Czech, Please


Erphila Czech Art Deco Three-Handled Vase by Ditmer & Urbach (LEO Design)

Even during the tumultuous years of the Czechoslovakian Nation, the art and craft of the Bohemian people was still appreciated by—and exported to—the rest of an eagerly awaiting world.  This Art Deco matte white vase is one such little treasure.

Czechoslovakia was established as an independent, democratic republic in 1918, two days after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Twenty years later, the Nazis invaded, claiming a healthy portion of its land for themselves—while Hungary and Poland took territory for themselves, too.  Shortly thereafter (1939), Slovakia declared its independence from the still-young (and struggling) nation.  After World War II, Czechoslovakia largely returned to its original size and shape (minus a portion which remained with the Ukraine), however, the whole country was now under the boot of the Soviet Union.  There were two more significant "revolutions" of sorts.  First the "Prague Spring" (1968) which was brutally quashed by the Soviets.  Then the "Velvet Revolution," a bloodless move for independence when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed.  In 1993, the country was divided into two countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Bohemian world has long been lauded for its skilled craft and artwork.  Even during the years of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bohemia (and more to the point, Prague) provided the workshops and artisans for much of the larger Empire.

The three-handled matte white Art Deco vase, shown above, was made in Czechoslovakia in the 1920's or 1930's by the ceramics house Ditmer & Urbach.  It was imported to the United States by Ebeling & Reuss in Philadelphia.  Thus, it is marked "Erphila" (meaning Ebeling & Reuss, Philladelphia).  Please 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 (

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