My stepmother, Jackie, played a significant role in my life. And today would have been her 77th birthday. It just so happened that she, my father and my kid brother, Ian, arrived for a long-planned summer visit with me, in New York, the very day I received the keys to my first shop space on Bleecker Street. It was 1995. They spent their Manhattan holiday week helping me demo and clean the old shop. Six years later, Jackie stayed with us for a month after 9-11. She was volunteering as a social worker with the Red Cross, helping families in the aftermath of the attack. In 2005, I spent the last three weeks of her life with her, flying to Fez, Morocco, where she had fallen ill on a group trip. I escorted her on a nerve-racking trip back to New York—with a week-long delay in a London hospital—where she ultimately was diagnosed with glioblastoma and she underwent brain surgery. Alas, a few days after being released to recuperate in our apartment, she died just after midnight on 9 December.
Jackie had an uncomplicated lust for life. She loved pewter and she loved good black tea. She did not have a big collection of pewter, but I always have associated the silvery metal with her, nevertheless.
The English Arts & Crafts tea service, shown above, combines two of Jackie's simple loves. The four piece set is made of hand-hammered pewter, fitted with heat-resistant bakelite handles. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Happy Birthday, Jackie.
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