Gifts to Surprise and Delight
Photographed by Marius W. Hansen
Sometimes what you give is as important as how you give it. This holiday season, bestow presents that combine beautiful and functional objects in thoughtful ways. The secret to pulling off this approach? A little help from The Line. Consider the below thematic sets with your gift list in hand. Assembled for recipients ranging from practical to more playful, each set arrives tucked inside a presentation box, ready to surprise and delight.
The Lump of Coal Set
The dreaded lump-of-coal stocking stuffer is reimagined as a collection of jet-black essentials from Japan. For centuries, artisans in Japan’s Kishu region have been burning oak branches to yield Binchotan charcoal, renowned for its purifying properties, and this set offers three forms: a bouquet of charcoal sticks that have myriad uses around the house, a gently exfoliating facial sponge, and a bar of facial soap that leaves skin looking smoother and brighter.
The Precious Spheres Set
The spherical creations of two Copenhagen-based designers come together in this exquisite surprise of a set. Julie Bonde’s black porcelain orb opens to reveal a glossy, cream-hued cache that contains an earring by Sophie Bille Brahe. “The whole idea with my pearl collection was to mix laid-back femininity with something a little bit more tough,” says the designer, who was inspired by orbiting celestial bodies to connect a South Sea pearl to a gleaming sphere of 14-karat gold.
The Elevated Essentials Set
Exquisite craftsmanship can transform everyday items into objects that are used and treasured for many holidays to come. This set, suitable for a man or a woman, pairs a Carl Auböck key ring with a Comme des Garçons card case. Made in Vienna of polished brass, the key ring is designed to “develop a soul over time, a certain patina,” according to Carl Auböck IV, while the leather card holder is embossed to hide scuffs and other signs of wear.
Take a cue from the Carl Auböck workshop in passing over “fashionable tricks” in favor of “simplicity and high quality.”
The Perfect Ten Set
All of the tools required to nail a perfect manicure or pedicure come together in this handpicked set. Iris Hantverk’s nail brush is handmade of oiled oak and fitted with durable natural bristles, while a blackened steel nail clipper from Kiya allows precision control of the especially sharp blade. A travel-friendly rollerball from Uka is scented with a stimulating blend of yuzu, hinoki (Japanese cypress), and sandalwood: the oil conditions nails in preparation for a coat of JINsoon’s glossy blush of Nostalgia.
The Big Cheese Set
Assembled with the epicure in mind, this set serves up handcrafted knives and a marble chopping board along with a cracker that is far from perishable. Coltellerie Berti’s Piccoli Italiani assortment includes a cheese fork, hard cheese knife, soft cheese knife, spatula for very soft cheeses, and bell knife for hard to semi-hard cheeses. Any spread looks inviting when set atop a slab of Calacatta marble, particularly when it includes a shiny conversation piece: Herbert Hoover’s pewter cracker.
The Wild Card Set
Shuffle up and sip. This ace gift set begins with a deck of golden playing cards from IDEA International of Japan. Their shimmering, spill-proof plastic coating makes them well-suited to accompany a rod-shaped brass bottle opener designed by Seattle-based Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister.
The Well-Composed Set
Expect a prompt thank you note from the recipient of this gleaming desk set. Minimalux’s brass resting place for a writing utensil doubles as a paperweight and is a perfect match for a sleek pen from HAY. One of the most popular of the Danish company’s solid, joyful, and functional objects, it is made of anodized paktong—an alloy of zinc, copper, and nickel—for a refined heft that feels good in the hand.