Bevy of Brooches - I


Scottish Iona Brooch with Banded Agate and Scrolling Botanical Silver Filigree Mounting (LEO Design)


When I travel on buying trips, I am always looking for nice cufflinks and other masculine jewelry.  But I am unable to avoid crossing paths with lots of women's jewelry.  In fact, most jewelry dealers carry far more women's jewelry than men's jewelry.  Given this reality, I frequently find myself picking-up some nice pieces for women.  But my taste leans to the "handsome" more than the "girly".  When I do buy a piece of women's jewelry, it tends to reflect a more robust taste: a bit heavy, a bit stoney, a bit serious, a bit dour.  Late Nineteenth Century—Victorian Mourning Jewelry—always appeals to me.  But I do try to step-out of my little lane, every now and then.

Shown above, a brooch made on the windswept Island of Iona, off the Western coast of Scotland.  It is the site of a Medieval Abbey and the island still has the reputation (and aura) of a holy place—a place of centering, contemplation, prayer and retreat.  The island is also a center of crafts, sold to the many pilgrims and visitors who come to the island.  This brooch is comprised of a polished, banded agate cabochon, set into a silver scrolling botanical filigree mounting.  It was hallmarked in Edinburgh in 1962 (60 years ago!).  It is a nice juxtaposition of a stately, handsome stone set within a more delicate (and nicely executed) silver background.  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