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Trusting One's Taste

As I've become a more experienced collector, I feel more confident venturing-beyond my previously trod territory.  When I find something that I like, yet cannot identify—or I suspect it might even be recently-made—I will give the piece an extra turn or two in-the-hand, asking myself, "Why not?".  If the quality is high (and handmade), the design is tasteful, and the piece is priced well, I may add it to the collection despite my uncertainty as to its age or maker. The piece shown here was discovered at an estate sale last week.  I was hunting for furniture and came across this in the meantime.  It wasn't a lot of money—and something told me that it was good (if not "important").  To learn more...

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More Sun!

Here's a little more sun—in this case, sun flowers. I must admit, this vase is a bit of a mystery to me.  In my thirty years in the antiques trade, I have only seen two of them (both of which I acquired).  I do not know who made it, in what country, or when.  The piece exhibits a European sensibility—which may help explain why I have seen it so rarely in America.  On the other hand, I bought both of my pieces in the States, an inconclusive suggestion that it might have been made here.  My educated guess is that it was made in Europe in the 1910's or 1920's—or in the United States in the 1920's or 1930's. I bought my first...

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Here Comes the Sun! (Again)

I long for the sunrise, a new dawn of civility, propriety and a presidential behavior which sets the right example for our citizens and the rest of the world.  I despise disruption, criminality and the financial exploitation of one's elected position.  I fear that fanatical discontents have found their emperor—who's been described as "their Robert E. Lee"—who is all too willing to play the tyrant (and keep the cashflow a-flowin').  How has America gotten to this point?  Or, more pointedly, how has this ideology simmered beneath society's surface without wider acknowledgment, analysis and counter-action? Alas, we are far, as a country, from "pulling together" in a snuggly, affectionate round of Kumbaya.  Some of the outgoing president's supporters have threatened a...

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The Bard Knew

Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. -William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606) Today we shall witness a staged performance—dramatized for all the world to see—which Shakespeare described and might have predicted over 400 years ago.  Elected officials (some might call them "disciples") will demonstrate their blind allegiance to their shepherd—a figurehead they venerate above party or country.  They call him "The Chosen One" and they long for their master to recognize their piety and adoration. The Bard's words have proved durable; so will the judgement of history.  But, perhaps, history hasn't yet...

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Georgia On My Mind

It's here, gentle reader.  The climax we've been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for: today Georgia voters will decide which candidates will represent them in the US Senate.  They will also be deciding the course of American politics for the next two years (or longer). Our little cast bronze sculptures face-off in the photo above.  The "Lucky Elephant" has the letters L-U-C-K stamped into the bottom of each of his feet.  The "Kick-Ass Donkey" bears the letters K-I-C-K under his hooves.

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Bearing Up . . .

Didn't this all end?  Nine weeks ago?  Nevertheless, the drama enters its Seventh Act.  Can the curtain call be very far away? Tomorrow, Georgia voters will decide which party will dominate the Senate, furthermore determining the fate of the nation for the next two years.  We're counting on you, Georgia! On Wednesday, certain legislators in Washington will mount their well-rehearsed Kabuki performance—big on noise and drama, but ultimately meaningless. Give this cuddly bear a tight squeeze and soldier-on through the next two days. Click on his photo, above, if you'd like to learn more about him.

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Une Nouvelle Année

In a sometimes fractured world, the New Year is something we all share. Every year I marvel at how the new year sweeps around the globe—completing its circuit in one smooth 24 hour pass.  We see fireworks in New Zealand, followed by celebrations in Australia, Eastern Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, England & Ireland, Brazil, the United States, and, finally, American Samoa (followed by a handful of islands an hour later). The desire to mark the New Year seems universal (or, at least, global).  And, for one 24 hour day, we all share the same focus. In France, one says Bonne Année!  This French Art Nouveau vase once welcomed a new period in the decorative arts.  Perhaps it can signify...

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Here Comes the Sun!

2021 is here . . . can you feel things getting better?  The days are getting longer. A Covid vaccine is ready for injection (if only it would be distributed).  And new leadership is making plans to move our country in a new and better direction.  It's as though the sun has emerged—after four years of darkness and bitter cold. This vase, made in England in the 1920's or 1930's, boasts a "molten" glaze of oranges and yellows—seemingly boiling on the vertically-ribbed walls of this gourd-form vase.  It reminds me of the surface of the Sun, where swirls of molten magma radiate their energy to the Earth below.  While the Sun holds the power to sustain life or kill it,...

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A Clean Start

Who's ready for a fresh start?  Wishing you a clean sweep—a year which exceeds your every expectation—and a year of health, contentment and rest.   Happy New Year!

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What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Let's end 2020 on the right note: clean, handsome, well-designed.  And (why not?) appropriately festive.  This set of six cocktail glasses, made in the 1940's or 1950's, tick all the right boxes.  Their platinum banding gives a handsome punctuation to an otherwise down-to-earth silhouette. And, most of all, they're clean.  Let's start the new year fresh, clear and unblemished.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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That Golden Hour

There's a certain time of the day—best described as "just before sunset"—when the sun is low on the horizon and the light couldn't be better.  The sun throws off a warm, rosy, almost-liquid glow; everything looks at its best.  That's my favorite time of day. These glasses, made in the Twenties, are beautiful just as they are: softly-faceted, tulip-form bowls sit atop long and elegant stems.  The crowning touch is an iridescent, golden wash.  The set of six is perfect for cocktails or champagne.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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I'll Take Manhattan

Though the Manhattan cocktail was invented in the 1870's (in NYC's Manhattan Club, for Winston Churchill's mother), they are much-associated with the post-war Fifties—a time when small, mixed drinks of many kinds were served in glasses like these.  These four crystal glasses have sparking, ridged stems.  And the glass rims (and feet) are ringed with platinum—which gives them a crisp finish and actually protects the glass edges from chipping.  Perhaps you'll want to make this New Year's Eve an old-fashioned celebration.  If so, please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Golfing? Now?

Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere—and you've already finished all your work—you shouldn't be golfing right now!  But you certainly may dream of springtime and a happy return to the links!  And these Double Old Fashioned rocks glasses from the Sixties will help keep you in the mood.  A stop-action golfer illustrates "The Basic Swing" to keep your form in tip top shape.  And the refreshing green and white graphics will tantalize you with thoughts of warmer weather.  But make sure you finish your work first!

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Not Quite New Year's

While it's not-quite-New-Year's, is it too early to start planning for "The Big Flip"?  I, for one, will be thrilled to see 2020 (and all its tragedy) through the rear view mirror!  And what better way to welcome January First than to have a (very small) celebration on New Year's Eve? These handsome crystal coupes, made in the earliest years of the Twentieth Century, were mouth-blown by the talented artisans at Bryce Glass in Western Pennsylvania.  The bowls are softly-faceted, giving them a classy touch of sparkle.  The stems have been cut into tapering obelisks—ending in a bright, ruby glass foot.  One can appreciate the handmade quality of these coupes by  comparing the different glasses to one another: each has...

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Boxing Day

At the time this box was made, in the 1890's, most middle class British households (where a box like this might have lived) would have employed at least one or two live-in servants. Naturally, the maids, cooks and footmen (if a house was really fancy) would be expected to work on Christmas Day, serving their employers. Thus came "Boxing Day," the day after Christmas and the traditional date on which servants would receive their "boxes" (containing gifts or money or both) and have their day off. To this day, England (and the other Commonwealth countries) celebrate Boxing Day—not so much as a day off for servants but as a national holiday for all. The English Arts & Crafts brass candle box, shown above, was...

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A Christmas Eve Tradition

In 1995, shortly after I opened my first shop on Bleecker Street, I found an Italian importer from whom I purchased this pair of angel sculptures. They are cast and carved terra-cotta, finished with a colorful polychrome finish. I knew that they were not old—and that's all I knew.  They spent the fall sitting atop the shop's fireplace mantel and, on Christmas Eve, I put them into the window. They were price-ticketed and available for purchase; alas, no one seemed to want them. For the next two years they made their annual Christmas Eve pilgrimage into the shop window, still for sale—but, to my surprise, they remained unsold.  I had several price inquiries, but no one seemed willing to take...

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Dallin's Masterpiece

American sculptor Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861 – 1944) was born in Utah and grew-up around many Native Americans, children and adults. He developed a sympathy to their history and their difficult plight. Dallin created a cycle of four sculptures portraying mounted Indian horsemen. His masterpiece, “Appeal to the Great Spirit,” was cast in Paris and unveiled at the Paris Salon of 1909—where it won the gold medal.  It became popular immediately—especially in America—and the image has been used everywhere from advertising to album covers.  Smaller copies of the work have been made and installed across the country.  One version is part of the White House’s permanent collection and was used to decorate President Clinton’s Oval Office. The original was installed in the forecourt of Boston's...

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Catholic Queens

Some 85 miles north of London stands Peterborough Cathedral, one of the great churches of Britain.  Principally built between 1118 and 1237, this English Gothic masterpiece stands on the site of an earlier church, founded in 655. Saints Peter, Paul and Andrew look down from the three central gables, appropriate as the cathedral's official name is the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew. The church was originally a Catholic house of worship. When Henry VIII "dissolved the monasteries"—thus stripping the churches of their precious objects and banning Catholic worship—it was converted to an Anglican cathedral. But Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had already been buried in the church—and remains there to this day. Later, the Scottish...

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Bold Greetings

A most handsome holding-place for your umbrella or walking stick!  Bold graphic bas relief will bring period architectural detail to your entry hall. It's made of ceramic "yellow ware" finished with a high-fired pea green "majolica" glazing. Made in the 1920's, possibly by Roseville. It will greet your guests with confident style. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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No Lion...

No lion.  Christmas is less than one week away!  This jolly lion, posing proudly atop his barrel, has run away from the circus and is looking for a good home.  He still wears his original gold paint and will happily guard your coins (he's a bank). Click on th photo above to learn more about him.

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Just for Aesthetes

Call me an Aesthete. Like those dandies of the Late Nineteenth Century, I do believe in "Beauty for Beauty's Sake."  Why shouldn't something look good?   Like a painting: do I really have to wake up to a picture which "challenges" me? Isn't it enough to be moved by a favorite color palette? Or remembrances of a place with happy memories?

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Simple Joys

"'Tis a gift to be simple" are the first few words of the Shaker hymn, attributed to Joseph Brackett (written in 1848).  And it is true: sometimes the simplest things can give the most pleasure—like this simple cast bronze "correlated" (that is, "with petals") paperweight.  Years of oxidation have given it a rich, brown patina. But the spherical knob shows the slightly polished result of years of handling. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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No Reason for Envy

Jealousy supposedly leaves its victim "green with envy." A clever image and turn-of-phrase, yes, but this green vase has no reason to be envious. Two glazes—a spring green and an aqueous blue—are dappled over the sculpted form of this English Art Deco vase, made in the 1930's. Incised "fiddleheads" sway and curl along the shoulders of the piece, lending just a touch of Art Nouveau embellishment.  To my eye, the wonderful and complex glazing captures that ephemeral moment when the seasons straddle both spring and summer. The tender yellow is gone, but the hearty green has not yet taken its place. Click on the photo above to learn more about this interesting and handsome English vase.   Though our Greenwich Village...

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Where the Buffalo Roam?

Sticklers inform us that there is no such creature as an "American Buffalo."  Buffaloes, the pedants contend, live in South Africa (as Cape Buffalo) and in Southeast Asia (as Water Buffalo). "Bison," they inform us, are the creatures found "Home on the Range" (with the deer and the antelope). Technically, these spoilsports are correct. Nevertheless, there is a long written record of the word "buffalo" being used to refer to the American Bison—not to mention all the popular songs, images and folktales. For millenia, bison roamed much of North America: Alaska, Canada, the United States, and part of Mexico. But hunting of the shaggy bovids decimated their numbers; the bison population fell from a high of 60 million (in the...

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Abingdon Pottery

Abingdon Sanitary Manufacturing Company, in Knoxville, Illinois, was founded in 1908 and remains in business to this day. Their initial business was making plumbing fixtures—sinks, toilets, urinals, water fountains—and their exceptional quality made them the gold standard for the industry. They used a dense, heavy white clay (some of it imported from England) which created very durable and watertight fixtures with beautifully smooth surfaces.  In 1928, they became the first manufacturer to produce colored fixtures.  In 1933, they were chosen to produce all the plumbing fixtures for the World's Fair in Chicago.

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Bottoms Up!

The word "Stein" derives from the German word Steinkrug meaning "stoneware jug" (stein = stone and krug = jug). Despite the name, German steins have been made of many different materials over the years: wood, ceramic (stoneware), glass (crystal), or metal. And, while they originated as simple, uncovered drinking vessels, today we think of the classic stein as being highly-decorated and covered (usually with a metal lid).  That lid became popular in the 1300's—during the Plague—in order to keep fleas and flies (believed to transmit the bubonic bacteria) out of one's beer.

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Slag Glass

In old glass factories, where craftsmen were making objects out of colored glass, any broken pieces, scraps or bits of leftover glass would be tossed into a pile called the "slag heap." Every now and then, the artisans would scoop-up a shovelful of this random, mixed-color glass for use in making a one-of-a-kind art glass piece—perhaps a bowl, a lamp shade, or a sheet of flat glass to be used for a stained glass window.  Such one-off pieces of glass were called "slag glass."

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Two Weeks to Go!

Although our Holiday gatherings will be smaller this year, need they be less jolly?  This set of eight rocks glasses, made in the Seventies, will bring a seasonal flair to your gathering—no matter how small. Whether used for milk (and cookies), eggnog, or something a bit stronger, the bold red and green "stained glass" lettering will remind you exactly which season you're celebrating.

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It's Almost Here!

One more day!  Hanukkah begins tomorrow night! Blue, silver and white, the classic colors of Hanukkah.  I have always loved this color combination. It's clean. It's wintery. And it's a sophisticated alternative to the classic red and green which is associated with Christmas. For me, it's become a "holiday palette cleanser," so to speak. So from where (and when) do the Hanukkah colors derive?

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Remarkable "Ships of the Desert"

As wonderful as these cast iron bookends from the Twenties are, the camels they depict are even more remarkable creatures!  Their ability to survive in harsh, arid climes have earned them the nickname "The Ships of the Desert." There are two basic varieties of domesticated camels: the single-humped Dromedary Camel found in Arabia (94% of camels) and the larger two-humped Bactrian Camel of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan). Camels were first domesticated around 3000 years BC—and have been a reliable source of milk, meat and transport ever since.

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"A Day Which Will Live in Infamy"

On a sleepy Sunday morning, 7 December 1941, 353 Imperial Japanese airplanes approached the US naval base of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. Without warning (or any declaration of war), Japan attacked the US at 7:48 am.  By the next day, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt would declare war on the Japanese Empire, thus entering America into World War Two.  Three days after that, Germany and Japan would both declare war on the United States (though they had no treaty obligation with Japan to do so).  While Japan was attacking the Hawaiian installation, it was also attacking other American and British military sites in the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Japanese goal was to disable the US...

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Keep Going!

"If you're going though Hell, keep going."  - Winston Churchill Remember national leadership? Admittedly, 2020 was a tough year.  But it was hardly the worst year in human history. In fact, it was not even the worst year in American history.  And yet, we still pine for the days when our national leader would actually . . . well . . . lead. One could do worse than to study Winston Churchill for lessons in leadership.  His famous saying, quoted above, didn't paint a rosy picture.  Churchill didn't try to distract, dissemble or deceive.  Churchill didn't tell the British people that they were "rounding-the bend."  He acknowledged the challenges they faced and told his people to push-on.  People find comfort...

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Summer's Remembrance

Evocative of the flaming ball of fire in the summer's sky, the swirling "molten" orange and yellow glazes on this English Art Deco vase seemingly throb with heat. Sculpted "fiddleheads" (or are they solar flares?) encircle the shoulders of the vase, adding additional movement to the piece. It was made by Pilkington Royal Lancastrian in the Thirties—though it does seem to reflect both the Arts & Crafts and the Art Deco aesthetics.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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Three Weeks To Go

With Christmas but three weeks away, perhaps a little "hostess gift" would help make your season bright. This set of six highball tumblers are decorated with a handsomely illustrated Victorian Christmas tree. A gold band rims the top of each glass—which is not purely decorative, it also helps to protect the glass from chipping. Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Awaiting the Golden Age

At the heart of The Eternal City lies the "Forum Romanum"—an expansive, sunken field of remarkable (though ruined) temples, arches and remnants of other ancient buildings, most over 2,000 years old. The Roman Forum was the center of life in the bustling ancient city, the place where government activity, judicial trials, mercantile trading, even gladiatorial events competed for space cheek-by-jowl. And for five centuries (from the Renaissance to the present), the Forum has provided rich inspiration for artists, architects and designers, each seeking insight into the timeless, classic beauty of a romanticized past.

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Win'try Crystal

When I buy a set of vintage glasses, I always aim for a group of at least six (and preferably eight). But, every now and then, I find a set of four glasses which is so nice—of such good quality—that I cannot bear to pass-them-by. So here we are: behold a set of four crystal wineglasses with hand-cut radiant notching and faceted balustrade stems. The "ring" is beautiful—and the crisp quality of the leaded glass is beyond dispute. So, for those people of good taste who live in small homes, here's something you may like. Click on the photo to learn more about them.   Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!...

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December Frost

Although winter is still three weeks away, one wouldn't know that by looking outside my door!  I was greeted this morning with four inches of snow and a 28º chill.  Neither the cold nor the snow stopped all day long. Already I'm asking myself, "How am I going to make it through the winter (once it comes)?" Today is the First of December—a month whose birthstone is the turquoise.  Turquoise has been prized for thousands of years—first by the Egyptians, then the Chinese and the Persians, later the Aztecs, and eventually the Native Americans of the Southwest United States.  The name derives from the French word for "Turks"—for it was through Turkey that the first turquoise came to Europe from...

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"The Young Style"

    The Art Nouveau Movement sprung-up in many different countries around the world—mostly within a three decade period (about 1890 through the Teens). In general, the different "schools of design" (which had different names in different places) marked a decisive break from the prevailing popular style—and relied on greater handcraft, "honest materials," and simplified, organic design. Some of these movements originated with a social, political, or national philosophy. But the Art Nouveau aesthetic was also utilized in some commercial-scale production (a seeming contradiction, given the earliest roots of the movement). In Germany, the Art Nouveau aesthetic was called Jugendstil—the "Young Style" (or the "New Style). Like its other Art Nouveau cousins, the German version utilized materials in their natural form (like...

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Snowball

I have always liked matte white pottery and keep a personal collection myself—on the wide windowsill over my kitchen sink. The simplicity of color contributes a fresh and clean look without appearing industrial or sterile. And the form of each piece can be appreciated clearly, without the optical effects (or distraction) which darker colors sometimes contribute. When assembling a white ceramics grouping, some people are sticklers for maintaining the purity of one particular shade of white—be it cool, warm, bluish, pinkish, or yellowish. I appreciate this discipline, but am a little more relaxed about my personal grouping.  I find that, once you have enough pieces, a "palette" of whites can look wonderful together (within a controlled range). For example, if you...

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A Peach of a Bowl

Occasionally, I'll uncover something which I have never seen before. I will know nothing about its age, maker, or place of origin. I'll have no intellectual reference by which to value it.  But I will recognize something of quality—and a little voice which says, "Don't put this back."  This bowl is just such an item.  I found it at a house auction in nearby Ohio. It is clearly Modernist in design. The weight of the crystal and the quality of the hand-cutting are superb. And the peach colored crystal is sublime.  Is it something from the Modernist Period?  Or is it something made—indeed, well made—recently (or even today)?  I'm not a glass expert, nevertheless, I acquired the piece. Whether it's recent or vintage,...

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Off to the Races!

Today is Black Friday, the so-called "Biggest Shopping Day of the Holiday Season" (more about this later).  My first "professional" Black Friday was in 1985 as a 22 year old, brand new department manager at G. Fox Department Store in Hartford, Connecticut.  The tables on my "pad" (retail speak for the carpeted area that defines the boundaries of a department) were piled-high with sweaters and poly-knit turtlenecks—all marked down from $28 to "the magic price point" of $19.99.  It was a whirlwind season for this recent college graduate. I spent my time just getting through the day: helping old ladies find their sizes, filling-in new merchandise, keeping the cash registers humming, and marking-down new items as panicked buyers (in the...

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Thanksgiving Wishes

Wishing you a bountiful harvest and hoping you have much to be thankful for. Despite the challenges of "these times," I am grateful for numerous blessings—large and small—which grace my life: my home, my family, friends and customers. Thank you for being a part of my many blessings!

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Bearing Gifts

Christmas is but one month from today!  Enter three "wise men"—following a star, seeking the truth, bearing their gifts. Though we usually envision the "kings" carrying grandly theatrical and precious canisters (holding the gold, frankincense and myrrh), in truth, the travelers probably carried caskets or covered vessels that were far more modest—like the copper canister shown above.  Though humble, this canister exhibits the skill of a talented artisan—who hammered the piece freehand, from a single ingot of copper, using only a hammer, tongs and an anvil.  No mould or form was used—just a variety of hammers with differing peens—and the craftsman needed to 1) raise the piece from the ingot, 2) create a balanced form in the correct shape, 3)...

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Temperature Falling

We're now two-thirds of the way through Autumn—and the temperature is really starting to decline.  It's time to finish putting-away my plants for the winter, to cut back anything that will hibernate through the cold and (hopefully) come back next spring, and to turn-off the water sources to outside spigots and hoses. Embrace the chill in style with this English Arts & Crafts "thermometer plaque."  While the mercury thermometer is Dutch-made, the hammered-brass plaque is pure English Arts & Crafts (c. 1900).  Summery cherry branches bear fruit and leaves—reminding us that Summer does come back every year.   

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The Sea in Siena

Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, is known for many things: Saint Catherine (Doctor of the Church), the annual Palio horserace (in the city's expansive square), the grand Cathedral (completed in 1263), and, of course, the coveted honey-caramel Siena marble, used to make the bowl shown here. Siena marble is hand-carved into this handsome (and heavy) Italian bowl—fashioned in the shape of a scalloped seashell (often an attribute which identifies Saint James).  Use it as a handsome solution for holding business cards, clips, candies, cigarette ashes, or even the contents of an emptied pocket. 

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Misty Landscape

A stand of trees punctuates the misty, hand-painted landscape on this Arts & Crafts style stoneware plate—framed with a crystalline, dark green glazed border.  It is signed indistinctly and appears to be the work of a talented artist in the somewhat recent past (the last 40 years?).  While it's probably not an antique, it has wonderful style and great glazing.  Until I ship it, I'll be keeping it on my Stickley coffee table—surrounded by green Arts & Crafts "siblings," all about 100 years older.

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Brassy Bells . . .

The base of this Edwardian English desk bell is solid cast brass.  But the dome—the "musical part"—is cast of polished "bell metal" which is a variety of bronze which produces a beautifully resonant "ding!"  It was made around 1910 and would have sat on a hotel reception desk or a smart shop counter.

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Pretty Please!

This little ceramic pup is begging, "Pretty Please!"  He knows that there will be a presidential inauguration just two months from today!  Frozen in anticipation, he's waiting to bark with glee when his candidate sails-through.   But expect a howl if his vote is overturned. This little terrier was modeled by Danish sculptor Knud Kyhn for Royal Copenhagen.  This pup, bearing a date mark of 1980, was designed years earlier.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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Double Bison

Most pairs of bookends comprise two interchangeable members—two bookends from the same mould, modeled identically. This was a concession to ease and expense (and usually worked just fine for most purposes).  But, when a bookend maker wanted to take things to the next level, they created a "mirrored" pair of bookends, like the Bisons shown above.  To make a mirrored pair of bookends required a lot more work—at every stage of design, production and handling.  First, two different models needed to be crafted (one facing in each direction).  Likewise, two different moulds needed to be made and maintained.  Then, as the bookends were finished, packed and shipped, it was not enough to just grab two bookends; rather, a pair had to...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Lion's Claw

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. Let's end with LEO—or, rather, two LEOs! Our 44th President (indeed, a LEO) beams, surrounded by a frame decorated with stylized "Lion's Claws."  It's one of the heavier frames in the collection, designed with substance and gravitas. Click on the photo...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Rope

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. This frame style, surrounded with a twisting "rope" border, is the first style I ordered for the shop.  It is such a classic—and always perfect for your photo of an "outdoorsy" scene, anything nautical or a handsome son or grandson. Click on...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Thin Ridge

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. If you're looking for a subtle, understated frame, this option may be your best choice.  While the frame design does nothing to compete with the photo (in fact, it rather recedes), it is certainly not boring (see the detail shot, below).  And,...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Checkerboard

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. This handsome "Checkerboard" frame is both classic and quite modern.  It has a crisp and orderly border design which is fashion-forward and, yet, timeless.  This example shows a 3" x 4" size (though other sizes are also available).  Please click on...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Art Deco Corners

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. The Art Deco period may be the high-water mark of commercially-produced photo frame design and manufacturing.  Such classic Deco style takes center stage in this frame—crisply-ribbed & beaded and punctuated with corner scallops which draw the eye centerward.  Click on the photo...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Heavy Spring

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. The heavily-ribbed "Spring-form" border on this frame gives it a substance and seriousness—anchoring your photo with handsome elegance. Amongst our frames, this is one of the "heavier" offerings (in weight and in visual presence). Please click on the photo above to...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Pearled

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. The string of pearls which surrounds this frame, gives an air of understated glamour to any photo within it.  Like the gentle lights surrounding a backstage dressing mirror (or the chaser lights on a theatre marquee), the design hints at Twenties celebrity—but...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Greek Key

This week I am sharing some of my favorite pewter photo frames with you.  Sadly, the New York City workshop which designs and produces these frames is closing after 40 years of quality manufacturing.  As of today, I still have a nice assortment of styles and sizes, though, alas, I will no longer be able to replace the pieces as they sell.  Click here to jump to the LEO Design "Frames" offering and scroll downward to the pewter frames. I'll buy anything with a simple, crisp "Greek Key" motif on it!  I consider it the handsomest of graphic elements—whether on a building, interior moulding, etched on glass, or cast on a handsome frame.  To me, it is the perfect combination...

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Farewell to a Favorite: Double Beaded

Though the news isn't uncommon, it is always unexpected and heartbreaking: another one of my beloved vendors is going-out-of-business.  This time, it's my favorite frame-maker.  As a merchant, it's thrilling enough to find a high-quality product—made to exacting, old-time standards—but when that item happens to be manufactured in New York City, well, that's wonderful, indeed! After 40 years, Ruth and Constantine Elias are closing-up their manufacturing workshop in Queens, New York.  For the last 25 of those years, they were nearly always my highest-volume vendor source (and always in the top three).  Their frames were in my store on Day One, on my first day of trading in August of 1995 (on Bleecker Street). As LEO Design got bigger and more...

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Now We Return to Previously-Scheduled Programming...

After months of campaigning (65 months, by my count), what could be more refreshing—more palette cleansing—than a nice fresh, green piece of Arts & Crafts pottery?  And here it is.  Made by Weller in the early Twentieth Century, it boasts that classic American Arts & Crafts matte green glaze—natural, calming, restorative. What could be more delightful right now?  Think of it as a nice crisp salad after two weeks of buffets and dessert tables.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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One Still Standing

Yesterday, just before Noon (US Eastern Time), the election was called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  The POD (Party of Democracy) will take the White House in January! There's a chance that the losing side, the GOP, will attempt to confuse the legitimacy of the results or sue-their-way to delaying the awarding of office.  This could have terrible results for the nation; in the midst of a pandemic, it's important that a new administration is brought-in by the outgoing administration in order to come-up to speed before Inauguration Day.  May "The Good of the Nation" become everyone's greatest goal.

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Getting Closer!

As of early Saturday morning, the Democrat's lead seems insurmountable.  And, yet, the press seems unwilling to acknowledge Joe Biden's win.  Some say it's because this year's election is so uniquely unpredictable—with so many mail-in ballots, loads of provisional ballots and a stark partisan difference between those who voted by mail and those voted in-person on Election Day.  Others speculate that the media is intimidated by President Trump—or, perhaps, giving him a sporting chance to make-up some ground before announcing the inevitable.  Hopefully, any day now...

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Head-to-Head

The count continues and the head-to-head battle continues!  The POD is in the lead—but stay tuned: the numbers can change as the mail-in ballots are delivered and counted! This little mascot of the Dems, the Donkey, has the letters K-I-C-K marked to the bottom of each hoof.  "Kick Ass!"  To learn more about him, please click on the photo above.

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Still Dueling

All the votes were cast by Tuesday—and, yet, the counting still goes on!  The duel will continue until all votes are received, organized and counted—and no one's precisely sure when that may be. These little bronze creatures represent the mascots of the two largest political parties: the elephant represents the GOP (the "Grand Ol' Party" or the Republicans) and the POD (the "Party of Democracy," also known as the Democrats).  Please click on the photo above to learn more about the elephant.

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Patient Update: Pulse Located, Still Kickin'

After an exhausting 15 hours at my polling place yesterday—as a poll worker—I was looking-forward to a nice dinner at home and a decisive outcome to the election.  I got a nice dinner. There was no immediate "knockout blow"—to either candidate.  As of Wednesday, the two candidates remain locked in a tight national race (which should have been expected).   With the game now in the Third Quarter, no side knows the final score.  The game needs to be played-out—which means every ballot marked (on or before election day) needs to be counted.  To allow otherwise is to ignore (or suppress) The People's Voice. As for Pennsylvania, my new and recent home, I'm the first to admit that it's a crazy quilt of...

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The End of the Trail

For five long years, America has been running-in-place—enduring an election campaign that just won't end.   While the contesting may not cease tomorrow (and chances are, it won't), it is, nevertheless, The End of the Trail.  Tomorrow the voting will end and we will wait as final ballots are received and counted.  May the good team win. These bookends, made in the 1920's, depict a bas relief representation of James Earle Fraser's End of the Trail sculpture.  Fraser, moved by the plight of Native Americans displaced from their homelands, sculpted an exhausted Indian atop his (equally exhausted) horse who have been pushed West, to the edge of the Pacific—where they can go no further.  Fraser began working on the idea as early...

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All Saints' Day

Today is All Saints' Day, the day when all the saints in Heaven (known and unknown) are honored and celebrated.  It is preceded by All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) and followed by All Souls' Day on 2 November. The bookends shown here capture the important French Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.  Built during the 13th through 15th Centuries, it has long been the site of the coronation of French kings.  From 1415 to 1429, the English occupied the city of Reims—and its cathedral—thus preventing the traditional coronation of King Charles VII.  Enter Saint Jeanne d'Arc who led the French Army to defeat the English, threw them out, liberated the city, and took-back the Cathedral so that Charles could be crowned.  Click...

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Never Stop Pushing!

Changing a country—its culture, its people, its leadership—can seem Sisyphean.  Push as one might, the change just doesn't seem to occur.  But when The People all push together, change can happen, as difficult as it may appear.  Keep pushing and please vote! These bronze clad and patinated bookends were sculpted by Hungarian artist Julio Kilenyi  (1885 - 1959) and made in the 1920's.  They capture beautifully the spirit of "The Builder"—in the form of a straining human body—pushing with tremendous effort to achieve human progress.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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On the Prowl

2020 is my first presidential election in Pennsylvania and all I can say is, "Benji, I don't think we're in Chelsea anymore...".  Having previously lived in reliably blue states—Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York—I have never been subject to the "swing state crush" of advertising and campaign attention that is endured in a state like Pennsylvania.  In fact, I was unprepared for the "performance anxiety" that comes with living in such a state—responding to desperate enquiries from friends in all those blue states.  And, of course, not wanting to let them (and my country) down.  And I still have not gotten used to presidential candidates coming frequently to my state—and, oftentimes, my city!  They are candidates on-the-prowl for...

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Home & Hearth

Autumn is surely here—with a decided nip in the air.  How nice it would be to sit with the feet-up, in front of the fireplace!  Instead, I find myself glued to the news, tracking the latest variance in the polling data.  Soon, soon we can rest—unplug, tune-out and repair. This pair of cast iron bookends were made in the 1930's by Bradley & Hubbard (Meriden, Connecticut).  Their heavy and solid mass will hold-up your favorite tomes (which you can read by the fireside).  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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The Home Stretch!

Just yesterday, in New York City, a news reporter asked an early voter (who was standing in a very long line), "How long have you been waiting to vote?"  Her reply?  "Four years!" Today marks the start of The Final Week before Election Day 2020, the day on which votes start to be counted.  I won't speculate if that particular Tuesday evening will be decisive—for it may take a couple of weeks to count the millions of early ballots.  But we can easily wait a few weeks to make sure the People's Will is properly recorded. But I will say this: Please vote!  People have died to expand voting rights beyond the view of The Originalists.  And, while one vote may...

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Before the Fall

Eve luxuriates in The Garden of Eden, reclining upon a date tree.  Is it the Tree of Knowledge?  We are witness to the final days Before the Fall; quiet, natural, complete perfection.  Oh, how far we've come. Poor Eve!  For centuries, (male) preachers and theologians have tried to pin her for The Fall.  And, it's true, Eve did acquire Knowledge before her husband did.  But, as I read Genesis, I see that God personally instructed Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge (before Eve was even created).  But we do not hear God giving the same directive to Eve.  Nevertheless, many people (unfairly) blame the woman more than her man. The story gets even more dramatic after they've eaten.  Even as...

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Grand Poet

One of America's greatest poets was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He was born to a prominent, well-educated family in Portland, Maine (then a part of Massachusetts) in 1807. At the age of 15, he began studying at Bowdoin College (which had been founded by his grandfather). He graduated in two-and-a-half years, after which he toured Europe for three years—learning French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German in the process. While in Madrid, Longfellow befriended fellow writer Washington Irving who encouraged the young poet to continue his pursuit of writing. After returning to the United States, Longfellow began teaching at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard. Longfellow's first wife, Mary Storer Potter, was a childhood friend from Portland.  While on a trip together to Europe, she suffered...

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Will Our Ship Come In?

I can see it on the horizon!  Or . . . I think I can.  It's our ship!  Coming-in! The next ten days will be tense, indeed.  But keep your eyes on the horizon.  That ship is due—very soon!  Rescue is at hand! This pair of cast iron bookends, from the 1920's, show a handsomely-sculpted galleon plying choppy seas.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Silent as the Grave

The Great Sphinx of Giza gazes eastward, over the River Nile—which, for millennia, was the source of life in the flat, sandy lands of the Giza Plateau.  Some historians consider it the oldest surviving sculpture in the world, built around 2500 BC for the Pharaoh Khafre (and bearing that pharaoh's face).  It was originally carved out of bedrock but has been restored (over the last 4,500 years) with blocks of stone.  It stands 66 feet tall (at the head) and 240 feet long (head to tail). These bookends are a stylized representation of the great sculpture—though reinterpreted though the lens of Art Deco fashion of the 1920's.  When Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered (98 years ago, next week), it kicked-off a...

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Dog Fight

Tonight is the final presidential debate of the 2020 election—or, at least, it is scheduled to be.  Last week's debate was cancelled abruptly when the president backed-out of the event.  Candidate Biden opted to join a Miami town hall in its place. These dogs—bookends, actually—are interesting in that they are fully-sculpted all the way around.  If not holding-up books, they would make nice pair of (light) doorstops or look dashing as (two) handsome canine sculptures.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Elephant Walk

Lest some of my friends (well...let's make that relatives) across-the-aisle feel a bit left-out, here's an elephant—the lumbering mascot (with a long memory) of the Grand Ol' Party.  The population of elephants is on a steep decline.  In the wild, at least, this breaks my heart.  So I'll always have a soft spot for the peaceful pachyderm.  And I will always try to keep a nice selection of elephant bookends for my like-minded customers.  Note that this pair of bookends is "mirrored"—that is, cast from two different moulds which allows the pair to face each other.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about this handsome pair of bookends.

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Joust A Fort Knight!

In just a fortnight, our modern day jousters will appear before the judges—and we, The People, will render the score.  May the better team win!  (And by "win," I mean receive the most votes.) These bookends, made in the 1920's or 1930's, are bronze clad, patinated and hand-painted with touches of vibrant color.  They capture all the energy, tension and anticipation of a great match to come.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Dance! Dance! Dance!

Is that a distant drum beat?  Boom, boom, boom.  I've been hearing it for weeks. Boom, boom, boom.  Election Eve comes in two weeks. Boom, boom, boom.  Get that ballot in!  And then, get ready to dance! These cast iron bookends scream Art Deco!  A dancer flexes on his foliated stage—a healthy measure of Radio City Music Hall and a generous touch of Nijinsky in Afternoon of a Faun.  I  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Slay the Dragon

Saint George was an early Greek Christian who was born in Cappadocia (modern day Turkey) to a Roman Army soldier.  He died on 23 April 303.  Legend tells us of a fearsome dragon that demanded human sacrifices.  The people, attempting to placate the dragon, had offered-up a young maiden as his next meal.  This is when Saint George came along, slaying the dragon, saving the woman, and setting the captive people free. But the myth of Saint George did not become popular until many centuries later.  The first known written record of the legend is from the 11th Century.  As the Crusades ramped-up, and soldiers from different countries came together in the Holy Land, the story of Saint George and...

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Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power.  And those who have the knowledge are most likely to become powerful.  For millennia, the best transmission of knowledge was through books.  Oral storytelling, on the other hand, has always been subject to the accurate recall of the listeners and the agendas of a line of subsequent storytellers.   The written word, on the other hand, allowed knowledge to be recorded in a way that was less likely to be changed over time (as long as the original manuscripts survived, and raises a different issue).  The problem was, very few people were literate.  Reading and writing were the domain of the highly educated—poets, clerics and scribes.  For this reason, the display of books (and images of people reading)...

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Fala-La-La-La

"Fala" was President Roosevelt's beloved black Scottish Terrier, perhaps the most famous of White House pets.  Fala often traveled with the president, whether by auto, train, boat or plane.  The press (and political cartoonists) loved to share Fala's stories of life in the White House.  The dog was such a popular Democrat that even the opposition party attacked him when they could.  Republicans complained bitterly that Fala once had been left-stranded during a trip with FDR to the Aleutian Islands—requiring the president to send a US Navy destroyer back to collect the little rascal.  FDR made short work of his Republican critics; soon after, at a Teamsters' dinner and speech (which was radio-broadcast nationwide), Roosevelt pummeled the opposition for fabricating "libelous statements about my...

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Night and Day

Michelangelo was in high demand.  Just because the Pope had conscripted him for four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (plus another five years to paint The Last Judgement), it did not follow that other rich patrons would surrender their final wish: an impressive, custom-carved, Michelangelo Buonarotti tomb!  Popes, cardinals, bankers and kings stood in-line, waiting for Il Divino to start chiseling.  Michelangelo designed many ambitious (and over-the-top) tombs for his fervent patrons.  Alas, the artist rarely finished many of  his complete original designs.  Nevertheless, just the pieces of tombs which he created are masterpieces—amongst the greatest works of any human hand (ever).  His Pietà—so beautiful it makes the heart race—was carved by the 24 year old artist for...

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Leaps & Bounds

The tension is growing—by leaps and bounds—as the candidates stump, the pundits parse, and the votes are submitted by mail or early voting.  It should all come to a crescendo on 3 November (20 days from today!).  But that may not be the end of it!  Mailed-in ballots will need to be counted.  And there is always the chance that a candidate (or his party) may contest the results.  How much more can you take? An athletic gazelle leaps into action—ready to hold-up your precious tomes.  Made in the 1920's, this handsome pair of bookends is big on Art Deco style.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

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Steel City

In the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, Pittsburgh was one of the engines of America's national economic growth.  It was the height of American Industrialism and Pittsburgh was the heavy hitter.  Great fortunes were made in The Steel City—Carnegie, Frick, Mellon, Scaife, Heinz, Westinghouse—and they were fortunes which endowed other American cities (like New York and Washington, DC).  There were big companies, like US Steel, which (at its peak) employed hundreds of thousands of employees.  But there were many hundreds of smaller companies which serviced the giants or further-processed the raw material produced by the behemoths. Such a focus on industry came at a great cost.  It was terribly polluting.  It perpetuated a "caste system" that insured there always would be many more low-paid, interchangeable...

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Bravo, Rafa!

Congratulations to Spanish tennis paragon, Rafael Nadal, who won his thirteenth French Open championship yesterday afternoon in Paris.  "Rafa," who was ranked Number Two in the world, beat the Number One ranked player, Novak Djokavic of Serbia.  Although the two players were well matched for a competitive encounter, Nadal beat Djokavic quickly in three out of three sets (making for an early evening).  I was expecting a four or five hour game!  It seemed that Djokavic wasn't sufficiently pumped-up for the match.  Just weeks earlier, he had been disqualified from the US Open (in New York) after he carelessly swatted a ball into the neck of a crouching line judge.  It's been a tough year for the Number One player—though...

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Coming-Out

Today is National Coming-Out Day.  Every 11 October—since 1988—the day has been celebrated to encourage members of the LGBT community to come-out to friends, family and colleagues.  Since homophobia and bigotry fester in conditions of deception, lies and silence, coming-out is a powerful way to educate the broader community that gay people are contributing and valued members of the society at large.  How can bigots remain bigoted when they know and love openly gay friends, colleagues, children, siblings, parents or other family members? The bronze sculpture, shown above, was created by artist Luke Gwilliam in the 1950's.  It portrays a lithe man, removing his tight garments—perhaps symbolic of a gay person freeing him/herself from the binding restraints of a restrictive society....

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"Ex Scientia Tridens"

On this day in 1845, the United States Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland. The Academy's motto, Ex Scientia Tridens, is the Latin for the phrase "From Knowledge, Sea Power."  It's comforting to know that some US leaders still appreciate the important link between knowledge and power! 33 miles from Washington, DC, the Academy admits 1,200 "plebes" each year (also called "Midshipmen") and graduates about 1,000 students as new officers, mostly for the US Navy or Marine Corps.  A prospective student must be 17 to 23 years of age, unmarried, without children, and be of good moral character.  Applicants are tested for physical, intellectual and emotional fitness and must have the recommendation of their state's US Senator, Representative or Delegate.  The...

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Three Cheers for the Postal Union!

The Universal Postal Union was formed in Switzerland in 1874.  It was the first step to create an international postal network—and provided the start of a global communications revolution, allowing the efficient and reliable delivery of letters and other mail around the globe.  On this day in 1969, the United Nations  declared 9 October "World Post Day," in commemoration of the founding of the Universal Postal Union. America's Postal Service deserves a round of applause—and recognition for just how important it is to the lifeblood of The Nation.  Postal employees are working under extreme stress; their equipment is being disabled by partisan political appointees while destructive changes to processing practices are being imposed from the top.  The goal?   To slow the delivery of the...

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World Space Week

We are in the middle of "World Space Week"—held each year from the 4th to the 10th of October.  In 1999, the United Nations dedicated this week to the "international celebration of science and technology and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition."  95 countries observe the commemoration. The rocket, shown above, is actually a cast-bronze bank.  It can be opened (with a screwdriver) and will really make a sci-fi statement on your desk or bookshelf.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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Framed!

As the sentimental story goes, "Tramp Art" handcrafts were made by down-on-their-luck men who scavenged for the raw materials (fruit crates, wooden cigar boxes) then designed, cut and assembled the pieces, often using simple notch-cut "serrations" to create an elegant (yet folksy) decorative flourish to their creations.  Personally, I believe that such chip-carved works were made by a far-broader range of people: weekend hobbyists, shop class students, even cottage industry souvenir producers.  Whether these nostalgic stories are true or not, I nevertheless admire and like to collect Tramp Art frames, boxes and sculpture.  They have a sophisticated—yet casual—elegance and always radiate the warmth of a painstakingly handcrafted object.  This frame, above, would make the perfect home for a woodsy photograph...

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No Lion!

No Lion!  Election Day is only four weeks from today! If you're not yet registered, do so!  And if you are, send-in that ballot.  Every vote makes a difference!  (No Lion!). This spelter sculpture shows a lion atop a mountaintop.  It has been hand-painted and you may learn more about it by clicking on the photo above.

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World Teachers' Day

Today we celebrate UNESCO's World Teachers' Day—and remember those wonderful teachers who taught us, formed us and made us who we are today. Besides one's parents, no one provides a greater influence on one's life than does his or her teachers.  Oh, how I loved going to school—and how sad I was to say goodbye (and thank you) to a beloved teacher.  Even today, more than 50 years later, I can remember so clearly certain moments in the classroom.  They are memories—and lessons—which will remain with me all my days. The school bell. shown above, was made in England in the late Nineteenth Century.  Its Aesthetic Movement design extends up the shaft to a nicely-turned  ebonywood final atop the beautifully...

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Mirror, Mirror

Have a last-minute check before your next Zoom call—with this heavy and handsome Gent's Faux Staghorn Bevelled Hand Mirror.  A small silver chevron, as yet unengraved, adorns the back.  It was made in the 1910's or 1920's and has just the right amount of visible age to the glass. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.

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Bear With It

Oy!  Exactly one more month to go!  On 3 November, the voting will have ended and the counting will have begun.  Within a week or two of that, most of the ballots should have been counted and The American Will should be known.  Until then, we must bear things as best we can. I received my Pennsylvania ballot today, Saturday, and will mail-it-back on Monday.  I plan to drop it into the interior lobby slot of my local post office.   If you haven't yet, VOTE!  Whether you vote by mail, vote early in-person, or vote at the polls on Election Day, your voice is critical.  It's true, one lone voice can appear powerless.  But, when combined with the voices of...

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

Oh, but for the Coronavirus—I would be in Hawaii right this minute, celebrating my father's 85th birthday!  Oh well.  Happy Birthday, Dad! Having fathered me, my dad—Jim Jung—is by default the grand-father of LEO Design. But he played a role in its inception, too.  Spool-back to the hot and humid summer of 1995.  My family was returning from their summer holiday in Europe—specifically France and Switzerland—and they had planned to stay with me in Manhattan for a few days before returning to Kauai.  Although LEO Design (as a concept) was in-the-works, the lease was signed—and I received the store key—the day they landed at JFK.  Thus, conveniently, I had a helpful (and free) cleaning crew staying in my apartment.  We all spent a...

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