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American Material Culture

Holiday Gift Guide: Trinketology

John Chaski

The right trinkets can transform the sink in your powder room from a sink in your powder room to a window into the soul.  Here are a half-dozen must-have trinkets for the 2017 season, all from young antiques dealers.  That's right there are six of us, not counting me.

First up is a really pretty piece of ironstone from Old Beautiful, the Connecticut shop of David Perrelli, for $45!!!  At about 7 1/2" wide I would use this for business cards today, and Werther's Original candies 50 years from now.  It could also hold keys near the door.  Once one of the seven people who read my blog buy this, check out his other ironstone.  It goes with anything.

I don't have anything original to say about this.  It's an 18th Century bronze mortar and pestle from Gabe Ficht.  You can use it as a mortar and pestle.  I don't know how that works but it extracts flavors?  Or does it make meth?  I don't know.  I see them in people's houses now.  If the recipient doesn't know what it's for either, just act appalled to put them in their place.

This one writes itself!  From Margaret Whitman, something for the gardener who has everything.  Seriously, that is a beautiful watering can that will last forever.

From Old as Adam, a cool little dish in the form of a spiderweb.  The perfect spooky soap dish.  You knew there was going to be a soap dish.  You can use "it'll make an awesome soap dish" as an excuse to buy almost anything.

This is a bargain.  Available at Country Cupboard Antiques (Brendan Edgerton) for $125.  I love using these for remote controls or as a catchall.  When this one sells you'll have to look for another.  It probably won't be quite as nice for the money, but they are out there.

Finally, from Josh and Mary Steenburgh, a Victorian iron music stand that I would use for all the swanky status symbol magazines I don't subscribe to.  Note:  it is, not  If you do the wrong one you'll end up down the worm hole learning all about a couple who got married in Chicago and 2010.  They met at Ball State University.  Cute, but also creepy that I know that now.  Will I ever get them out of my head?

I'm thinking there will be ONE MORE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE.  Something along the lines of outrageously expensive objects for the person who has everything and would probably rather you donate that money to a charity.