Welcome, October!

Roseville Navajo-Inspired Ceramic Pot with Mottled Turquoise "Tourmaline" Glaze (LEO Design)

Help us welcome October—a month with two gemstones: the Tourmaline and the Opal.

Tourmalines were first mined in Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) and brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th and 18th Centuries. At the time, they were considered an expensive and exotic luxury. Since then, they also have been discovered and mined in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and Brazil.

Tourmalines come in a wide variety of colors including black or multi-colored specimens—like the “Watermelon Tourmaline” which is pink at one end and green at the other. New Age practitioners claim that the semi-precious stone will detoxify the human body, reduce stress, and have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Jewelers promote the sales of tourmalines as an eighth wedding anniversary gift.

They are rich in aluminum, magnesium, sodium, lithium and potassium. Some specimens include iron which gives them a magnetic quality.

The Art Deco pot, shown above, is magnetic in appearance alone.  It was made by Roseville in the 1930's and its shape was inspired by classic Native American ceramics.  The glazing was named "Tourmaline," though it has (to my eyes) only the faintest resemblance to any of the namesake gemstone.  Yet, it is a handsome vase in a beautiful, dappled aqueous glaze. Perhaps—given the Southwestern shape and aqua-blue coloration—it should have been named "Turquoise."  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.

Welcome October!


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