Several years ago, I found myself on a November buying trip to London. I was in the Safeway supermarket in Bloomsbury, of all places, probably hunting for exotic and delicious biscuits to take back to my nearby hotel room. Unexpectedly, the voice of the shop's assistant manager came over the loudspeaker: "We will now observe a two-minute silence." I was not familiar with the custom, but stood patiently, imitating the (mostly) homemakers standing at their carts, their heads bent in remembrance. It was the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month—celebrated in England as "Remembrance Day."
Before it was renamed Remembrance Day, it was known as Armistice Day. On 11 November 1918, at 11:00 am, a signed armistice ceasefire went into effect between Germany and the Allied countries. This was a temporary measure (and was extended multiple times) until the more comprehensive "Treaty of Versailles" could be agreed-upon and signed the following June. But the armistice date remains the most important turning-point, when the competing military forces agreed to stop shelling each other.
The pair of infantry frames, shown above, were made during or shortly after World War One. Frames like these might either commemorate a fallen soldier or it could be a solemn reminder of a survivor's harrowing service. They are made of cast iron, are hand-painted, and bear crossed arms and an American Bald Eagle rousant (that is, facing forward, head turned to the right, wings spread—preparing for flight—but with its feet still on the ground). Click on the photo above to learn more about them.
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