Antique Gift Ideas

The shops seem to be swimming in a sea of poorly made disposable gifts. Sadly, we all know too well how a lovingly wrapped, thoughtfully selected gift, can quickly end up in landfill. The latest gadgets often come with a high price tag, but low shelf life, breaking faster than you can say ‘…Now where did I put that receipt…?”

With rising awareness around the need to mend, restore & up-cycle, for a greener planet; it is no wonder that antiques have made such a resurgence with the millennial generation. As finely crafted, treasured items, that already exist; antiques make wonderful gifts, that don’t cost the earth, and last a lifetime.

Antiques hold and appreciate in value, so giving an antique item is also the gift of an investment. It adds value to itself, unlike the sea of smart devices that rely heavily on the mining of rare earth metals, and other dwindling resources.

With this in mind, we have specially selected some of our favourite and most gift worthy pieces, as well as throwing in some other slightly more quirky ideas.

For The Beloved Rambler

Victorian Umbrella StandThis beautiful, cast iron, Victorian umbrella stand is a must. Also ideal for walking sticks, this item, originating from the 1860’s, is a perfect example of how antique’s can make very unique gifts; as well as providing a longer lasting, greener gift option. This versatile piece is ideal for a countryside or city residence.

The stand is an original Carron and has a beautiful pierced design, enamelled drip trays and is in fantastic condition, stamped. c1860

H 39″, W 34″, D 11″

H 100cm, W 87cm, D 28cm

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For the Keen Gardener

Antique Garden ToolsThere is a wide range of beautiful garden antique’s available. But for a smaller item, look no further than these beautifully restored and presented antique tools; which make a delightful and unusual gift. Available from Garden and Wood, alongside a number of options for little garden helper, from lovingly restore miniature wheel barrows, to rare and unusual watering  cans. (available from

For the lover of house plants, we have a selection of antique planters including a pair of unusual Arts and Crafts plant stands, in oak, originating from around 1890, they’re a real winner. Once again this gift is really versatile; and would suit a wide range of country or city dwellings.

However, they would be set off particularly well in a house or apartment of the colourful late Victorian, early Arts and Crafts, era.

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For Him

German Wall ClockWhat could be more striking , pardon the pun, than this masculine wall clock? This beautiful item, dating from around 1870, and of German origin, has been lovingly crafted in oak and brass. A versatile edition to any room. It has the original fingers and has a brass bezel in an oak case. The movement has been cleaned and serviced by a horologist and it is guaranteed for 12 months (UK mainland).c1870

10″dial 12″overall D4.5″

25.5cm dial 30.5cm-overall D11.5cm

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Victorian Writing SlopeIf you are looking for something a little easier to wrap, look no further than this early Victorian writing slope. The original ‘laptop’ writing slopes open up to provide not only a place to store writing implements, but a small fold out desk, which can be used in bed, or on the go.

The ideal gift for those who prefer to write, sketch, journal, calculate or dream on paper. This brass bound, rosewood slope originates from around 1840;  and includes a leather writing surface, pen tray and 3 secret drawers, all in original condition.

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For Her

Antique Jewelry BoxA fine counterpart to the rosewood writing slope. This rosewood jewellery box/dressing box really would make a remarkable gift. Towards the end of the 18th century, with more people travelling, dressing boxes first gained popularity amongst men. But as time went on, and women also travelled more, they became increasingly common and elaborate amongst women also.

This box, dating from around 1860, still has its original plush interior, jars and mirror, and is in wonderful condition throughout. It would make a marvellous gift for a man or woman; and is available from Nimbus, along with a wide range of other beautiful boxes.

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Antique Victorian Silver BangleIn the world of antique jewellery, it is possible to find a gift for him or her that is not only unique, but steeped in history and romance. This sterling silver Victorian bangle, with yellow and rose gold inlay dates from around 1880. The rose golden forget-me-nots remain an enduring symbol of love today, as they were when they were painstakingly carved by master smiths all those years ago. This piece, from the antique jewellery group, can be found on

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Sheraton Revival Bijouterie Table in MahoganyThis quirky, octagonal, Sheraton Revival display table, would make a thoughtful gift for anyone, but especially the avid collector. Made from satinwood, the piece dates from around 1900. It would also dovetail well with a gift of a delicate collectable, allowing it to be lovingly displayed and protected.

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Gifts for the Kids

Antique Toy ChestAn antique chest, or trunk, provides a wonderful place for children to store their toys and treasures, and could stay in a family for generations. They also make excellent fancy dress boxes; which you could have fun filling with all sorts of wonderful things.

They are available in a wide range of styles and sizes, to fit different rooms. This Victorian light oak and steel example, is from Graham Smith Antiques, and can be viewed on the LAPADA website

Antique Rocking HorseThe steed (and gift) that never tires. For younger children, who can beat the classic, antique rocking horse? Hours of fun to be had, and should the family grow out of the gift after a few years, unlike with today’s plastic toys, the item will have held, and possibly increased in its value.

Available from

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Baby’s and Toddlers

Georgian Rocking ChairAntique highchairs, cots, rockers and children’s furniture; make a heart warming edition to any young family’s home. This Georgian, child’s rocking chair from London Fine Antiques, is no exception.

Available from

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For the Home

Antique Wall LightsExpecting visitors? There are a number of ways to create a stunning ambience in the home. A little vintage decoration, and the odd antique edition, can add a real touch of class. Why not add a set of antique candlesticks to the Christmas spread? Or some warm, traditional lighting to the living room? This beautiful pair of gilded, cast brass twin arm wall lights, from around 1890 would give that perfect glow to any home.

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Art Lovers

Victorian Mahogany EaselWhether an artist or art lover, what better gift than a beautiful antique easel? Ideal for creating new work, or exhibiting existing work, or a fine, much cherished painting by a favourite artist? There are many fine designs available such as this beautiful Victorian mahogany easel from Shackladys Antiques. Available from

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Gifts for Collectors and Hobbyists

Antique BooksFrom music lovers to equestrians, in the world of antiques and collectables there is something for even the most unusual of hobbyist. Why not explore the world of antiques and collectibles around the person that you are buying for’s favourite hobby?

It is so easy to forget that everything we see around us today has a past. And where better to discover that history than in a book? From nautical history, to natural history. An antique book relating to a hobbyists favourite topic, would also make a very thoughtful present.

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Buying for an Antiques Lover

Perhaps you have a friend or family member who loves antiques? And you already know that they would really appreciate an antique gift. Perhaps you even have an idea of what you would like to give them; and of budget, but don’t know where to start?

Why not speak with a trusted dealership like Nimbus Antiques? Nimbus Antiques has been established in Derbyshire for over 30 years. They have a wealth of experience and are very happy to advise new buyers.

However, any trusted BADA or LAPADA registered antiques dealer should be able to advise you. Do bear in mind the home of the person that you are buying for. They may love the piece, but will it fit? stylistically and physically?

For larger furniture purchases, It is best to take measurements if possible, and to consider how it will work in the space from a practical and design perspective. If you are unsure, feel free to get in touch with our expert team who are happy to advise.