We ask six important industry people what's at the top of their personal Christmas wish-list
The last minute Christmas shoppers are out in force and we're guessing many are wishing they knew exactly what was on their nearest and dearest’s wish lists. To be on the receiving end of a gift you really, really want is very special, that’s not to say a delightfully unexpected gift doesn’t bring huge joy too. We tracked down a few discerning industry people to see what was at the top of their personal Christmas wish-list. Our panel came up with a wonderfully varied selection of objects of desire.
Lawrence Hendra: Associate Director, Philip Mould & Company
Art books can be quite expensive so I tend to wait until Christmas and ask family members to club together. This year I have set my sights higher than normal and will be asking for ‘Painting in Britain 1500-1630’ published in October this year by Oxford University Press. Books on Tudor and Jacobean panel painting are not necessarily uncommon, however what makes this publication so interesting is the way the contributors have fully embraced the technological advances of the modern age, and we are thus treated to many pages of high-resolution x-ray and infrared images showing exactly what goes on beneath the surface of some of our most recognisable national treasures. These studies allow us to learn more about the way these works were produced and who commissioned them, and also help answer questions about the influences at play during this period.
At £150 it may be considered a bit pricey, however unlike so many gifts given at Christmas, presents like this will always stand the test of time.
Ali Heath: Freelance Interior Stylist & Writer - The Telegraph Magazine, Stella, YOU, Elle Decoration, Elle Decoration Country, Country Homes & Interiors, Country Living, Homes & Antiques
I am a huge fan of Christmas and all the excitement, fun and goodwill it brings. I adore choosing pressies for friends and family, though many would say that I am harder to buy for as I get to see so many beautiful things during my work. The one thing I would adore to find under the tree this Christmas is a pair of gilded monogrammed glasses from Anthropologie for my husband and I. These chunky glass tumblers, with a gorgeous gold rim and engraved gold monogrammed letter would be perfect for a cheeky gin and tonic and exquisite to enjoy on display when not in use. The trouble is I can see myself coveting the entire alphabet for all our guests to enjoy too!
Glasses £14 each at www.anthropologie.com
I am always a fan of practical Christmas presents, something that I can get good use out of but that also has a bit of style. So I would love to receive a Catherineholm kettle in blue. I love bright colours and midcentury design and the enamelware of the 50’s and 60’s is delightful. I recently started collecting items in the Lotus pattern range to use in the new house I am moving into. This range of enamel ware is from Norway was designed by Norwegian born Grete Prytz Kittelsen, who was one of the leading artists of the Scandinavian Design movement.
There are lots of pieces on auction sites and also specialist dealers, prices start from £50 but the Kettle is often around £100.
Alice Hancock: Staff Writer, Homes & Antiques Magazine
If someone very generous was feeling kind enough to give me an original example of Norman Cherner’s 1960s armchair I would be over the moon. Ironically it was originally designed by Cherner for Herman Miller as an affordable piece of design but now originals can reach into the £1,000s! The elegant curve of the plywood is what has always drawn me to it. You can get them padded and unpadded (I’ll take either, I’m not fussy!) and they make ideal chairs for corners of bedrooms, round the dining table or as a standout desk chair. Versatility and beautiful design. What more could a girl want?
Within my role as an auctioneer and valuer, I’m fortunate enough to come across a great number of wonderful objects throughout the year that would make it onto a rather long Christmas gift shortlist.
However, something I’ve wanted to own for a long time is a Victorian country house post box. A traditional and quite necessary element of any good house and a testament to good Victorian efficiency. The purpose of this interior object, often found in the hallway or reception area of the house, was to provide a collection point for the house’s outgoing mail and served to neatly collate outgoing correspondence for residents and guests alike.
Generally crafted in oak, the simpler examples are of tall rectangular form, often with an enamelled brass plate applied to a slanted top accommodating a letter slot and featuring a hinged, locking door. Many bear descriptive lettering.
These post boxes often enter the market via good provincial auction rooms and can expect to fetch around £300-£500. Here's an example.
My ideal Christmas gift is always something for my home, I’ve only lived in my current home for two years and it seems it can take a lifetime to build up a distinctive collection of interesting pieces.
As is often the case when one is a trader everything in my house is for sale, so if I get something as a gift it’s a bonus as it means it has to stay. I love to be able to put items on the walls which are a conversation starter and we currently have some German Educational botanical lithographs, sadly these are off limits to me as they are for sale. That said, there are similar charts available from a dealer on Etsy called Lunartics Vintage. The item that I would really like for Christmas has to be this pull-down 1970s Queen Anne’s lace, botanical chart - it would make a great wall decoration and if it was actually mine to keep I could enjoy it for ever.
Many thanks to our wonderful contributers for sharing their heart's desires with us, we hope very much that they get what they wish for this Christmas. We also hope you've all been good enough to get what you wished for too!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Arthur Swallow Fairs.