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A Christmas market with a contemporary twist

An iconic furniture-maker hosts a market selling imaginative gifts

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A Christmas market with a contemporary twist

December 05 2011
Nicole Swengley

Forget standard seasonal offerings. For festive shopping with a difference, head to London’s Clerkenwell where, from Monday December 5, the iconic furniture manufacturer Vitra is holding a contemporary Christmas market. Here you’ll find imaginative gifts at stalls run by seven designer-makers or small producers. And, in the spirit of goodwill, 10 per cent of all sales will go to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.

Londoners will love Susan Bradley’s letter racks designed like Routemaster buses, black cabs (third picture) and the London skyline (£20) and bookends shaped like architectural icons such as The Gherkin and Battersea Power Station (£18). Meanwhile Reiko Kaneko, a Japanese/English designer, gives traditional British fine bone china a new twist with her quirky Christmas baubles (£14.95), boat-shaped fruit bowl (£119) and Breakfast Express train in which magnets link three “carriages” – toast rack, egg cup and salt cellar (second picture, £19.95 each).

A stall curated by Creative Clerkenwell is showing design-led work by jewellers Amanda Li Hope and Oxx Jewellery, home to accessories specialist Michelle Mason and ceramicist Jo Davies. Treats include Hope’s sterling silver XX cuff links (£180) and diamond-set gold earrings (£600), Oxx’s reversible silver/rubber necklace (£195), Davies’ porcelain cups (first picture, from £9) and Mason’s Decca record label-inspired cushions (£55). Nostalgia is also conjured by Falcon’s newly relaunched, classic enamelware, including five-piece bake sets (from £54.99).

Vitra is offering special editions of the Hang It All coat hooks, designed by Charles and Ray Eames (£183), and George Nelson’s Ball Clock (£196). Meanwhile, lighting company Belux will launch its new Baby Cloud LED-fitted table light, designed by Frank Gehry, at the special price of £198 (normally £264).