Picky, Picky, Picky


Wooden Jewelry Box with Serpentine Front, Herringbone Parquet Top and Yellowed, Mirrored Interior (LEO Design)


There are a handful of "design terms" which seem to annoy me.  My shop team knows that I never use the expression "Hollywood Regency"—and they scrupulously avoid mentioning the moniker in my presence.  Why do I loathe the term?  For one, it is inaccurate.  The phrase has nothing whatsoever to do with the Regency Period and I strongly suspect that most of those who use the name "Hollywood Regency" don't even know what the Regency Period was (that is, the period in England, 1811-1820, when King George III was mentally unfit to rule, thus his son ruled as a supervised Prince Regent—before he became King George IV himself).  The Regency Era enjoyed a robust flourishing of art, architecture and literature—a period where beauty and frivolity lived side-by-side (mostly for the idle rich).

I dislike the designation "Hollywood Regency" because (to me) the term conjures visions of desperate decorators, magazine editors, antiques dealers, and other merchants struggling to "spice up"—trying to legitimize—a period which they are having difficulty describing adroitly.  I know that "selling" sometimes involves attempts to add meaning where it doesn't otherwise exist.  But, whenever someone says "Hollywood Regency," I suspect he's trying to sell me something (at an inflated price).

Don't get me wrong!  I think that the 1940's—the heyday of black and white Hollywood style—are rich in glamour and brimming with aesthetic glory!  The designers, decorators and directors who made the best films of the period have really endowed our visual culture with a significant legacy.  But there was no Prince Regent living in Hollywood (in the 1940's) and Hollywood's only interest in English Monarchic Succession was gossiping about the abdication of Edward VIII (back in 1936).

This wooden jewelry box was made in the 1940's.  It has a soft Art Deco "serpentine" front and is topped with a "herringbone parquet" lid.  Inside, the box is lined in gold fabric and the inside of the lid is fitted with a mirror.  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