If you know someone in Preston whose Victorian dining chairs are badly in need of restoration, why not treat them to a French polishing kit? Found in antique shops and hobby stores, these kits can be cheaply bought (typically less than £20) and contain premixed shellac, burnishing liquid and instructions.
This is just one of the many unusual Christmas gift ideas currently doing the rounds online. When you’re into antique and vintage, it seems there’s no limit to what is available.
For example, in Lancashire antique desks come in all shapes and sizes – not necessarily large, heavy or expensive ones. If you want to push the boat out you could order a rare antique library desk by Gillows of Lancaster for delivery. The 1790 originals are hard to track down (and highly expensive), but Gillows made late 19th century copies of these lovely Cuban Mahogany antique desks, and as a Lancashire-made product they are widely available.
However, if you want the recipient to have a surprise to unwrap on Christmas day the gift will need to be portable. Staying with antique desks, Preston showrooms often have antique lap desks and writing boxes this time of year. Also called writing slopes, they were designed to be placed on a table top and were the forerunner of the slope-topped desk, so are often quite old. However, it is possible to pick up a dainty Queen Anne writing slope for the same price as many larger, Victorian antique desks in Preston showrooms.
Alternatively, how about a working vintage telephone? Available in a range of styles, including Art Nouveau and Bakelite, they make perfect gifts for owners of antique desks. Preston antique dealers often use them in their displays.
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