Bronze Refinement

Nineteenth Century French Bronze Pen Tray with Stylized Scrolling Botanical Motif and Graphic Triangular Edging (LEO Design)

Before the advent of cartridge ink pens (or ball point pens), writing was a messy ordeal. Writers greeted you with blackened fingers and newspaper writers were called "Ink-Stained Wretches."  What to do if you were an educated gentleman?  You wanted to (or needed to) write—but you preferred to maintain a gentlemanly nattiness.  (Not to mention preserve your expensive leather-topped desk).  Enter the pen tray!   Here one could keep one or more inky pens—close-at-hand but securely cradled.  

This footed pen tray, made in late Nineteenth Century France, is crafted of cast bronze and decorated with sensuous botanical scrollwork and regimented triangular edging. And, if inky messes are no-longer a common occurrence on your desk, these pen trays are perfect holding clips, keys, coins or cufflinks on a desktop, near a front door, or next to your bed. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

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