Getting Sorted

Mappin & Webb Victorian English Silver-Plated Toast Rack (LEO Design)

It's the New Year and one of my resolutions is to get my desk organized! If you're like me, this Victorian English implement will make a small dent in that task. It was designed as a toast rack—a very nice version of the ordinary morning utensil. It was intended to hold three slices of toast (each piece cut in half) and placed upon the breakfast table. 

As a good American, I don't use a toast rack. First, no one is serving me at table. Second, I've always thought that toast racks were too-efficient at cooling toast—and I prefer to butter mine piping hot, right out of the toaster. But I do love toast racks as a sorting device on my desk! Every couple of weeks, I sit-down to pay invoices and write-out checks. As I seal each envelope, I mark the appropriate mailing date on its lower left corner and place the envelopes in order in the rack. This way, I can mail my envelopes on-time.

The silversmith Mappin & Webb was founded in Sheffield, England in 1775, a year before the American Revolution. Over their storied career, Mappin & Webb has made jewelry for Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, The Empress of Russia and Princess Grace of Monaco. Today, the company's Master Craftsman, Mark Appleby, is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II as Crown Jeweler. He is responsible for maintaining and helping secure the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

This toast rack is silver-plated. Learn more about it by clicking on the photo above.


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 (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248