Tuesday, 29 November 2011

History Lover's Gift Guide: The Nineteenth Century

About this time last year, I blogged about eighteenth century themed gifts that would make perfect Christmas presents for fans of all things Georgian. This year, I'm skipping forward into the nineteenth century to offer up a selection of ideas for lovers of this period, from Regency elegance to Victorian decadence. Enjoy!

Victorian Key Brooch, £28 by Bena, culturelabel.com
This quirky antique key brooch would look great against a brightly coloured coat...
Gilbert & George Gin Brooch, £27 by Tatty Devine, culturelabel.com
....Failing that, there's this brooch - reminiscent of nineteenth century gin palaces.
Days of Decadence Ring, £11.50 by Storm in a Teacup, culturelabel.com
This cocktail ring is large and ostentatious enough to pass for Victorian...
Vintage Picture Set, £22.95, by I Love Retro, culturelabel.com

Hummingbird & Cage Cushion, £70, by The Natural History Museum
...While these botanical and wildlife prints and cushion - taken from nineteenth century encyclopaedia and catalogues - are as delicate looking as they are beautiful.
Be Silly Print, £25, by TAG Fine Arts x Stephen Kenny, culturelabel.com
Artist Stephen Kenny found a collection of nineteenth century sayings in an old printer's book of typography, turning them into a series of posters for a modern audience.
Victorian Style Birdcages, £129.95, by I Love Retro, culturelabel.com
These ornamental Victorian style birdcages might not be suitable for feathered occupants, but are striking enough on their own.

Blue Asiatic Pheasant Teacup & Saucer, £17.25, Burleigh
Blue Calico Chinese Bowl - Small - £15.25, Burleigh
Based on original early and mid-nineteenth century designs, Asiatic Pheasant and Blue Calico form part of a huge collection of patterns still in production at one of the last remaining Victorian pottery factories in North Staffordshire. 
Aubrey Beardsley 'Angel' Christmas Cards, £5 for 10, V&A Museum
Aubrey Beardsley Christmas cards show off the nineteenth century Aesthetic movement at its best...
Jane Austen Bust, £15, The Jane Austen Centre, Bath
...while a bust of Jane Austen could provide daily desktop inspiration.
'A Gaiety Girl' Print, from £25, V&A Museum 
'Mr Darcy Loves Elizabeth' Card, £2.50, The Jane Austen Centre, Bath
Posters and greetings cards look just as good as artist prints when framed, like this striking theatrical poster from 1895, and the Darcy-and-Elizabeth inspired card above.

Victoria & Albert Christmas Decorations, £9.50 each,
National Portrait Gallery
And finally, what better way to salute a love of the nineteenth century than with Victoria and Albert adorning your Christmas tree?!

Images courtesy of culturelabel.com, V&A Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Burleigh, The Natural History Museum and The Jane Austen Centre.


  1. Laura! Just in time for shopping. Hope you've been well. I'll take one of each of those Victoria and Albert ornaments. They're wonderful! Happy Holidays, Laura.

  2. Hello Catherine, I'm very well thank you, and hope you are as well. The Vicky and Bertie decorations are brilliant, aren't they? The NPG also does King Henry VIII, all six of his wives and a few other past monarchs, too. :)

    Happy Holidays to you, too.

  3. Ah I could chose a few of these pretty objects for my xmas list! I am especially fond of the jewellery and blue and white ceramics. What lovely finds Laura.