey that the first turquoise came to Europe from Persian (Iranian) mines.  The Persians used the stone for important decoration in architecture and other objets. They created celebrated ceramics and tilework glazed in a glorious "Persian Turquoise" hue, a color which represented "Heaven on Earth."

The waxy turquoise stone—which derives its color from copper, aluminum and iron—is usually opaque and often includes inclusions (or other impurities) which give the stone additional rugged character (such as flecks or veining).  It is this variety of impurities which create a range of possible shades of the turquoise stone.

The "bowl" above, made by Roseville in the Art Deco Thirties, has been inspired by the form of a Southwestern Navajo pot.  The broad shoulder, crisp neck, and even the bas relief impressions upon that neck, give it a decidedly Native American sensibility.  Add to that the mottled turquoise glazing—associated with Navajo decorative arts—and the Southwestern aesthetic becomes complete.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome piece.


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