In honor of the Spring, we are sharing some of our florally-inspired items over the next several days. Enjoy the season—including the flowers which delightfully distinguish the Spring.
During the British Aesthetic Movement and Arts & Crafts periods, designers sought inspiration in numerous places—including from the Middle East. Medieval Persian and Iznik (Turkish) tilework provided rich influence for Western designers who were looking for fresh and natural design which suited the Art Nouveau aesthetic. Middle Eastern ceramists incorporated botanical naturalism and graphic energy in their works, two elements well-suited to the Arts & Crafts. Westerners favored the distinctive historicism of Middle Eastern design, not to mention an "Orientalist" exoticism which was extremely popular in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Europe.
The two-handed vase, shown above, was made by James Plant (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England) in the late Nineteenth Century or Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century. The form of the vessel is inspired by Middle Eastern design—as is the hand-painted floral-botanical graphics which surround the piece. A vase like this was made as an affordable, home-grown alternative to the much more expensive, imported real Asian ceramics—produced for a growing English Middle Class who (for the first time) had discretionary money (but not too much) to spend on things they wanted, not just what they needed. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
More Springtime flowers tomorrow and in the days to come.
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 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