Welcome, February, and your birthstone, the amethyst!
According to ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus—the god of wine—pursued a beautiful maiden by the name of Amethystos. Her prayers to remain chaste were answered by the gods: she was turned into a beautiful white stone. Dionysus, in his grief, poured wine over the white stone, turning it violet. And, thus, the first amethyst was created. The stone’s name comes from the Greek word “Methustos” which means “intoxicated.” Amethysts have long been believed to protect its wearer from the inebriating effects of alcohol—in fact, ancient Greek and Roman drinking cups and bowls were sometimes crafted of turned amethyst. During the Middle Ages, amethysts (and the color purple) were associated with (and reserved for) royalty—and the stone was considered as valuable as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Today, amethysts are more plentiful and no longer considered amongst the “cardinal gemstones.” They are mined in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Korea, parts of the U. S. and (in great numbers) in Brazil. Some today believe the stone provides its wearer with peace, stability, strength, sincerity and courage.
The English Arts & Crafts Letter Box, shown above, is punctuated with a single glass "turtleback" amethyst cabochon. Though not the genuine gemstone, the glass cabochon, nevertheless, brings the stone's regal beauty to center stage. The brass mountings have a floral and dragon repoussé design. The holder can be placed on a flat surface (like a desk) or hung upon the wall. Please click 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 (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