Welcome, September


German Modernist Studio Vase by Wendelin Stahl with Sapphire Crystalline Glaze (LEO Design)


Welcome, September, and your sublime birthstone, the Sapphire.

Sapphires are one of the four "cardinal" gemstones, alongside diamonds, emeralds and rubies.  Though it is best known as a deep, pure, saturated blue color, it can come in a variety of colors (or even be bi-colored).  It is a variety of the "Corundum" family and it achieves its heavenly blue coloration from the presence of aluminum oxide in the stone.  A red sapphire is called a ruby.

From the Middle Ages, sapphires have symbolized loyalty and trust.  People would wear sapphires as a talisman to protect against danger or other harm.  Italian superstition believes that sapphires will protect the wearer from eye disease and melancholy.  A 45th wedding anniversary is known as a "Sapphire Anniversary."  In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 65 years on the throne—her "Sapphire Jubilee."

The hand-made German Modernist vase, shown above, was made by master ceramicist Wendlin Stahl in the 1950's.  It has a beautiful, crystalline sapphire glaze.  While no sapphire was used in the finish, some kind of metal oxide was probably used to achieve such a beautiful glaze color (though likely not aluminum oxide, which is used specifically to prevent crystallization in glazes).  Click on the photo above to learn more about this special vase.


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