People have always found owls mysterious. They hunt by night, fly in complete silence, and appear to study intently (and contemplate) everything that happens before them. Those big eyes seem to see everything. Thousands of years ago, the Ancient Greeks associated owls with knowledge; Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, was often depicted with an owl who would whisper the truth to her. In later centuries, Athena's Roman counterpart, Minerva, continued to be shown with a a wise owl. The "secretiveness" of owls has sometimes earned them an association with death. An owl flying into (and out of) a room conveys the poetic symbolism of the passing of human life from Earth to the Hereafter.
This German stein shows a mother owl returning to her clutch of chicks, all lined-up and waiting on a branch. She carries a bug in her mouth—a tasty meal for a hungry little owl. An oak leaf bas relief encircles the base while acorns on the branch decorate the ceramic cabochon upon the lid. Though it has a German Jugendstil look, it is not very old. 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 (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or 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