Cinco de Mayo

Mexican Hand-Hammered Copper "Volcano-Form" Vase (LEO Design)


On 5 May 1862, Mexican troops successfully defended the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe from the larger, better-equipped French forces of Napoleon III.  The two forts sit atop a hill overlooking the city of Puebla (about 75 miles Southeast of Mexico City).  Although the French came back the following year—and took Puebla—the 5 May event served as a motivating rallying cry for Mexican troops.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is more-widely celebrated in the United States (as a celebration of pan-Mexican culture) than it is in Mexico.  However, in Puebla, the day remains important and one can visit two forts which are now history museums.

The vase above, hand-hammered in Mexico, has been raised in the form of a sloping, volcano-shaped mountain.  The piece was created from a single ingot of copper, built-up with nothing more than an anvil, tongs, and various-peen hammers.  The bulbous bottom resembles a bowl, however, the top rim continues as a raised, gradually restricted "return." The un-lacquered metal will continue to oxidize, turning darker as the decades progress. Click the photo above to learn more about this handsome vase.

Or click here to see more hand-hammered copper vessels, now in-stock at LEO Design.


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