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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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And Finally . . .

Finally, we wrap-up (almost) a week of hand-crafted Arts & Crafts trays and plates.  Copper or brass, silver-plated or un-adorned, each, in its way, reflects a different aspect of the International Art Nouveau Movement. We end with the tray above—English Arts & Crafts circa 1910—which is hand-hammered and tooled with a scrolling Ivy decoration. […]

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And Yet Another Arts & Crafts Tray

Another hand-crafted Arts & Crafts tray is this sweet copper rendition, designed in an “oval spiked quatrefoil” form.  Made in Edwardian England right around the turn-of-the-century, it references the Medieval Gothic—one of the many historical and cultural touchstones used by British Arts & Crafts designers.  It has a “churchy” feeling without being dour or too […]

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And Another Arts & Crafts Tray

Throughout the worldwide Arts & Crafts movement, one of the defining characteristics of the style is the reliance on the crafted material to provide a significant portion of the work’s aesthetic appeal.  On a copper plate, the hammered texture of the copper becomes the decoration.  On an oak fireplace mantel, the wood’s grain provides the […]

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Another Arts & Crafts Plate

Like the Norwegian copper plate presented yesterday, this one is also from the early Twentieth Century.  It is English Arts & Crafts and the hand-hammered repoussé work takes the form of a border of scrolling grape vines—complete with leaves and clusters of fruit. First crafted in brass, then silver-plated, parts of the underlying metal have […]

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From the Land of the Midnight Sun

I only knew one thing about this little copper plate when I discovered it:  I loved it!  A little sleuthing uncovered that it’s Arts & Crafts from Scandinavia—Norway to be precise.   Designers and craftsmen throughout the world-wide Art Nouveau Movement often revived (and adapted) ancient historical and cultural references from their specific cultures.  The […]

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Venetian Jewel Tone

In recent days we’ve presented glassware from Japan, from the Czech Republic, and, now, from Venezia, Italia.  The emerald green liquor service, shown above, was mouth-blown on the little island of Murano—floating a short vaporetto ride from La Serinissima, “The Most Serene,” the  floating “City of Bridges.”  This set was made right around 1950, when […]

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Josef Hoffmann

Austrian designer, Josef Hoffmann, was born in 1870 in Brtnice, a cluster of tiny villages in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire—and which today lies within The Czech Republic. Though he is most closely associated with Vienna—where he developed the Viennese Secession and was a founding father of the Wiener Werkstätte—Hoffmann’s influence reached far beyond […]

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Sakura: Cherry Blossoms

Like the soft, rosy petals of the Cherry Blossom, these Japanese crystal champagne coupes are touched with a blush of pink.  Made in the 1960’s, these two sets of six stems are a simple and elegant way to serve your guests graciously. Please come into the shop to see them—and the many sets of beautiful […]

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Tribal Italian

Made in Mid-Century Italy for importer Rosenthal-Netter, this Modernist vase has a hand-made, “tribal” feeling to it.  A manually-incised band encircles the red clay vase which is glazed in a mottled, earthy chartreuse.  The color is not universally appropriate, but—in the right environment, against the right background—it could be dynamite. Please click on the photo […]

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Botanical Bottle

A pretty piece of art pottery, new to the shop.  Made by Weller around 1933, this Art Deco piece has a raised, hand-painted botanical decoration which lies upon the shoulder of the “genie bottle” form.  Delicate without being feminine, it would make a nice addition to  just about anyone’s art pottery collection. Please come into […]

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More August Felines

The star sign, Leo, continues into August; what better time to present this recently-acquired pair of bookends? Cast in iron and finished with a bronzed patina, the well-executed bas relief shows a resting male lion in profile.  It is framed in a crisp, Art Deco frame.  Part of our new assortment of just-received bookends—and another great […]

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Federal Revival

While many people consider the 18th Century the high water mark of design—the age of science, enlightenment and democracy—I seem to take a contrarian view.  In terms of architecture, painting and the decorative arts, the 18th Century is my least favorite period  I like what came before it (The Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Elizabethan, Jacobean and Renaissance) […]

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Norse Adventure

Beautifully modeled and crisply cast, these cast iron bookends capture the pitching and swaying of a Viking ship as it sets-out across roiling seas.  Adventurous and romantic—in an old world way— these bookends might inspire a youngster’s dream of adventure (or an adult’s memory of youthful dreams of adventure). These bookends are just a part […]

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Bookends on the Range

We continue our introduction of recently-acquired bookends with a trip to the American Prairie.  The bookends above, cast in iron in the 1930’s, show an American Bison surveying his domain from atop a bluff.  Vast herds of these beasts once roamed the American West; imagine the trembling ground, the rising dust, and the deafening roar […]

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New Bookends Now In-Store

We’ve recently purchased a nice collection of vintage bookends which can now be seen in-store.  Over the next few days we’ll show some of them here in the journal.  They’ll also be added to the on-line shop as we are able to clean, price, and photograph them. The pair above, cast in bronze, show an […]

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“Functional Sculpture”

Though not “glassware” in the conventional sense, this newly-acquired piece is beautiful nevertheless.  Made in 1960’s Murano, Italy, it would make a substantial contribution to any domestic vignette—warm antique or cool modern.  While it functions as an ashtray, it also provides a sculptural anchor to any desk, credenza or coffee table. Please click on the […]

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In with a Roar!

Today’s the day!  For one, the sun enters LEO, making today the first day of that (glorious) sun sign.  Secondly, today marks the one year anniversary of our new, improved website (which you’re looking at).  And three, it’s my birthday! The lion above, emerging from his jungle hideaway, is part of pair of “Wildcats” bookends […]

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For Wedding Season

From Japan, a set of six Mid-Century champagne coupes, hand-crafted in smokey crystal with just a hint of purple.  It’s another part of our recently-acquired collection of glassware, now in-shop—and just in-time for the wedding gift-giving season.  Please come into the shop to see the full collection.

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Ice Blue Crystal

Also from Japan, another set of crystal champagne coupes, this time in icey blue.  This set of six would be perfect for hosting—any season of the year.  Nicely-weighted and finished.  We also found the same pattern in  two sizes of wine glasses. Please come into the shop to see them and the rest of our […]

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Bottoms Up!

Travel “Back to the Sixties” with this set of six Mid-Century high balls, decorated with a black and gold “Top Shelf” motif.  Stylish, fancy—and thoroughly Modernist—these tumblers are one set of recently-acquired glassware now in-store.  Please come into the shop to see the full assortment or click on the photo above to learn more about […]

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More Mid-Century

A touch of the ancient joins Mid-Century Modern in this set of six high ball drinks glasses, printed with a pattern of coins and crests.  They’re part of a recently-received shipment of glassware, now in-store. Please come into the shop to see them—and the rest of the shipment—or click on the photo to learn more […]

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Understated Sophistication

In our recent shipment of recently-acquired, vintage glassware, you’ll find the Deutsch Weingläser—German wine glasses—pictured above.  Smoked crystal is rimmed with a ring of platinum to create these Modernist (yet thoroughly classic) wine stems which feel lovely in-the-hand.  They are beautifully sophisticated without being pretentious. Please click on the photo to learn more about them, […]

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Mirrored Modern

Make your Sunday Soirée the talk of the town with this swanky beverage service from the 1960’s.  Mirrored rims fade to clear on the eight high ball glasses which nestle into a chromed carrier.  A mirrored ice bucket and pair of tongs complete the service. Please come into the shop to see this beverage service—or […]

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Modernist “Optic” Amethyst Glass

Another nice set of glasses—part of our new shipment of vintage glassware—is this lot of eight amethyst glass tumblers from the 1960’s.  Bottom-weighted and having a luxurious, heavy hand-feel, they also have a rippled interior design which creates a soft, “optic” effect. Perfect for a glass of red wine. Please come into the shop to […]

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Modern with a Touch of Platinum

From post WWII Germany, a set of six smoked crystal champagne coupes, finished with platinum rims.  Part of a new shipment of glassware now in-store.  Come into the  shop to see them or click on the photo to learn more about them. More new glassware in days to come.

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La Fête Nationale

On this day in 1789, French revolutionaries stormed and captured the 14th century Paris fortress called the Bastille Saint-Antoine.  Long used as a prison by the kings of France, the citadel was a potent symbol of the monarchy’s dominance.  Once captured, its name became a rallying cry for the rag-tag revolutionaries.  To this day, 14 […]

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And, Finally, a Little Italian

We conclude the parade of newly-acquired, Modernist ceramics with a little Italian diversion.  The trio of pieces, shown above, were made for the Italian company Raymor in the 1960’s.  They capture beautifully the Italian’s mastery of line, form, and style—and represent Italian Modernism perfectly. Please come into the shop to see the entire new collection.

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West German, Concluded

The little pitcher, pictured above, has a frothy yellow-orange glaze over a red underglaze and was made by Scheurich in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It’s part of a large collection of Modernist art pottery just acquired and now in-store. Please stop by the shop to see the entire collection of new pottery. More art pottery […]

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And Even More West German

Our newly-acquired collection of West German art pottery includes the piece above, made by Fohr in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It’s one of two dozen pieces of (mostly) red (mostly) West German Modernist ceramics recently purchased by LEO Design and now in-store. Please visit the shop to see the entire collection. More art pottery tomorrow. […]

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West German, Continued

The piece above, by Jasba, was made in West Germany in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It is one of two dozen new pieces of Modernist art pottery recently acquired and now in-store. Come visit the shop to see the entire collection. More new acquisitions tomorrow.

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More West German

Our new collection of West German art pottery continues with the pieces above by Bay and Jasba.  They were made in the post-war 1960’s and 1970’s. Please come into the shop to see the entire new collection.  More new West German pottery in the next few days.

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Red Lava Flows-In

We’ve just acquired a new collection of (mostly) red, (mostly) West German art pottery from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Two dozen pieces from various post-war ceramics workshops. Shown above are pieces by Scheurich, Jopeko and Gräflich Ortenburg. Please visit the shop to see the entire collection. More of the new collection in days to come. […]

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Architectural Icons

The Empire State Building stands boldly on this new greeting card by artist Dan Durkin. While the collection is not new—we’ve been selling Dan’s cards for a few years—the card shown above was made recently at our special request.  Dan creates the original art work, prints the cards, then hand-applies touches of gouache before delivering […]

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Cards in Another Color

More hand-made greeting cards, printed one-at-a-time in a small Vermont art studio.  The collection above—in red, buff, and white—are great for summer without being nautical. Please come into the shop to see the full range of new, summer-appropriate greeting cards. More new cards tomorrow.

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Summer Greeting Cards

Just in time for summer, I’ve received a delivery of hand-crafted greeting cards, made (one-at-a-time) in a small Vermont art studio.  First the artist hand-carves the design into a linoleum block which is then inked and used to impress the design directly onto the paper. The original designs are fresh and perfect for the season—reminiscent […]

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Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July! LEO Design will be open today from Noon ’til 6:00 pm.  We’d be happy to see you! Shown above, a set of American-made, hand-crafted wooden blocks—decorated with a nautical theme.  Laser cut and printed in non-toxic inks, these blocks show nautical flags, semaphore signaling, morse code signals, letters of the alphabet, […]

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A Fresh New Collection

Perfect for Summer!  We’ve just acquired a collection of West German art pottery—glazed in a fresh, summery turquoise—by Gräflich Ortenburg.  The workshop was founded in the small village of Tambach, central Germany, just after the war in 1946 and closed in 1968.  The pieces above were made in the last years of the company’s existence. […]

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Il Palio di Siena

I’ve only ever been to Siena in the Autumn—well after the annual summer horse races which have helped make the Medieval city famous.   Nevertheless, I couldn’t help being taken with the magnificent, bowl-shaped Piazza del Campo and imagine it packed with spectators, the thunder of horses hooves creating a sense of excitement and danger. […]

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Rubies for July

It’s July and the month’s birthstone is the ruby.  Alas, I am clean-out of rubies—though I did manage to find this handsome pair of ruby enameled cufflinks from the Art Deco period.  The said ruby enameling lies over radiant guilloché work and the whole lot is set into gold-plated mountings.  Not rubies, fair enough, […]

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Still More Cufflinks

Another interesting pair of cufflinks, new to the shop: sterling silver Vietnamese dragons snarling—ready to strike—from their positions, coiled upon your wrists.  Probably from the 1920’s or 1930’s, these cufflinks are unlike any I’ve ever found.  Please click on the photo to learn more about them. More cufflinks tomorrow.

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And More Cufflinks

And yet another beautiful and unusual offering from our newly-acquired collection of vintage cufflinks.  Bold American Art Deco, fashioned in sterling silver, with pistachio and amber enameling over a graphic guilloché pattern.  It doesn’t get more Art Deco than this! Please click on the photo to learn more about this particular pair, visit our on-line […]

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Cufflinks, Continued

Another example from our new collection of beautiful, vintage cufflinks.  This pair is enameled in a refreshing, Mediterranean blue over a swirling, radiant guilloché pattern. Please click on the photo to learn more about them—or visit the shop to see our large collection of beautiful cufflinks. More cufflinks in days to come.

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Just-In: Cufflinks

I’ve just bought a number on nice, new cufflinks—just in time for wedding season. Perhaps a gift for the groom to wear on his special day?  Or a gift from the groom to his groomsmen? This pair has robin’s egg blue enameling over a radiant guilloché design, set into nicely-finished, gold-plated mountings. Please come into […]

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Bon Jour, Bretagne

Bretagne—or “Brittany” as it’s called in English—is a little spit of land that juts off of France’s Northwest coast, into the English Channel, due south of England.  It has a history of being invaded, occupied, and influenced by the various tribes and empires that came along: the Celts, the Romans, the Britons, and the Gauls. […]

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Set Adrift

Henry Hudson was an English explorer who, at different times, worked for English or Dutch merchants, attempting to find them a shorter trade route to Asia.  The elusive “Northwest Passage”—an Arctic Circle seaway which could link Europe and the Orient—was believed to exist, though had not yet been discovered by European seamen.  Henry Hudson made […]

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Glassware, continued

Another liquor service, this time in golden-rich Amber Glass.  Serve port, brandy, or another favorite after-dinner refreshment, in swanky Sixties style.  The set includes the decanter, a glass stopper, and six serving glasses.  It’s part of our recently-acquired collection of glassware—tumblers, rocks glasses, and stems—now in-store and ready for your perusal. Please click on the […]

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And More Glassware…

On this day in 1863, West Virginia was admitted into the Union, making it the  35th U.S. State.  It’s only fitting to feature some newly-acquired glassware made in West Virginia some one hundred years later.  And, of course, West Virginia was the center for some of America’s best Twentieth Century glassware. The liquor service, shown […]

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Glassware, Continued

The heat is on—at least here in New York City!  It’s the perfect time for us to show you more of the interesting glassware, acquired on my most recent buying trip.  It seems I found a lot of novelty glassware (including those shown above).  Printed with stripes, graphics, or botanical motifs, these sets of glasses […]

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M. C. Escher

On this day in 1898, Maurits Cornelius Escher was born in Leeuwarden, capital of Friesland, Northern Netherlands.  Poor Maurits suffered poor health which affected his academics—he was always a poor student except when it came to art and drawing.  He was accepted into The Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, where he studied architecture […]

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It’s Bloomsday!

In James Joyce’s Ulysses, a masterpiece of Irish Modernist literature, character Leopold Bloom spends an ordinary day—16 June 1904—walking around Dublin, going about his daily business, interacting with the people in his life, and musing on the things he encounters or observes in his travels.  The work’s title comes from the Latin adaptation of the […]

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Happy Father’s Day

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years!”   – Mark Twain A word of thanks and a wish of […]

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More Glassware, Now In-Store

Straight out of “Mad Men,” a set of six Old-Fashioned Rocks glasses, screen printed with gold and black graphics.  Part of a new collection of glassware—now in-store—stems, liquor services, and novelty glasses like the set above. Please come into the shop to see the new shipment or click on the photo to learn more about […]

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Much New Glassware, Now in Store

In recent days, you’ve seen some photos of items found on my most recent buying trip.  I’ve begun listing some of these items on the LEO Design On-Line Shop—and will share more of them in journal posts over the next few days. Above, a Mid-Century cocktail service—for martinis or other icy cold concoctions—blown of purple-tinted […]

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A Football is Round!

Prepared or not, the Twentieth Football World Cup begins today in São Paulo, Brazil!  In the opening match (today at 4:00 pm Eastern Time), Croatia faces the host country, Brazil, in the new Arena de São Paulo—an arena so new, in fact, that it has never been tested with a capacity crowd.  And, if that […]

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On the Road – part three

Christmas . . . in June?  A bit off-season, I know, but I have to buy these cool antiques when I find them—they may not be around later.  Shown above, a wooden Christmas ornament box, from the 1940’s or 1950’s, with a printed greeting on the cover.  A bit beat-up—well-loved, perhaps—but still up to the […]

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On the Road – part two

More glassware from my trip to the Mid-West:  a set of eight “double shots” from the 1950’s with burgundy and gold banding.  Very handsome, indeed. This set—and the rest of my new-found treasures—is now in-store and ready for your perusal.  Please come into the shop and see them. Additionally, please keep checking the LEO Design […]

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On the Road – part one

I’m wrapping-up a buying trip in Western Pennsylvania and the (near) Mid-West.  I’ve found a lot of glassware, including this set of ten cut crystal champagne stems, pictured above. The crystal has just a trace of purple, found on the best glass.  It is deeply hand-cut with a stylized botanical motif on the bowls and […]

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More Father’s Day Cards

Father’s Day is one week from today.  Just enough time to buy him one of our new “Outdoorsman” cards for the holiday.  Printed on 100% cotton paper stock in Canada, these cards are masculine, understated,  straightforward—just like Dad.  $5.00 each Come into the shop to see these and our wide range of great gifts for […]

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New Cards for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just a week away, we’re thrilled with our new shipment of Dad-appropriate greeting cards—in nautical and “outdoorsy” themes. Designed and crafted in Western Canada, they are letterpress printed on a luxurious, 100% cotton paper stock.  And, when Father’s Day is done, these cards will continue to be perfect for summer and early […]

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World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day, a day dedicated to raising global awareness of (and encouraging action toward) protecting nature and planet Earth.  It was first celebrated in 1973 after being declared by the United Nations the previous year.  A different country hosts each year’s celebration and an annual theme is selected; this year’s host is […]

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Swedish Jugendstil

In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the Art Nouveau Movement swept across Scandinavia, Finland and (to a lesser extent) into Western Russia (St. Petersburg, in particular).  In architecture, it was called The National Romantic Style (or, sometimes, by the German name “Jugendstil”) and it sought to breathe new life into civic and domestic […]

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“Howl”

On this day in 1926, Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, NJ.  Precocious, an ideologue, and facile with words, the teenaged boy would write letters to the New York Times on the hot topics of the day:  World War II and Labor issues.  At Columbia University, Allen befriended a group of like-minded men—Lucien Carr, […]

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Tarzan is Born

On this day in 1904, Peter Johann Weißmüller was born in Freidorf, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (and now in Romania).  When he was seven months of age, his family moved to the U.S. and, after a period in Pennsylvania, settled in Chicago.  At nine, young Peter contracted polio, and, at the advice […]

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June’s Birthstone

The month of June is endowed with three birthstones: Pearls, Alexandrite, and Moonstone. And while pearls are not true “stones,” for millennia they have been valued for their rarity, costliness, and mysterious beauty.  Pearls are the “build-up” of calcium carbonate, produced by fresh- and saltwater mollusks, when a small foreign object enters (and irritates) the […]

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Metlach German Jugendstil

In 1748, German businessman François Boch founded a pottery workshop in the  duchy (or “dukedom”) of Lorraine, which straddled the French, German, Belgian and Luxembourg borders.  His business succeeded and soon Boch opened another factory in Luxembourg, then (in 1801) another one in the Western German village of Metlach—in a former 10th Century Benedictine abbey […]

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The Rite of Spring

The crowd rioted—on this day in 1913—at the premier performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) performed in Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Produced by Russian “Showman Extraordinaire” Sergei Diaghilev, the music proved to be a ground-breaking (and threatening) aural sensation of unconventional rhythm, nauseating dissonance, and traditional Russian folk music.  The story […]

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The “Unknown” Irving Richards

Today, Raymor is strongly identified with Italian Mid-Century Modern ceramics.  Few people realize, however, that Raymor was actually an American brand name which made products (especially ceramics) in the United States, Scandinavia, Mexico, Germany and Italy. New Yorker Irving Richards (born Rappaport), began his business life in 1926, selling used books in Manhattan.  After a […]

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Herman Kähler

In 1839, thirty-one year old Joachim Herman Kähler moved from Northern Germany to Nestved, Denmark where he opened a ceramics manufacturing workshop.  For the next thirty-or-so years, Kähler produced practical home and kitchen items, most notably an oil lamp called “the all night burner.”  In 1872, his sons, Herman August and Carl Frederick, took-over the […]

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Victoria Regina at 195

Had she lived, today would have been Queen Victoria’s 195th birthday.  She still “holds the crown” for longest-reigning British monarch (until 10 September 2015 at which point Queen Elizabeth II—should she still hold the throne—will surpass Victoria).  Victoria was quite far-down the line of succession but circumstances cleared a path for her—her father died when […]

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A Band of Gold

A band of gold surrounds the rim and “shoulder” of this eight-piece tumbler set, made in the 1940’s or 1950’s—and just received in the shop.  A taller, narrower set of eight was also just received.  Lovely for juice or water and perfect for wine—red or white. Please come into the shop to see them—and the […]

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New Glassware In-Store

A blush of rose infuses the bowls of these Modernist crystal champagne coupes, made in the 1950’s.  This set of ten is a part of a new shipment of glassware just-received in the last few days—tumblers, cordials, and lots of coupes. Please come into the shop to see the rest of the new assortment or […]

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Pearl on Mother-of-Pearl

We finish our exhibition of newly-acquired cufflinks with a simple, elegant, and classic mother-of-pearl pair.  A little “seed pearl” sits atop its  lustrous bed, and the backings are nicely gold-plated. Please come into the shop and see the rest of the new collection—most of which we do not have on-line.  Or, click on the photo […]

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“Coffered” Sterling

More from our collection of newly-acquired cufflinks:  a sterling silver pair, possibly English, decorated with an impressed, coffered grid design. Please come into the shop to see them—and the rest of our new cufflinks—or click on the photo to learn more about this pair. More cufflinks tomorrow.

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Convertible Cufflinks

These cufflinks, made in the early Twentieth Century, are made of cut, sapphire blue crystal and are set into pierced sterling silver mountings.  They are also “convertible” which means one can remove the “heads” from the center link and use the four separate pieces as shirt buttons (like studs). These are part of our new […]

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