My son Josh loves collecting vintage Star Wars figures. The same ones I collected back in the late 70s when I was a little older than he is now. He looks forward to getting the next figure and I love hunting for them when I visit vintage fairs throughout the year. There’s something special about buying, and giving items that are hard to find, aren’t mass produced and have a charm that comes from being old. If you are stuck for truly original ideas, then why not consider buying vintage or antique gifts for Christmas, Valentine’s or other special occasions. What can be better than something which is truly unique and original? So, here are my top tips to think about when buying a vintage gift along with some of my recommendations for Scaramanga vintage gifts.
– It may sound obvious, but buy what you think they would like and not what you like. Will the recipient really ‘love’ it?
– Know what they really like. If you don’t know much about what they like do some research or ask someone who is an expert.
– Buy all year round. Don’t wait until the week before Valentine’s Day or their birthday. If you spot the special antique or vintage piece buy it. It could be the only one of its kind!
– Don’t leave it until the last minute; allow time for the antique to arrive. Allow 2 weeks for delivery. Sometimes some light restoration/remedial work may be required.
– You don’t have to buy the best example of the antique unless the recipient is an avid collector. For example, an antique leather suitcase can have some loosely stitched edges and a discoloured top, or lightly corroded catches. It’ll show that it really has been round the world several times!
Going vintage or antique does not have to cost the earth. Totally unique gifts can cost a little over £10. Classic looks, yet well made and guaranteed to be one of a kind. Here are Carl’s top finds. Hurry they are one-offs!
A small vintage red post box with a front door and letter slot. Vintage, distressed and iconic – imagine these beauties as features into your rustic, contemporary or retro homes.
Gifting to someone who loves travelling? Try an antique or vintage leather suitcase or antique travel trunk with their original stickers showing the wonderful places the previous owner has visited. You could also consider a vintage globe or a vintage map of their favourite region. Above is a canvas colour map from the early 1960s of the West Indies. It’s the first we’ve ever seen of of Caribbean. If you’re looking for a present for someone who had an amazing holiday on an island in the Caribbean or even island hopped or even more special got married there then this map is a unique reminder of their time there (£225).
Other Scaramanga favourites include small wooden storage boxes and chests, especially with secret and hidden compartments. An old money box with a small iron padlock would make a thoughtful gift for all ages, and add a splash of colour to any room. Don’t worry you don’t have to use it to save loads of money! Instead turn it into a jewellery box or a mini chest for storing your collections or best vintage and antique finds. Our smaller vintage boxes are ideal for holding jewellery and other trinkets. Each has been handcrafted and pre-loved, giving it a unique history.
Rustic leather journal made from reclaimed leather and even the paper has been made from recycled paper from the textile industry. This journal is a great way to give a unique gift this Christmas. This journal is priced at £21.
These are original small vintage shaving boxes that were used by barbers 40-50 years. They would wander streets cutting hair and shaving men. We’ve replaced the mirrors, but pretty much left them as they were found. They make cute jewellery and make up boxes or small boxes for men to store keys, coins and stuff they always leave laying around. Of course they make shaving boxes for straight razors, beard scissors, oils and blades. Each folds out to reveal a mirror. Priced at £37.50.
Antique wooden horse head carving are an unusual gift that often appeal to adults as well as children and we think our Nandi Cows (a painted Cow on wheels that would have been pull by a child through the streets of India) make interesting and decorative gifts.
Vintage postcards which have been hand painted with popular Indian animals: tigers, cows, camels, horses and birds. Many date to 1930s. We have created sets of 5 and they are only £12.50
You don’t have to break the bank with a vintage gift: original vintage brass padlocks start at just £10.
These are beautiful carved small wooden tikka boxes and pots used for storing coloured dye / tikka, which is mixed with water to make a red / orange or pink paint for ceremonies. Traces of the dye can still be seen. We have several other sizes and styles, prices from £15.
Mirror. Mirror. On the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Close to 100 years old and full of original charm and character. This is a fantastic Christmas gift for the home. Our colourful reclaimed antique wooden wall mirrors would look beautiful above a fireplace, in a hallway, in a bathroom or in an elegant bedroom. The mirror is totally unique so you can rest assured that a Scaramanga mirror is one of a kind.
Going back to the vintage Star Wars figures, I remember having a box that all my toys went into. My Star Wars figures were never given their own special space – these figures really should be displayed in their full 3 inch colourful glory. Consider buying display cabinets, cases, boxes and chests. Vintage and antiques deserve to be shown off where people are able to admire them.
If they love collecting then a glass display cabinet really gets their special pieces out on display and not shut away!
One of our best-selling items is our Vintage Wooden Printers Tray Letterpress Drawer. These original Letterpress Trays are totally authentic, and show a lot of character after many decades in a print factory. They make distinctive yet practical gifts, with lots of space for displaying cherished items or organising desk/work space. This is also a great way to keep all of your precious belongings in a memorable place. You can also sort out your storage in style with our reclaimed vintage brick moulds, currently reduced from £25 to just £15:
Antique solid brass jewellery box from Orissa, east India. The style is known as Dhokra metal casting and is the traditional craft of bell metal or brass. It is a well known tribal art form and usually practised by family groups. The ornate design and unique configuration make this piece highly desirable. It’s the only one we have available. It is priced at £125.
We have three different cargo ship radio room clocks, £95. They’re even more unusual than the other old ship’s clocks we had before. They come with a lot of history as they were for use in a ship’s radio room.
These mini cabinet repurposed from an antique wooden clock case. They can be wall mounted or simply placed on any flat surface. You can keep all your favourite curio in this little cabinet. Each is different and prices start from £37.50.
Another totally original gift for the house is this vintage Bollywood cinema poster of the Aladdin, Alibaba Sindbad films, £95
We hope this blog has give you some help and inspiration when looking for antique and vintage gifts. We feel giving original and unique pieces makes the gift even more personal. Good luck gift hunting!