For those looking to stock up on classic games, kites and all manner of pleasant diversions for summer afternoons spent outdoors, Fredericks & Mae is worth a browse. The beautiful Brooklyn-based e-tailer is the brainchild of artists Jolie Mae Signorile and Gabriel Fredericks Cohen, and features objects for the “home, garden and sky” – from sculptural, ceremonial bows ($195) and arrows made of thread-wrapped turkey, peacock and macaw feathers ($95) to Irish-linen beach towels ($300) in bold, graphic patterns. Each piece is also presented with a detailed, anthropological history (who knew that the oldest bows were found in Denmark and date back to 9,000 BC? Or that children in Mesopotamia wore tassels on hoods and caps to ward off demons?).
The Classics and War Games sections are particularly amusing, with childhood favourites such as bocce ($320, second picture), beach-tennis paddle sets ($140, third picture) and the world’s oldest board game, backgammon ($140), all in minimalist designs. Also worth mainlining this time of year is the Endless Summer section, with its kaleidoscopic windsocks ($130) and sleek skim boards ($320).
Every object – from checkers ($160) to bamboo cat lures ($190), kites (from $64-$500) to worry beads ($100-$500) – is handmade in the duo’s Bushwick design studio. Among the newest works are the bushel brushes ($90, fourth picture) – functional objets d’art hewn from maple, bright nylon and rubber – as well as a five-colour silk-screened cork dart board ($140, first picture) with matching darts (from $44 each, available in sets of three, fifth picture) made of vivid feathers and silk, on lead and steel. Technicolour tassels ($40 each) inspired by Egyptian talismans, simple hanging lamps in maple and walnut with cotton cords ($280) and playful hand-turned pipes ($80) all do double duty as decorative pieces.
Best of all, the games are all portable (with the exception of a mod foosball table top, $320), ensuring a long summer of fun and games.