Antiques Magazine - December 2023, Rare Christmas Antique and Vintage Gift Ideas - ANTIQUES.CO.UK

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    Rare Christmas Antique and Vintage Gift Ideas

    Posted by Chris on 08/12/2023

    Rare Christmas Antique and Vintage Gift Ideas

    At this time of year it can be nigh on impossible to decide what’s best in terms of a Christmas gift for loved ones. Some of us struggle with this problem every year. It can be extremely difficult for those who seemingly have everything, or have no discernible hobbies to speak of.

    Figuring out what to buy someone can turn into the nightmare before Christmas!

    So if you're looking for antique and vintage Christmas gifts to delight and surprise, go no further - here are this year's recommendations from

    Written by Gill Jones


    Something unusual

    We tend to favour something quirky or unusual as it’s usually an indication that someone has made an effort to find something different. You can imagine someone who’s trawled the shops and searched through trinkets and gift shops. If you like antique items then it will feel extra special knowing that someone has gone the extra mile to discover that rare find.

    Increase in value

    It doesn’t have to cost the earth either, and the beauty of having an antique item as a gift is that although it may not be the height of fashion in the antiques world, give it a few years or even months and it could be in demand, increased its value and be worth a lot more than when you first bought it. Here are our top finds for really special Christmas gifts this year – all listed, and available on


    Ideas for rare antique and vintage Christmas gifts:


    Moroccan Antiques

    charming pair of glazed Moroccan vases
    Charming Moroccan vases, listed at £800


    If you know someone who has a penchant for North African culture then this charming pair of glazed Moroccan vases could be just the thing to bring a smile to their face.

    This really quite delightful pair dates to around the late nineteenth century. We don’t have a great deal of further information on these, but as you can see from the listing, they display the classic patterned and colourful design of Moroccan pieces. They’re sure to make someone very happy!

    See also: this stylish Mashrabiya Moroccan corner cabinet , a vintage retro 1960's/70's Moroccan Berber rug, and unusual Moroccan fall front mahogany coal depot.

    > Explore our other Moroccan antiques


    Rare 1st edition books

    1st edition Nicholas Nickleby
    Give a book-lover a gift like this 1st edition Nicholas Nickleby, various prices


    If you – or someone you are buying for this Christmas – is an avid book collector then you can’t go wrong with a first edition book.

    There are few authors more associated to Christmas than Charles Dickens – so these first and early editions are a great find. They include Dombey & Son, The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby and more. Excellent collector’s items, with beautiful age and patina for the bookshelf – and come with a lovely provenance too, knowing that they’ve been enjoyed by readers over the past 170 years or so.

    See also: 1933 Carl Jung Modern Man in Search of A Soul 1st Edition, Antiquity Rare Historical Book First and Only Edition, and rare 1st Edition The Life & Death Of John Bunyan 'The Holy War'.

    > Explore all antique and rare books


    Christmas Sapphires & Diamonds

    A stunning 18ct Russian coiled snake sapphire ring, £2,799 / $3,425


    Christmas is a time for magnificent jewels, and both sapphires – and diamonds – are perfect. If you know someone who likes to be bedazzled by jewels then this may be the thing.

    This charming 18ct Russian ring features a beautifully twisted and coiled snake design with intricate scales and a captivating oval-cut sapphire at its head. Dating to around 1905, this enchanting piece offers a fresh take on the more common double-wrap snake rings.

    Showcasing exquisite craftsmanship, the snake's shape twists and turns, doubling back on itself, creating an eye-catching statement. This rare find is a must-have for antique jewellery collectors and snake ring enthusiasts alike. Beautiful.

    See also: Superb Gentleman’s Sapphire and 9ct gold tie pin; a beautiful vintage Sapphire and Diamond Hand Carved Ring; and a gorgeous 1913 Sapphire and Diamond Swirl Ring.

    > Explore all sapphires


    Antique and vintage benches & pews

    Large Gothic Victorian pine pew
    Large Gothic-Style Victorian Pine Bench, £490 / $600


    Do you fancy sitting round the breakfast table on Christmas morning on something more interesting than a metal chair or an MDF bench?

    Why not buy a church pew? They’re full of character and charm. This particular large Gothic-style Victorian pew dates back to around 1860 and is made of mid-stained pine. It features interesting Gothic supports to the side over neat plinths.

    Sitting down to a hot breakfast first thing on Christmas morning has never seemed like such an attractive idea!

    See also: a characterful Victorian Antique Free-standing Scottish Ecclesiastical Pew; a cool vintage oak Museum Bench, dated 1980; and this set of seven high quality vintage church pews – all 12ft long.

    > Explore all benches and antique pews


    Antique nutcrackers

    Charming Victorian pistachio nutcrackers
    Beautiful antique pistachio nutcrackers, £395 / $485


    Nutcrackers are such a lovely festive gift – and the beauty of them is that they can be used all year round.

    Dating from around 1800 is this dainty but beautiful pair of antique pistachio nutcrackers. An English, brass hand tool, it’s charmingly diminutive with appealing Georgian craftsmanship and a great colour.

    For a completely different take on nutcrackers, this ‘treen’ nutcracker dates back to the Victorian period – but may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s certainly a striking piece, and would get everyone talking on Christmas Day if this was brought out for the Brazil nuts.

    Before mass-production revolutionised the world of ceramics, wooden household items and utensils such as spoons, bowls and places were handmade for poorer homes. Collectively, these items are labelled as antique treen - the word ‘treen’ literally meaning ‘of a tree’.

    See also: Antique Figural Black Forest Nutcracker c.1900; and this attractive pair of early 19th Century gilded and blued steel nutcrackers.

    > Explore all nutcrackers


    Finding Christmas gifts

    And there you have it, some rather weird and wonderful gifts that might light up someone’s tree when it comes to Christmas morning. Do browse our items – you never know what you might find.

    > Start browsing our categories

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