Helen Eida, production: I’ve always been drawn to lockets and the idea of keeping a photo of a loved one close to your heart, especially in this digital day and age.
This pretty 18ct onyx and diamond-set book locket (pictured top) up for auction at Duke’s of Dorchester caught my eye - it’s designed so you can store more than one photo, meaning I could have one of each of my kids in there (to avoid any arguments!). The estimate is £400-800 on December 7.
Muireann Grealy, production: Who wouldn’t want to have their most precious treasure guarded by a dragon? Selecting a ring or necklace from my small hoard will become a much more mythical experience if this is where it’s housed. The estimate is a very non-king’s ransom £30-50 from Brighton & Hove Auctions.
Laura Chesters, editorial: I love Victorian and Edwardian tiles - the colours and the fact they are beautiful and practical. I live in an Edwardian home with its fair share of original patterned tiles, but I covet a William De Morgan example. De Morgan (1839-1917) was a prolific designer of ceramics inspired by Islamic art.
The demand for tiles in the UK grew during the Victorian period due to the increased desire for hygiene - tiles can easily be wiped clean. According to the British Museum, by the 1860s wall and floor tiles were being produced on an industrial scale by leading ceramics manufacturers such as Minton and Maw & Co. It was around this time that the main proponents of the Arts & Crafts Movement, namely William Morris and De Morgan, started to experiment with tile design.
This tile in the Cavendish design was from De Morgan’s Merton Abbey period between 1882-88.
His friend Morris had already established a factory in Merton, near Wimbledon, and so in 1882, De Morgan moved his business to be closer to his friend. At the peak of this period, De Morgan & Co led around 40 employees to man the kilns, paint ceramics and throw pots.
This tile is priced at £595 at Great Grooms of Hungerford, Berkshire.
Gina Longhitano, subscriptions: I have chosen works by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama titled Pumpkin Yellow and Black and Red & White, 2016. Pumpkins and dots have been one of Kusama’s favourite recurring subjects and a mark of the artist - at the same time they are fun to look at.
These two cast resin sculptures are aesthetically pleasing, timeless, and estimated at £600-800 by Tate Ward Auctioneers on December 7.
Tom Derbyshire, editorial: Japanese prints are quite rightly treasured for their superb imagery, technical skill and sumptuous use of colour. But it is easy to forget sometimes that British printmakers could rival the best in the world. While an Edward Bawden or Eric Ravilious, say, will set you back a high price at auction, looking a bit further afield can bring rewards.
My pick for a Christmas print with a difference is by an artist called Eric Slater (1896-1963). The Coastguards Station, a simple but beautiful signed and inscribed woodcut image, 9 x 13in (22.5 x 32.5cm), is on offer at Salisbury saleroom Woolley & Wallis on December 13 estimated at £400-600.
Slater produced more than 30 colour woodcuts between 1926 and the outbreak of the Second World War, many depicting scenes near his home in Seaford, East Sussex. He was heavily influenced by Japanese woodblock artists. See ericslater.co.uk for more information.
Anne Crane, editorial: Drinking glasses have long been a popular present choice but rather than buying new, why not opt for some antique examples?
This group of four rummers of different form, dated to the early 19th century, will be coming up for auction at Clevedon Salerooms near Bristol on December 7.
Many antique wine or cordial glasses, especially those from the 18th century, have very small bowls but rummers, which were produced in quantity in the 19th century and are often very affordably priced, are distinguished by their generous sized bowls that are more akin to modern glasses, making them a practical present choice. The glass with a ‘lemon squeezer’ base pictured second left here, for example, measures just over 5in high (13cm) and has a rim diameter of 3½in (8.5cm).
Ideal for a glass of wine with your Christmas or Boxing Day lunch or dinner, they are offered as one lot with an estimate of £50-70.
Roland Arkell, editorial: It’s not just those who were born and raised in the north-east that admire the pottery of Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead. However, those of us that were hold it on special affection.
As a teen in the 1980s I would have given my Sony Walkman to own this lustre frog tankard, c.1830. It’s printed with the classic view of the iron bridge over the wear - a motif so common in Sunderland and Newcastle ceramics that one forgets what a splendid image it is, and what a remarkable engineering achievement it was when this 240ft (73m) span of cast iron first opened in 1796. To the reverse is a typical ‘Sailor’s Farewell’.
Fashions change and these pieces don’t command the interest they once did - but that does make them affordable. This one, standing 4¾ inches (12cm) tall and in near perfect condition, is priced at £250 by Northumberland dealer Jo Bradshaw who trades via the LoveAntiques.com website.
Lee Coxon, subscriptions: Being from a small ex-mining village in north-east England, scenes of cities have always held a special place for me. This etching by the English artist Julian Trevelyan titled Adultery with secretaries 1 is a beautiful urban skyline that calls to mind a hot night in late summer. To be offered by Forum Auctions in the British Sale on December 14, it has an estimate of £500-700.
Alex Capon, editorial: Ever since I started writing about the art market, I’ve always been struck by how it’s possible to spot (and buy) superb works on paper at affordable prices.
As well as looking for technical and compositional qualities, I like works with a sense of place, especially a city I’ve visited or landscape I’ve seen. I enjoy the thrill when you instantly recognise a picture depicting a view you’ve experienced but dating from an earlier period, and looking at what may or may not have changed over time.
This watercolour of Florence from the Arno by Charles Oppenheimer (1876-1961) is one such work. It’s coming up at Lyon & Turnbull’s Scottish Paintings & Sculpture sale on December 7, estimated at £600-900.
The view is taken from the Lungarno Guicciardini on the south bank of the Arno and, indeed, hasn’t changed too much since the day it was executed. I like the way the artist (who was born in Manchester but is considered a quintessentially Scottish painter) uses the square format to combine the four main sections of this small composition: the roof of the city, the placid river and bridges, the rolling hills beyond the Ponte Vecchio and the dynamic sky.
It's also loosely executed but detailed at the same time - showing considerable skill in my opinion.
Would it make a good present? Why not, just so long as the dog doesn’t chew it while under the tree.
Anam Uddin, production: If I were to invest in art, I would choose Yoshida Hiroshi - without a doubt. He was a painter and woodblock printmaker in Japan, travelling the world for inspiration through which he showcased his flawless and intricate use of detail and colour, always creating depth and a sense of serenity, taking mundane activities and elevating them to a snapshot of an ideal.
This piece, called Chionin Temple Gate from a series of woodblock prints called Eight Views of Cherry Blossoms, exemplifies his skills and is valued at $980 from Ronin Gallery.
Matt Ball, publishing director: As a keen chess player I’d love to play some games with this mid to late 19th century ‘Edinburgh Upright’ boxwood and ebony set. The pieces look really elegant and far more interesting than regular modern sets. It is available for £980 from dealer Luke Honey. All I need to do now is find a board from the same period.
Khadijat Rufai, calendar controller: Since coming across one of Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints and securing a modern print to hang on my wall, I have developed an interest in his series of woodblock prints from the Edo period. JG Auction in London will include some pieces in the Japanese Art Winter auction on December 16. The Other Side of Mt. Fuji work from the One Hundred Views of Mt Fuji series will be estimated at £200-300. Perhaps this is my chance to start a collection of Hokusai prints?
Dan Connor, advertising sales: As a long-suffering Tottenham Hotspur supporter who has seen the club win only two trophies in my adult lifetime, I often daydream about what it would have been like watching Bill Nicholson’s League and FA Cup double-winning team in the 1960-61 season.
This retro shirt is signed by eight of the history-making side and comes with a certificate of authenticity containing photographic proof of signature. It costs £359.99 (without frame) or £458.99 (framed)
Beverley Marshall, subscriptions: I love reading and especially like to do that in a wonderful chair. This bottle green early 20th century George II-style walnut wing-back chair will be the perfect place to escape to up over the Christmas period, where I intend to spend lost afternoons immersed in works of fiction, history and philosophy.
Estimated at £200-400 at the Sworders auction in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, it will be money well spent as the quality of my concentration and thinking will be greatly enhanced while I sit reading in this beautiful chair.
Susan Glinska, advertising sales: I would love to add this pair of Moorcroft flambé vases to my modest ceramics collection. The smooth shape and warm autumnal colours are highly appealing, especially at this time of year. The pair comes with original sales stickers and the official 1934 receipt and is on offer at Mendip Auction Rooms in Somerset on December 9 with an estimate of £400-600.
Eden Oram-Killas, advertising sales: Who doesn’t love a chic evening bag to take to sparkly Christmas parties this time of year? I’ve always loved having a collection of handbags that are available to elevate even the simplest of outfits. What I love even more is having something that nobody else has, which is always the perk of buying vintage or second-hand!
Offered by Hermitage Fine Art and estimated between €350-500 on December 12 in Monaco, this vintage pink satin Valentino evening bag pairs perfectly with a fun holiday dress and a glass of champagne. Clink!
Rachel Tolley, advertising sales: As a lover of all things ancient and classical, I would never say no to a Grand Tour marble bust of the young Octavius.
This would be a great statement piece and will add an elegant touch to any room, if only I could have the manor house to match too!
If you are looking for some unique items, the Cheffins Fine Sale commencing on December 6 is a great place to start.
The estimate for this elegant bust, which will be offered on the second day of the three-day sale, is only £150-250.
Frances Allitt, editorial: Antique treen gingerbread moulds appear in all shapes and sizes, and the variety of pictures they bear make them appealing collecting items. This seasonally appropriate 19th century example, 7 x 3in (18 x 7cm), is carved with a picture of St Nicholas and would have been used to celebrate the saint in December. Opus Antiques, a specialist in antique treen and decorative wooden items, offers the mould for £275.
Gingerbread has a long history dating back to the 16th century when the ginger was used as a preservative. These early examples tended to be less sweet, were made of a dense dough, and featured the flavours of almonds, dates and aniseed. Rather than being baked, these were left to dry in front of the fire. They would keep for up to a year. By the 18th century, gingerbread had become more its modern self, made with flour, sugar and eggs.
I’ve recently started baking a little and have been looking for a good recipe for an old-fashioned gingerbread loaf (although maybe not quite so old fashioned as the one above). The recipe in The Farmhouse Kitchen by Mary Norwak is good, but you do have to go heavy on the ginger. I always find treen appealing and the combination of a good old piece of wood and the word ‘gingerbread’ inevitably caught my eye.
Dan Butcher, production: ‘The Rock-a-Who?’ - as a keen fan of comic book illustration and art-nouveau, the union of the two as illustrated in these The Rocketeer promotional proofs would have pride of place framed on my office wall.
They’re estimated at $600-1200 and are on sale from the Propstore auction house from December 7-8 in California. As the character Eddie Valentine says in the film: ‘Go get 'em, kid!’
Alison Hoar, advertising sales: Adorning the walls with some colourful artwork is an ideal way to brighten up those dark, wintery days - and Wilson55’s Northern Art sale has plenty on offer to choose from.
This particular stand-out piece from Jamie Wood illustrating The Empire in Manchester combines a variety of rosy hues and dramatic shadows ideal for any interior.
Justin Taylor, production: As a graphic designer, I have a keen interest in many areas of design including architecture, interior design and engineering.
Lalique (René Lalique, 1860-1945) is one of my favourite designers. He delivered both style and simplicity during a time of great change and innovation spanning the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. For me, the ‘Lalique’ style has a timeless quality which can be confidently displayed in both traditional and modern interiors. Prices start at an affordable level and the compact nature of the items makes shipping manageable. This small post-war glass figure is a great opportunity to indulge my passion for this style.
The Lalique frosted glass figure of a kneeling/seated figure of a lady, 4in (10cm) high, is on offer at Somerset saleroom Mendip Auction Rooms on December 9, estimated at £40-50.