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The Art of Christmas Shopping - Courtauld Gallery

The Art of Christmas Shopping at The Courtauld Gallery

For those looking for Christmas gifts that are special, stylish and beautiful, The Courtauld Gallery Shop has a wonderful range, including cards, many of which are inspired by the world-famous Gallery.

From fine jewellery, prints, books and ceramics to scarves, bags, toys and games, most of the products are exclusive to the Shop and many are hand-made by craftsmen in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Turkey.

Christmas shopping can now be done from home through the online shop at

Exclusively created for the exhibition Cézanne’s Card Players, on view at The Courtauld Gallery until January 16, 2011, are silver and ceramic jewellery and other ceramics.

Hand-crafted ceramic and sterling silver jewellery is designed by Cardiff-based husband and wife Geffen and Noa Blok and includes Queen of Hearts and Ace of Hearts pendants and earrings (pendants £30 to £35, earrings £35).

An amusing range of fine bone china includes mugs and plates with playing card designs by Jan Constantine, each piece hand-made by William Edwards in Stoke on Trent (£12 to £30).

German ceramist Bernhard Kuehn has created an over-the-top collection of hand-made porcelain in which he uses the “perfectly imperfect” shape of the napkin ring, playing card or dice, some plated in gold or platinum (gold-plated dice £35, napkin rings £20 each).

Those who admire the sculptures in The Courtauld Gallery can acquire a sensuous plaster female figure after Reclining Nude by Frank Dobson (1886-1963) (£95) or four different figures of ballet dancers and one of a horse by Edgar Degas (1834-1917), including Spanish Dancer (£350) and Study of a Nude (£325).

Inspired by The Courtauld History of Dress Collection, popular items in the Shop are colourful silk ties and scarves, as well as cotton bags and tea towels after textile designs from the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, (ties £25, scarves £40, bags £12, tea towels £5).

Other new products on offer this season include Japanese woollen hats and gloves in vivid colours, ideal for skating on the popular Somerset House Ice Rink (hats £30, scarves £40).

Unusual and exclusive Japanese earrings, bangles, pendants, purses and hair slides are made from acrylic and silk with patterns dating back hundreds of years – no two pieces are the same. They are hand-made by Futuba who have been making these fabrics in Tokyo since 1920 using traditional designs and dying techniques (bangles and earrings £30, pendants and hair slides £20, purses £15).

Turkish 15th and 16th century Iznik ceramics were amongst the finest ever produced, and the Shop offers a range of ceramics made by modern craftsmen and women in Turkey who have rediscovered many of the ancient traditions of Ottoman ceramics which had been lost for 300 years.

The Iznik collection of tiles (£10 to £15), bowls (£20 to £40), plates (£25 to £125), coasters (£6.50) and placemats (£10), are all colourfully decorated with tulips, carnations and other flowers as well as birds such as peacocks and bluebirds.

Animal lovers will be drawn to a group of wood trays and coasters decorated with a giraffe, zebra or hippo by Sezzatini in Florence who have been making wooden articles for more than 40 years. Its trays are created by the hands of expert craftsmen who have mastered Florentine decorative techniques (trays £25, coasters £5.95).

Children will be delighted by an imaginative range of attractive wooden toys, stackers and jigsaws hand-painted in dazzling colours, as well as a washable ‘design your own teddy’ and a ‘blackboard’ mug with four coloured chalks so a new picture can be drawn on it each time it is used (£8.95 to £25).

As well as catalogues for exhibitions past and present and other books, the Shop will be offering, from the makers of the legendary Moleskine notebooks, The London Painting Trail which features seven suggested guides to masterpieces located at some of London’s finest art institutions, including The Courtauld Gallery. It is the perfect stocking filler for anyone with an interest in art (£12.50).

Finally, why not share your love of art by giving someone a membership of the Friends of The Courtauld (from £50) – a gift that lasts a whole year!

The Courtauld Gallery is one of the finest small museums in the world, located at Somerset House, an 18th century palace on the banks of the Thames designed by William Chambers. Once the home of the Royal Academy of Art, the Gallery is an elegant and intimate space in which to enjoy its outstanding collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the 20th century.

The exceptional Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works include such celebrated paintings as Edouard Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Lucas Cranach’s Adam and Eve. Other highlights of the collection include masterpieces by Botticelli, Cézanne, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Matisse, Renoir and Rubens.

The Gallery holds regular temporary exhibitions, currently Cézanne’s Card Players, organised with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is the first exhibition to focus on Paul Cézanne’s famous paintings of peasant card players and pipe smokers.

The Courtauld Gallery Shop – open daily from 10am to 6pm

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7848 2579


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