Twenty, Twenty-Four!


Hochst German Porcelain Sculpture of Young Hercules Wearing the Mantle of the Nemean Lion (LEO Design)


Has ever a year been more-anticipated?  It's here, folks: 2024!  So much to do!  Big tasks which (sometimes) seem impossible.

But, before we get-down-to-business, we at LEO Design want to wish you good health, much happiness and plentiful contentment in the New Year.  

The German porcelain sculpture, shown above, captures Baby Hercules, returning home to his cousin, King Eurystheus, after successfully completing his "First Labor."  His cousin, the king, ordered Hercules (called Herecles by the Greeks) to slay the Nemean Lion—a fearsome beast whose golden fur was impervious to the weapons of mortals.  Not knowing this, Hercules began his attack by shooting the lion with arrows—which simply bounced off the lions hide.  So Hercules concocted a new plan: he would lure the Nemean Lion into its cave, block one of the two entrances, and confront the lion in his cave.  Hercules stunned the lion by hitting him on the head with his club, after which he strangled the lion with his bare hands.

When it came time for Hercules to skin the lion, his blade (of course) did not work.  After futile attempts, Athena (Goddess of Wisdom) suggested that Hercules use the lion's own claws to remove the pelt.  Once removed, he wore the lion's mantle, becoming impervious, himself, to human slings and arrows.

Hercules presented himself, now victorious, before King Eurystheus.  The king was impressed but also terrified at his cousin's unexpected achievement.  The king informed Hercules that the next eleven labors would become increasingly difficult.  And, Hercules was no longer permitted to enter the city's gates to report his future accomplishments.  From now on, Hercules must display his victories from outside the city's walls.

Although the Hercules in our story is usually portrayed as a man (sometimes a young man), the porcelain sculptor of our piece shows Hercules as a small child.  Perhaps the sculptor wanted to remind us that great feats are sometimes achieved by unexpected, underestimated heroes—a lesson we can hold dear as we venture towards the great battles of 2024.

In the meantime, please click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome and delightful 19th Century sculpture.


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 Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248