Palm Sunday

English Art Deco Soft-Shouldered Vase with Incised Palm Fronds and Aqua and Brown Glazing by William Mycock for Pilkington Royal Lancastrian (LEO Design)


Today is Palm Sunday—the day on which Christians commemorate the final week, hours, and moments of Christ's life on Earth.  What starts with Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem ends with betrayal, brutal torture, execution and burial in a tomb.  Of course, to Christians (mournful as this is), this final "Passion" is the unavoidable pathway to Christ's death and resurrection.

Palms—especially palm branches—have enormous significance throughout the Middle East and around the Mediterranean.  Of course, the date palm was an important source of sustenance in this hot and arid region: food, shade, and useful materials.  The palm branch was sacred to Mesopotamians (c. 6000 BC), symbolized immortality to the Ancient Egyptians, and represented victory to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans.  Jews have long featured date palm leaves as part of the prayers and rituals of Sukkot, the harvest feast. And, for Muslims, palms—associated with life-sustaining oases—are a symbol of rest and hospitality.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, in the days before his execution, he was greeted with palm-bearing throngs shouting "Hosannah!"  In that moment, they were honoring him in a triumphant manner.  But the palms later were recognized as a foreshadowing of Christ's ultimate victory over death—though the people holding those branches could not have understood it, yet.

The English ceramic vase, shown above, was made by William Mycock for Pilkington Royal Lancastrian.  Broad palm branches drape over the soft shoulders of the vase, glazed in aqua and curdled brown.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome vase.


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 Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248