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Notes from the Road – part V

All right, so they aren’t the jolliest of Handsome Gifts, but they would be welcomed—and useful!—in your home during the Holidays.  I’ve bought a handful of trays on this trip, two of them shown in the photo above.  The first, on top, is hammered from a single sheet of copper.  Sensuous corners lead to rolled […]

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Notes from the Road – part IV

Here you’ll see a downward shot of and English bowl, handmade and decorated around 1939, by Royal Doulton.  Perhaps a Western interpretation of Middle Eastern design, it is glazed in a soothing combination of aqua and rich navy blue.  Please come by the shop to see it in person;  the piece should be in-shop (with […]

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Notes from the Road – part III

While not outrightly “Christmassy,” I thought these cufflinks—which I’ve just purchased from a Belgian collector in London—might bring a certain “Secessionist Cheer” to someone’s shirtcuffs.    Certainly, the spruce green.  Perhaps the round shape.  Could it be a downward view of a Modernist Christmas tree? This pair is but one of many new sets of […]

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Notes from the Road – part II

Art Deco—unlike Arts & Crafts—lent itself to modern manufacturing techniques and new, industrial materials.  Thus, Art Deco thrived in the post World War I decades and scratched the “aesthetic itch” of a growing middle class. Shown above, a (really cool!) pair of salt and pepper shakers made of the useful industrial plastic, Bakelite. Depress the […]

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Notes from the Road – part I

Today I am in London, making a last-minute push to find more Handsome Gifts for your Holiday giving.  Over the past twenty years, I have befriended many collectors of the kinds of things I love.  Interestingly, many of these relationships began when these people were customers in my shop;  today, I am more likely to […]

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Another Theory . . .

In yesterday’s journal entry, I crept-out onto a limb with my theory of Native American design inspiration.  Today I’ll inch-out a bit further: I believe the piece above, made by Carstens in post-war West Germany, references ancient Etruscan design.  But the Germans weren’t simply imitating the ceramics of ancient Central Italy.  It seems they were […]

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Southwestern Inspiration

From the first moment I laid eyes on this piece, it reminded me of a piece of Native American art pottery.  The shape is classic, not unlike an Indian ceramic vessel.  But it is the mantle of glaze-painted “feathers,” draped around the shoulder of the piece, which leads me to my conclusion.  Did North American […]

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Fohr for the Fourth

Today is the fourth of December (three weeks ’till Christmas!).  May we present an impressive piece made by Fohr?  This classic, two-handled urn-form vessel has a softly dappled surface treatment—only just visible below the crusty red and black pumice glazes. Made in post-war West Germany, it is thoroughly Modernist and, yet, it has the attitude […]

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Off to a Big Start

Over the next few days, I’ll share with you some of the newly-received pieces, now featured front-and-center at LEO Design.  And we’re off to a big start!  At 19+ inches tall, the piece above—made by Jopeko in West Germany in the 1960’s or 1970’s—would make a monumental vase, with plenty of stand-alone presence. It is […]

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It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

Over the past several weeks, I’ve worked overtime to re-build LEO Design’s collection of Modernist red art pottery.  The photo above shows the fruits of my labors.  Mostly made in the 1960’s and 1970’s and mostly made in Italy and Germany, the collection is featured on the shop’s front table—and will provide a cheery, Holiday […]

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Welcome, December

December is endowed with not one, not two, but three beautiful blue birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon.  What a beautiful and refreshing hue, well-suited to the chilly, long nights of December.  And what could look better against a snowy-white landscape than a variety of bright, clean blues? We end our recent run of newly-acquired cufflinks—now in-store—with this […]

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English Arts & Crafts

Amongst the nicest photo frames I’ve ever had, this English Arts & Crafts beauty is crafted of a heavy piece of hand-hammered copper mounted to a thick piece of quarter-sawn oak.  A pair of willowy repoussé tulips frame the central photo.  Truly a terrific piece of Arts & Crafts decorative objets—it surely won’t be in-store […]

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Viennese Brass

By now the turkey is consumed, the guests are gone, and the need for a big, groaning butler’s tray is over.  Perfect timing for this smallish brass tray.  Made in Secessionist Vienna, it is a “soft-rectangle,” gently hand-hammered, and decorated with a linear graphic design. Perfectly-sized for a few drinks or to stage the bottles […]

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A Black Bird on Black Friday

A lively black bird has just alighted to tell us: The Holiday Shopping Season is off and running!  Happy Black Friday! Carved by a Florida sculptor and embellished with antique “findings” these feathered friends straddle the aesthetics of folk art, Futurism, and The Edwardian.  They’d be right at home hopping-around in a Terry Gilliam film. […]

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Happy Thanksgiving

A sense of gratitude can contribute to a life of happiness.  I have many things to be grateful for—amongst them, my shop, my staff, and my customers.  Thank you all! Service to others can be fulfilling and rejuvenating.  On Thanksgiving, service may take the form of feeding friends and loved ones—or, perhaps, strangers or the […]

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What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve ?

At the end of the upcoming Holiday season—after Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Christmas—comes the New Year. End the season in high style with this handsome American Art Deco dress set. Black mother-of-pearl is shaped into convex octagons which serves to increase the material’s natural  luminescence. Make a splash at your New Year’s Eve soirée with […]

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A Rose E’er Blooming

With Christmas a month from today, the carol “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” is fitting. And so would be the cufflinks pictured above.  Made by Krementz in Newark, New Jersey in the 1930’s, they feature a soft rose enamel over radiant guilloché work and are finished with gold-plated backs. This pair—and many more recently-acquired […]

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A Bit of Stoney Cheer

While the agate comes from Scotland, the cufflinks were fashioned in England.  The result? A handsome and cheery touch on your shirt cuffs.  And while they would bring a festive note to your Holiday outfit, they would look equally good year ’round. These are but one pair of many newly-arrived cufflinks at LEO Design.  Come […]

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Art Deco Dress-Up

Though made in America in the 1930’s, I just found this Krementz Art Deco dress set in England—and have repatriated them for your perusal.  Made of black mother-of-pearl, they sport little seed pearls in the centers and boast nicely-finished gold-plated backings. This is but one example of the many newly-acquired cufflinks and dress sets now […]

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Victorian Sterling Botanical

Nice and heavy, these Victorian sterling silver cufflinks are decorated with scrolling botanical engraving and are hallmarked “Birmingham, 1891.”  They are part of a large, recently-acquired collection of stylish and handsome cufflinks—now in-store at LEO Design. Please click on the photo to learn more about this pair or come into the shop to choose amongst […]

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Presidential Buttons

Handsome and historical, these enameled sterling silver cufflinks have an interesting origin. They are replicas of first American president George Washington’s buttons from 18th Century England.  Made in the 1930’s (to commemorate the 200th anniversary of President Washington’s birth in 1734), they were still stitched-in to their original box when I found them—thus, they exhibit […]

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Argyle Art Deco

A bold “argyle” graphic—enameled in tangerine and sapphire—jumps from this pair of English Art Deco cufflinks, made in the 1930’s. Part of a large, recently-received collection of handsome vintage cufflinks—now in-store at LEO Design—this pair may be viewed by clicking on the photo above.  You are also welcome to come into the shop to see […]

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Wint’ry Icy Blue

There’s a chill in the air as we move towards the winter.  While these Icy Blue enameled cufflinks may not warm you up, they will help keep you in-style.  Made in the 1920’s or 1930’s, a “wavy” guilloché pattern is embedded under a light blue enameled surface. These are but one pair of many cufflinks […]

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Harlequin Deco

From the height of Art Deco Britain come these cufflinks embellished with bold red and black “Harlequin” enameling.  Crisp, confident, handsome, they are part of LEO Design’s recently-acquired vintage cufflinks. Please click on the photo, above, to learn more about this pair or come into the shop to see the entire range of newly-acquired cufflinks. […]

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Sailing into the Holidays

In our build-up to the Holidays, I’ve really expanded our collection of handsome, vintage cufflinks.  Over the next several days, I will share some of my recent acquisitions here in this journal. For example, the pair above, from the 1930’s, purchased from a collector in London.  Though perfect for summer, they would still make a […]

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Christmas Creeps In . . .

While I refuse to decorate before Thanksgiving Week, I have begun putting-out a few of the early-arriving Holiday items as they have come in.  Discreetly, of course. Last week it was the Holiday cards; now it’s a collection of hand-made, mouth-blown art glass ornaments.  Beautiful enough to display year ’round, these lovingly-crafted little treasures come […]

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High Arts & Crafts

Let’s conclude our “little parade” of newly-acquired antique frames with this (slightly flamboyant) English Arts & Crafts offering.  Made around the turn-of-the-century, it required quite a bit of craftsman’s skill to cut away all of the negative space in the scrolling, stylized botanical decoration.  Made of brass, it is stately and naturalistic—ideal for bringing a […]

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From The Land of the Rising Sun

While the world was being torn-apart by The Great War, it was also getting smaller. “Orientalism”—and a fascination with the East—had been the rage in Western Europe for the past several decades.  And now, thanks to modern transport, increased trade, and a growing upper middle class, some people were able to indulge their fantasy of […]

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English Brass

Finding small, antique photo frames is hard enough (not to mention costly).  So it is with excitement that I came across this large picture frame on my last trip to England.  It is commodious enough to hold one of today’s popular-sized photos and is sizable enough to make a classy statement. Please click on the […]

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For my Sweetheart . . .

The teens in England were not all doom and gloom.  People met, they engaged, they fell in love—as they always have and always will.  Photos were taken and photo frames were needed to preserve and display them.  The frame above—part of our new collection of antique frames—would have been used to house a treasured photo […]

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Four Years ’till Armistice

2014 marks the Centenary of the start of World War I.  Four years from today, we’ll mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.  “The Great War”, as it was called, introduced unprecedented horror and massive casualties—due, in part, to the use of new technology to maim and kill the enemy.  Very few families escaped the […]

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Victorian Gothic Revival

In the period of the Victorian English Gothic Revival—during which time the above brooch was made—architects, masons, ceramicists, and (yes) jewelers incorporated the aesthetic vocabulary of the Middle Ages into the design of their crafts.  The Gothic, in my opinion, was the high-point of the architectural profession.  Except, perhaps, for The Gothic Revival—which may have […]

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Scottish Agate

The Scots are so proud (and rightfully!) of their stones and they use them liberally in their jewelry and decorating.  Shown above, a Scottish variegated red agate brooch made during the Edwardian period. This is but one of the newly-acquired women’s brooches now in-store at LEO Design.  Please come into the shop to see the […]

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Scandinavian Carnelian

Though not English, I did buy this from a British collector in London.  It’s a Scandinavian Art Nouveau piece, not unlike Georg Jensen, where a carnelian cabochon lies atop a bed of stylized foliage.  Handsome and feminine. This is one of several women’s brooches I collected during my most recent buying trip to England.  Please […]

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A Nutcracker Suite

A pair of late-Victorian English silver-plated Aesthetic Movement nutcrackers—presented in a beautifully-lined gift box.  Though made in the 1880’s, they appear to have not had much use in their 130 years. These are but one example of the many newly-acquired “Handsome Gifts” I’ve been collecting and stocking of late.  As the Holidays approach, I will […]

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Napoleon III Candlesticks

A most handsome pair of candlesticks—just received in-store, just in time for your holiday table.  Made of “bell metal” bronze in Napoleon III’s France, they are substantial, a bit oversized, and very elegant (without being fussy). Please come into the shop to see them—and several more pairs of handsome, newly-acquired candlesticks.  Or click on the […]

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Make Your Voice Heard!

What are you doing reading this?  Go out and vote! Today is Election Day.  Exercise your most important right as an American; go to the polls! Thank you. Shown above, a set of Presidential Wooden Blocks.  Each cube presents a different U.S. president and includes interesting facts about his life and time in office.  Made […]

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Sculptural Modernist

Yesterday’s Red Modernist piece had a naive, folk-like quality to it.  Today’s selection, pictured above, is just the opposite—streamlined, crisp, sculptural. Made by the workshop Scheurich in the 1960’s, it is a vase which looks equally good when used for flowers or when enjoyed alone as a handsome piece of sculpture. This is one of […]

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From Italy

The words “Italian” and “Red” seem to go hand-in-hand—as the example above proves. This Italian Modernist vase, crafted in the 1960’s, was first hand-incised with a “rustic tilework” pattern, then finished with a brown-dappled red glaze.  Modern and primitive at the same time.  This piece is part of our newly-received Red Modernist pottery, now in-store for […]

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Red-Ripe Pottery

It seems that whenever I build-up my collection of red art pottery, a collector or interior designer comes along and clears me out!  With this in mind, I’ve been working overtime to re-fill my red pottery table.  Shown above is a small part of my recent acquisitions—pieces by Roth, Lehmann, and Scheurich—which I just purchased […]

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Possibly Persian

If not indeed Persian, then certainly Persian-inspired, these over-sized cufflinks will lend a dramic punctuation to your sleeve cuff.  Sapphire blue enameling flows amidst swirling, botanical vine work. An emerald green flower lies upon a little white pillow at center. Perfect for the large man—or large personality. Please click on the photo above to learn […]

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British Brown

Like the Tube map or tea bag advertising or the badge on the hood of an English car, these cufflinks are very 1930’s British.  The brown/cream/white enameling—combined with the soft, circular graphic design—screams (with restraint, of course) of that time between the wars when things were looking good and changing for the modern.  Straight-forward, sensible, […]

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A Cufflink for All Seasons

Perfectly autumnal—indeed, suitable any season of the year—these enameled sterling silver cufflinks are embellished with violet over stylized floral guilloché work and surrounded by a crisp black and white border.  Very handsome. Imagine them on a pink or light blue shirt. To appreciate them in-person, please stop-by the shop.  Or, you may click on the photo […]

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Notes From the Road – part XII

After traveling all the way to England, I found this lovely little creamer—from 19th Century America!  Silver-plated and decorated with a stylized botanical Aesthetic Movement pattern, this little pitcher would be lovely serving wine, hot custard, or milk—as it was originally intended. How appropriate that I should end my overseas trip—returning from my stay in […]

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Notes From the Road – part XI

From Late Victorian England, a cast iron Aesthetic Movement money box, circa 1890. Behind it stands a much more modern West German vase, circa 1960.  What ties them together? Both pieces are inspired by earlier Asian design.  When interpreted (and modified) by Western artists, Asian design is called “Orientalism”—a movement very popular in the late […]

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Notes From the Road – part IX

Boy, I love the Gothic.  I think that Gothic building represents the high point of the architectural craft.  And Nineteenth Century Gothic Revival is right up there as well.  And so, naturally, I am drawn to the Gothic Revival in the decorative arts. Shown above, a quick snap of a piece I just bought: a […]

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Notes From the Road – part VIII

The English Arts & Crafts Movement—like its counterparts in other parts of the world—drew inspiration from the culture, mythology and aesthetics of the past.  Gothic strap work, medieval characters, ancient heraldry all became sources for design inspiration for turn-of-the-century craftsmen. In the example above—a handsome pair of oak barley twist candlesticks with hammered pewter bases—the […]

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Notes From the Road – part VII

A Native American takes center stage on this work of Danish Art Nouveau ceramics by Ipsen.  Dated 1907, the sculptor has presented his subject beautifully—noble, thoughtful, handsome.  I found him in the South of England in the collection of a Danish ceramics connoisseur. He is crated and ready-to-go—I await the FedEx driver (here in Brighton) as […]

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Notes From the Road – part VI

Shown above, a Late-Victorian English Steel Hat Box, circa 1880′ or 1890’s.  Durable, functional, and aged with a beautiful patina, this container would have been used to protect a delicate hat—probably during carriage travel.  Today it could be used for storage or to house anything from dog food to magazines to fireplace kindling. This handsome, […]

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Notes From the Road – part V

Perhaps the nicest pair of bookends I’ve ever bought!  Certainly my favorite.  English Arts & Crafts, circa 1900, of studded, hand-tooled brass set with blue ceramic cabochons.  By my account, they’re sublime. Please come see them in the shop.  All new purchases should be in-store by the end of October. More from the road tomorrow.

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Notes From the Road – part IV

I’ve assembled a nice little collection of handsome brass candlesticks—from mid-19th century France and England.  The three pairs shown above are just a bit bigger than average and would look equally at-home on a rustic farm table or at a sophisticated townhouse supper spread. Please come into the shop to see them and the rest […]

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Notes From the Road – part III

And now for a change of pace:  behold this lovely pair of French Art Deco bookends, pictured above.  Made in the 1930’s and signed “Gallot”, the deer are sculpted in spelter, treated with a verdigris bronze finish, and mounted upon black marble bases. Handsome, stylish and useful! These are just a small part of my recent acquisitions, purchased […]

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Notes From the Road – part II

Shown above, more from my recently-acquired collection of Modernist art pottery purchased in London this week.  These examples were made by the Carstens Atelier and Scherurich Keramic, both in West Germany, in the 1960’s. To see these pieces in person, please come into the shop during the last week of October.  By then, everything should […]

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Notes From the Road – part I

Greetings from rainy London! I am busy visiting London collectors and markets and have already made a good start on the buying.  Today I acquired a number of pieces of Modernist art pottery including these red pieces (pictured above) from Italy and West Germany.  Made in the 1960’s and 1970’s, these pieces will be at […]

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My Trunk is Packed . . .

My trunk is packed and I’ve hoisted it across the Atlantic.  Today I begin a ten day shopping trip in England—starting in London, moving south, and, after that, wherever the trail leads. Over the last 20 years as a shopkeeper, I’ve met and befriended many collectors in various parts of the world.  Some of them […]

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Persian Blue

The art of ceramics was mastered in various parts of the world at different times—and each culture contributed something different in the way of mastery.  The Chinese knew the secret of producing the elusive red glaze (and weren’t about to share that secret with the Europeans!).  The Dutch were known for their Defltware.  And the […]

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Gilded, Enameled and Jewelled

Like the photo frames shown yesterday, these handsome desk accessories are made of finely-cast pewter, plated with 24 karat gold, enameled, and decorated with hand-set Swarovski crystals.  Made by jeweler Edgar Berebi in Providence, Rhode Island, this magnifying glass and letter knife will prove useful—while adding a measure of good taste to your office or […]

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Brass Beautiful

Something new: beautifully-crafted, lathe-turned brass tops in three different designs.  A solid block of heavy brass is mounted to a lathe, spun, and “carved-down” into the shapes shown above.  Modern, yes, though definitely classic.  The quality and craftsmanship is immediately apparent the moment one of the tops is picked-up and handled.  With a little practice, […]

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Bronze-Clad Monks

For centuries, books—their preservation and their duplication—were the commission of the Church and the clergy.  Countless monks spent countless hours bent over tables copying and decorating precious tomes.  Once the Western printing press was invented (c. 1450), which made books much less-expensive and available to a much-wider audience, the laborious craft of the monk-scribe became […]

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A New Collection of Bookends—Now In-Shop

As we build-up our inventories for the Holidays, I’m always on the look-out for beautiful and interesting bookends.  They make the perfect gift—handsome, useful, and everlasting. New Yorkers love books and, thus, they love bookends. With this in mind, I’ve purchased a new collection of bookends which I’d like to share with you over the next […]

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Platinum-Rimmed Coupes

Made in the 1960’s, these crystal stems are extra nice.  Made of fine German crystal, they stand-upon a smokey-grey foot and are finished with a platinum rim—a classy decorative touch and a way to protect the crystal rims from chipping with use.  The sets of six are available in a champagne coupe, demi-coupe, white wine glass, and red […]

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And Finally (for now)

We round-out our “show & tell” of newly-received West German pottery with these three pieces by Roth.  Made in the 1960’s or 1970’s, they exhibit a particularly prominent “pumice” glazing which contrasts with its dripping red glaze.  Although they are definitely Modernist, their earthy sensibility make them appealing to the Arts & Crafts aesthetic as […]

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And Even More West German

Amongst our newly-received European pottery comes this Rubenesque pitcher from Gräflich Ortenberg of West Germany.  With a pleasingly-hefty feel and a decidedly voluptuous form, this piece will stand alone or join a grouping of pottery with equal aplomb. Please come into the shop to see more of our new pottery or click on the photo […]

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And More West German

Here we show a pair of West German pitchers—each from “a different side of the tracks.” The piece in front, made by Stein in the 1960’s or 1970’s, is part of a large production run. The base shape would have been glazed in a great many color (or textural) options—in this instance, a dark mossy […]

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More West German

I love blue pottery and the West Germans did it well.  Shown above, a range of blues by Scheurich, Kreutz, and Karlsruhe. From light to dark, textured to glossy, LEO Design has a wide range of blue art pottery vases. Please come into the shop to see our wide range of pottery—including the newly-acquired West […]

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West Germany, Continued

Like a foamy caffè latte, the pottery above is all about color and texture and taste.  Though decidedly “not jolly,” a well-selected trio of these pieces could be “just the thing” in the right setting—against the right background color.  The pieces above are made by the potteries Ruscha and Stein—plus a single piece of Dutch […]

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Willkommen, West Germany

In the first forty years of the Twentieth Century, America and England produced great quantities of “middle class” ceramics—the kinds of pieces that were bought inexpensively and used to decorate average, middle class homes.  Such functional art pottery—vases, bowls and planters—were not considered “precious” or “sophisticated” but, rather, attractive and useful objets, intended to brighten a […]

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More New Cufflinks – part X

We end our “Parade of Cufflinks” with a very handsome acquisition: a beautiful pair of enameled cufflinks from Art Deco England.  Though British, they seem inspired by the Viennese Secessionism of the previous decade.  They are part of a large collection of vintage cufflinks—recently-acquired and now in-store. Please click on the photo to learn more […]

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More New Cufflinks -part IX

Today marks the date: “Three-Months-‘Till-Christmas!”  To help put you into the Holiday mood, we present the pair of cufflinks above—enameled in a festive green and red.  But fear not!  While we are busy preparing for the Holiday season—on buying trips, hiring staff, organizing our stockroom—you will not see a single pine garland or hear a […]

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More New Cufflinks – part VIII

In the 1930’s, Art Deco was all the rage.  Everything—from skyscrapers to automobiles to toasters—was designed in the streamlined, forward-looking manner which was initially called “Moderne.”  The cufflinks above are no exception.  Made in the 1930’s, they consist of faceted onyx glass “stones” set into decorative metal surrounds.  They convey the spirit and style of […]

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More New Cufflinks – part VII

Made in England in the 1920’s or 1930’s, these red, enameled “Rugby Stripe” cufflinks are classic and sporty.  They are part of a large collection of newly-acquired vintage cufflinks, now in-store.  Please click on the photo to learn more about them or come into the shop to see the full array of vintage cufflinks. More […]

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More New Cufflinks – part VI

Though very simple, these glass amethyst cufflinks, set into gold-plated backs, are elegant—and far from plain.  They were made during the 1920’s or 1930’s. Please click on the photo to learn more about them or come into the shop to see the full assortment of recently-acquired vintage cufflinks. More cufflinks tomorrow.

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More New Cufflinks – part V

Moss agate doesn’t really contain any moss (or any other ancient plant matter) in it.  Rather, the stone’s chemical components—compressed under pressure, with heat, over time—give the impression that fluffy bits of organic material have been trapped within the stone.  And, sometimes, little landscapes can be imagined within the randomly abstract compositions. The cufflinks above […]

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More New Cufflinks – part IV

In the late Nineteenth Century, Western artists and designers became fascinated with “The Orient”—both the Near and Far East, which were increasingly opening-up to Europeans.   Western artists looked to Asian design for inspiration and, after re-interpreting the look through European eyes, produced “Orientalist” designs: paintings, ceramics, sculpture jewelry, and fashion.  Impressionist artists painted in […]

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More New Cufflinks – part III

Also just-in, a pair of especially lustrous mother-of-pearl cufflinks.  They’re bordered with 10 karat white gold fronts and finished with nicely gold-plated backs.  White mother-of-pearl is a classic shirt button material, and, thus, a classic cufflink component.  This pair just happens to be a little extra-nice. Please come into the shop to see the full […]

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More New Cufflinks – part II

Shown above, another pair from our collection of newly-acquired vintage cufflinks—these crafted of polished carnelian cabochons.  Carnelian is a hard, semi-precious stone found in Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany.  Its rich, red color is due to the stone’s high Iron Oxide content.  Carnelian has been mined for some 5,000 years and can be found as […]

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A New Cufflink Collection – part I

I’ve recently purchased a cache of handsome cufflinks from a Fort Worth collector.  Over the next few days, I’ll share some of them with you.  Please come into the shop if you’d like to see the full assortment. Shown above, a pair of Art Deco beauties, enameled in bold black and robin’s egg blue.  A […]

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Hand-Crafted in Queens

Let’s close-out with another look at our NYC-made frames—this time in their original pewter finish.  Pewter—an alloy of  tin, copper, antimony and (in this case) a touch of silver—is cast in a foundry in Queens, New York.  Burrs and other irregularities are then hand-chased (cleaned-off) before the frames are polished and mounted with glass and […]

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Pure Gold Leaf

The frames above are another part of our extensive collection of photo frames.  Made in Europe, the frames are first constructed in wood, coated with gesso, then incised with various decorative elements if applicable to that design.  Next, the frames are water gilded with 24 karat gold leaf—paper thin sheets of pure gold.  Finally, certain […]

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Italian Pewter

In the ancient sand-cast method, an object to be duplicated is pushed-down into a tray of sand, leaving a crude (but serviceable) mold for casting.  Then, molten metal—be it bronze, iron or brass—is poured into the impression which, when it cools, is removed, cleaned-up, and polished.  Mankind has been using this technique at least since […]

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A New Photo Frame Collection

Photo frames are a significant part of our “Handsome Gifts” business, especially when new babies or the newly-married are involved.  The photo above shows some of our new styles, recently-received in store.  These frames—made right here in New York City!—are cast in pewter, hand-chased (cleaned-up), and then plated in 22 karat gold.  They come in […]

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And Something for the Father-of-the-Groom

As we wrap-up our look at Autumn wedding parties, let’s turn our attention to the man who is sometimes overlooked during the nuptial planning frenzy: the father-of-the-groom.  While traditional wedding practices usually highlight the mother-of-the-bride (and, often the bride’s father), the groom’s dad is often left out of the spotlight.  Yet—quite possibly—there is no prouder man […]

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And Something for the Groomsmen

In recent days, I’ve written about the up-coming Autumn wedding season—vintage glassware (a popular wedding gift) and cufflinks (a nice gift for the groom).  Here’s another thought:  how about some handsome cufflinks for the groomsmen? The pair of cufflinks shown above were made in the 1930’s—during the Art Deco period—and are fashioned of nicely-beveled black […]

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And a Little Something for the Groom

While we’re talking about autumn weddings, how about something for the groom(s)?  A beautiful and classic dress set would make a nice gift for the husband-to-be. The set above, made in the 1930’s, is crafted of black mother-of-pearl mounted into octagonal, shield-form settings.  The set can be worn complete (for black tie) or just as […]

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Platinum Bands

Another beautiful champagne coupe—of mid-century German crystal—is rimmed with a thin band of platinum.  The metal banding gives strength to the delicate rim and provides an elegant, finishing touch.  Made between 1964 and 1974, the set of six glasses would make a wonderful gift—for a newly-married couple or for oneself. Please come into the shop […]

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Autumn Weddings

With Autumn wedding season approaching, we’ve bought more vintage glassware which makes a lovely nuptial gift.  Shown above, a crystal champagne coupe from the 1940’s, hand-etched with a simple decoration along the bowl’s lower ridge.  We have two sets of six glasses on-hand.  Please come into the shop to see them or call at your […]

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The Eternal City

Rome—“The Eternal City”—is one of Europe’s oldest continuously-occupied cities at over 2,700 years of age.  Once the capital of the entire (vast!) Roman Empire, today it is simply the capital of Italy (and is that country’s most-populous city).  The greatest artists of all time have worked-in and contributed to Roman art and architecture including Michelangelo, […]

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And The Harvest Season is Nigh

Another part of our newly-acquired Japanese glassware collection is shown above, all hand-etched with a stylish “Harvest Wheat” motif.  The collection includes martini, champagne, and wine stems plus rocks glasses, high balls, cordials, sherry stems and brandy snifters.  A shaker, ice bucket, and cocktail pitcher (with glass stirrer) rounds-out the collection.  All sold a la […]

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The First Frost is Upon Us

We’ve just purchased an entire (large) collection of Japanese glassware including the Mid-Century “Icy Blue” Crystal pictured above—wine glasses, liquor stems, and port glasses, as well as champagne coupes, demi-coupes, and flutes. Just a touch of blue gives a visual chill to the crystal while the “soft square” shapes lend a Moderinist aesthetic. Please come […]

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September’s Birthstone: The Sapphire

From our earliest days, we’ve been mesmerized by the sapphire—birthstone for the month of September.  It is amongst the hardest of gemstones and amongst the most-expensive, as well.  And, some might  argue, sapphires are the most beautiful. Sapphires belong to the corundum family which includes rubies.  In fact, sapphires and rubies are often found in […]

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Enjoying the Final Days of Summer

We’ve had a wonderfully temperate summer, yet, alas, it is coming to an end.  Yet before we pull-out our autumn sweaters—and put-away our warm weather toys—perhaps there’s time for a round or two on the links.  If not, how about this set of six mid-century rocks glasses?  A dapper golfer—as if caught in stop motion—demonstrates […]

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Presidential Blocks

Previously sold-out, we’ve just received a shipment of wooden Presidential Blocks—an interesting and nicely-crafted gift for children or adults.  Laser-carved and printed with non-toxic inks (and made in America!), each block bears a portrait of a president, the years of his term(s), the location of his birth and death, his party, and the sequence number […]

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And Four Months ’till Boxing Day

And, if yesterday marked four months ’till Christmas, today marks four months ’till Boxing Day—the day when (traditionally) English servants and tradesmen would get the day off—and maybe a present—from their employers. Speaking of boxes, the one pictured above—made of quarter-sawn oak in the early Twentieth Century—is very handsome, indeed.  The oak strapping and brass […]

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Four Months ’till Christmas!

Perish the thought: Christmas is four months away!  Here at LEO Design, we’re well-into our pre-Holiday planning: writing orders, scheduling staff, booking buying trips.  The season will be here before we know it. The cufflinks above—enameled in a pattern of woven red and green ribbons—are rather “Christmassy”, don’t you think?  But, rest assured, they are […]

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Ukrainian Independence Day

The Ukrainian flag flies bright and crisp—a clear blue sky over a golden wheat field.  Today is Independence Day of Ukraine and it commemorates the country’s Declaration of Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Celebrations are held throughout Ukraine, as well as in Brussels (capital of the European Union), Chicago, and (sometimes) in Russia. […]

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Au Revoir Pierrefonds

This beautiful pair of French Art Nouveau vases—crafted circa 1910—are on their way back home.  Repatriated by a French décorateur d’intérieur, they are glazed in a crystalline Mediterranean blue over an olive green underglaze.  We enjoyed them while they were here; now they’ll brighten someone else’s maison.

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Emerald Facets

Just-in, a set of 1930’s wine stems with faceted, emerald green bowls.  They are part of a recently-acquired collection of glassware now in-store.  Please come into the shop to see them or call for further information.

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