Wren's Masterpiece

Etching of Saint Paul's Cathedral from the River Thames by Ernest Llewellyn Hampshire (LEO Design)

Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork.  So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by).  Let me share a few of them with you.  Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020.  On the whole, I have little to complain of.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.

Since opening LEO Design in 1995, I have probably visited London more often than any other city, town or village on the map.  Over the years, I have developed quite a network of London antique collectors and professional traders whom I visit frequently.  And, from London, I can set-off further afield: West for Oxfordshire, North for Scotland, and South for Sussex and the coastal towns which form the southern periphery of Great Britain.

One of the architectural wonders of London is Saint Paul's Cathedral, perched atop the tallest point in London (Ludgate Hill).  After the Great Fire of London destroyed the old church (also called Saint Paul's) in 1666, Christopher Wren was commissioned to build a new cathedral.  Work began in 1675 and the final statues were placed in the 1720's.  William Holman Hunt executed a large copy of his painting, "The Light of the World" which hangs here (the original is in Keble College, Oxford).  Notable services in the cathedral include the funerals of Admiral Nelson (who is buried here), Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.  Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married here.  In addition to Nelson, the Duke of Wellington is buried here, as is Christopher Wren (who was the first person interred in the newly-finished cathedral). The inscription, over Wren's tomb, reads (in Latin): "Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you."

Today the cathedral is the mother church for the Anglican Diocese of London and continues to pursue the church's spiritual and temporal missions.

The image shown above was etched by architect, painter and printmaker Ernest Llewellyn Hampshire in the 1910's or 1920's.


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