British Arts & Crafts Hand-Hammered Brass Tray with "Xaipe" Dragon (LEO Design)


"Xaipe!" is the Ancient Greek salutation that means "Rejoice!" It was used as a hearty greeting or as a appeal of "Godspeed" to a person heading-off on a dangerous mission.  While the pronunciation varied over the millennia (Ancient vs. Modern Greek), one could roughly pronounce the word as "Kai-rrhay" (with a softly rolled "R").

This British Arts & Crafts tray is fashioned of hand-hammered brass.  A circle of "bosses" surround a central dragon (who appears Welsh or Celtic).  I found the piece in the South of England.  I know that the piece is British, however, the rest is just conjecture.  I suspect that this piece was made for a member of a special academic, military or social organization.  The dragon suggest the piece may have been made in Wales.  However, dragons (even Welsh Dragons) could be simply a part of the heraldry of a Wales-related individual or regiment (like the Prince of Wales, who is English, not Welsh).  The salutation "Xaipe" suggest a heroic, somewhat macho dimension.  Such a phrase could be the motto of a military division, a sporting team, or a highly self-confident workingmen's club.  Whatever the origin—or inspiration—this tray is a very nice piece of metalwork, one with a mysterious history worth exploring.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


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