Coining Words

Nineteenth Century William "Shakspeare" Spelter Sculpture (LEO Design)

The legendary Bard of Stratford-on-Avon created some of English Literature's greatest characters, tortured relationships, and dramatic scenarios.  He coined numerous words and many clever turns-of-phrase.  And he also spelled his name in a variety of ways.

Some scholars claim that "William Shakespeare" (which is the contemporary standard spelling) has been spelled up to 80 different ways over the centuries.  Even in his lifetime, Shakespeare signed his name with different spellings—including "Shakespere" and "Shakspeare."  In the Eighteenth Century, "Shakespear" was believed to be most authentic.  In the Romantic Mid-Nineteenth Century, "Shakspere" or "Shakspeare" (as shown in the photo) was considered most accurate, based on his most common signatures.

On Shakespeare's tomb, in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon, the Bard's name is spelled "Shakspeare."  Lying next to him is his spouse, Anne Hathaway, who's tomb marker refers to her as "Wife of Shakespeare."

The cast spelter sculpture, shown above, is inscribed with the most common Mid-Nineteenth Century variation of the poet's name: Shakspeare.  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