Tandy Flashback


Framed Hand-Tooled Leather Panel with Indian Chief Portrait (LEO Design)


When I was a kid, in the Sixties and Seventies, lots of boys wore leather belts with their names embossed in the leather along the back of the strap.  The belts came pre-printed with scrolling Western botanical patterns, meant to be "carved" (or embossed) by the hobbyist, after which he would stamp his moniker—letter by letter—at the center back of the belt.  Leather working kits were popular and boys might receive the kit at Christmas or for their birthdays.  I recall the kits were sold by "Tandy," a mail-order company which had some mysterious connection to the uber-nerdy "Radio Shack."

This framed leather plaque reminded me of my leather-working youth—though, I must admit, the quality of the carving on this plaque far exceeds any craftsmanship exhibited by those awkward, pubescent boys.  An Indian Chief—in full headdress—stands in-profile, surround by stylized, scrolling botanical elements.  Something about the color, feel and age of the leather (and the simple, though handsome, frame) took me back to my early teen years.  I'm not certain if this piece was part of a craft kit.  But, if it had been, kudos to the hobbyist who executed such beautiful handwork.

Click on the photo above to learn more about this 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 (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