When Do We Leave?


Finely-Cast Iron Brass-Plated Camel Letter Rack with Hand-Painted Finish (LEO Design)


The Feast of the Epiphany—also called "Three Kings' Day"—is on 6 January, four short weeks from today.  The camel above might be asking, "When do we leave?"  Well, actually, he probably should have left a month ago (if he were walking).

The Gospel of Saint Matthew tells us that an unspecified number of "wise men" came "from the East," in search of the new king, having "observed his star at its rising."  The Western convention of three magi probably derives from the fact that three gifts were presented to Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh.  The magis' precise origin is not specified, though early Christians associated them with Zoroastrian priests from Persia (who were accomplished astronomers).  In recent centuries, the "Three Kings" have often been portrayed having three different ethnic and cultural heritages.  Scripture makes no reference to them being actual monarchs.

When the deplorable King Herod learns of "a new king," he panics.  He has no intention of being replaced—and will do whatever he must to cling to power.  He orders his loyal foot soldiers to slaughter all male children, under the age of two.  Some leaders will do anything to protect their interests and stay in office.

So how long would it take to travel to the Holy Land?  Assuming they start in Tehran (Persia), travel the 1200 miles to Bethlehem (by camel, about 20 miles a day), it would take about 60 days or two months.  Today, with only one month left before The Epiphany, our camel friend is already a month behind—assuming he planned to walk. (Reliable air service was not very good on that route 2,000 years ago).

The cast iron letter rack, shown above, shows a resting camel.  He was finely-cast in iron, plated with brass, then sensitively hand-painted in browns and greens.  Artful highlights of brass show through on the saddle.  The letter rack is also finished on its back side, meaning it will look acceptable if viewed from either side of a desk.  It was made by Judd Manufacturing (Wallingford, CT) in the 1920's.  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