1. Majorcan Fan by Fern Fans
The history of the hand fan is long and storied – and a little of that mythological complexity could go a long way in contemporary culture. As societal folklore has it, carrying a fan in the right hand in front of one’s face communicated the illicit bid to “follow me”. Put down your iPhone, Fern Fans’ hand-painted Majorcan iteration silently suggests, and swipe right with me instead.
2. Pineapple Lampstand by House of Hackney
In times gone by, colonial sea captains would display a pineapple taken from their newly acquired tropical bounty as a symbol of graciousness and hospitality to potential houseguests. While fruit remains an excellent gift, House of Hackney’s pineapple-shaped lamp stand tops it – and it’s neither perishable, nor a result of a problematic colonial reputation.
3. Combs by L’Officine Universelle Buly
There are combs, and then there are Buly 1803 combs, whose exquisite craftsmanship and timelessness brings pleasure to tidying even the most tangled of tresses. Transform self-care into a meditative moment with the interestingly named The Governor and The Impudent. And if you really want to spoil your giftee, pair either with the brand’s sumptuous Argan oil.
4. Envelope Keyring by Smythson
There’s an inimitable charm to a miniature anything, and this tiny envelope keychain from Smythson is no exception. Offer it with a tiny secret note inside to start your own Amélie-esque exchange.
5. Peony and Blush Suede Candle by Jo Malone
Candles are ubiquitous over the winter period, adept as they are at bringing warmth and atmosphere to even the dingiest of rooms with the flicker of a flame. Jo Malone’s, available in all manner of scents, are among the loveliest. This peony and blush suede candle has a side of spring to it, and its floral brightness might be the kindest gift of them all in deep, dark December.
6. Marie Antoinette Candle by Cire Trudon
“But jar candles are ten a penny!” Cire Trudon, the 1643-founded candlemaker which built its reputation manufacturing royal wax for Louis XIV, seems to cry out. Its alternative? impeccably sculpted busts made to emulate great works of art by the likes of François Girardon and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. This likeness of Marie Antoinette is “attributed to one of the Brachard brothers”. Her head, thankfully, remains attached to her wax neck. The question is, can you bring yourself to light it?
7. Tortoiseshell Celluloid Box by Choosing Keeping
Precious objects require scrupulous storage – for which Choosing Keeping’s celluloid box in satisfying tortoiseshell is well qualified. Made as it is from a now obsolete polymer, this one is somewhat fragile. Offer it as a bedside hideaways for keepsakes – a treasure box for your favourite magpie.
8. Eames House Bird
Charles and Ray Eames kept this black wooden figure of a bird, an object of American folk art from the Appalachian Mountains, in their centre of their living room for no fewer than 50 years after discovering it on their extensive travels. And if it was good enough for the pioneers of modern furniture, this replica by Vitra should suit the design-lover in your life down to a T.
9. Playing Cards by Hermés
Parlour games, if London members-only residence Chess Club is to be believed, are making a comeback, and among them a favourite pasttime of wise elders the world over – Bridge. If your loved one is used to the finer things in life, naturally only an Hermès deck will do. This one, edged in silver and bearing the house’s Play Tie pattern, is particularly pleasing.
10. Cashmere Hot Water Bottle Cover by Allude
Little can compete with Allude’s super soft cashmere hot water bottle covers for cosy-night-in-front-of-Eastenders luxury. This navy blue cross-knit iteration is as chic as they come.
11. Vide-poche by Tiffany and Co.
Luxury can’t truly be defined as such until it pertains to the utterly trivial. In this, Tiffany & Co.’s Everyday Objects collection – comprising ephemera from a curly straw made from shiny sterling silver, to a pair of bone china paper cups in the brand’s traditional turquoise shade – hits the nail (platinum, naturally) on the head. Take this ultra shiny vide-poche, for example, rendered in porcelain and crying out to bring a luxe backdrop to your keys, old chewing gum, loose change, best-loved lipstick. An ideal gift for the person who has everything.
12. Silver-plated Oyster Shells by Matilda Goad
If oyster shells in their most organic form are a little too rustic in taste for your recipient, allow creative consultant Matilda Goad to swiftly upgrade you with a silver-plated alternative. Use for earrings, condiments, soap, or change.