At Long Last!


English Hand-Painted Tin Lion Toy Sculpture by John Hall & Co. (LEO Design)


Today—at long last—the world re-enters the zodiac sun sign of LEO, after a long eleven month wait.  And what an eleven months it has been!  Additionally, tonight, we will also experience a full moon, known as a "Buck Moon" since this is the time of year when male deer are found in fullest antler.  

In truth, I'm not a very superstitious person, and I only enjoy astrology to the extent that the different signs really do seem to describe the personalities (and idiosyncrasies) of the twelve group members.  Perhaps the best reason I have for acknowledging the zodiac is that fate has granted me such a good (and flattering) birth sign: LEO!

Today is also my birthday.  It seems only yesterday—on my 32nd birthday in 1995—that I was on my hands and knees, refinishing the old wooden floorboards of my first shop at 413 Bleecker Street.  I was pushing to get my store open (which happened a couple of weeks later), and couldn't think of a better way to spend my "Double Sweet Sixteen." I also wanted to make every moment count and get the shop open as quickly as possible.

The little tin lion, shown above, was made by John Hall & Company (England) in the 1920's or 1930's.  He is hand-painted and might have been part of a larger "animal group," perhaps a collection of zoo creatures, circus animals, or the passengers on Noah's Ark.  He was always intended as a toy, mind you, not created to be a "fine collectable" upon a shelf.  He was made to be an affordable child's toy, expected to be handled roughly at times.  Click on the photo above to learn more about him. 


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