When I think back to the most memorable presents I’ve been given, often they’ve come from antique or junk shops – something that the giver has discovered, loved and thought was perfect for me. There’s nothing more wonderful than a Saturday spent searching for vintage finds, but we don’t always have the time – nor is there necessarily a flea market or shop handy just when it’s needed. So why not trawl online instead, through something such as Vintage Seekers, which has almost every category of object you could think of.
You can, for instance, get a first edition (1959) of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (right in picture), for £11,500, or a 1950s Kosta decanter (its brilliant red stopper is what makes it special) by Vicke Lindstrand (£185, centre in picture), or a 1900s leather cartridge case for the shooting set (£495). There are watches (lots by Rolex and Audemars Piguet, Breitling et al, from £2,650) and ski posters (from £680 – now very collectable). There's fine jewellery (a sparkling art-deco ring in black onyx and diamonds for £3,000), as well as costume pieces (I hanker after a 1970s faux-emerald necklace by Christian Dior, for £560). There is also a good selection of crocodile handbags, which, costing between £250 and £600 (1950s example left in picture, £275), seem like a bargain. In particular, there is one from the 1960s in dark caramel (£264) that is the height of modern chic.
The site also runs a rather special service that enables you to choose a wine or spirit from a certain year, whether the date of a birth or a wedding anniversary. And if it’s a certain model of classic car you’re after, they’ll help you track it down. Trawling through Vintage Seekers is almost as much fun as a good wander round Alfie’s Antique market.