The supreme challenge of the Christmas season is to find the rare, the unexpected, the most appropriate gift. To help solve this problem, here is a collection of 100 ideas that should win warm welcome in a home where sport is loved. Some of them are one-of-a-kind—rare sporting books, an Audubon print, a collection of antique decoys. Others are not so rare, but they can be "just the thing," and the prices range from $5 to $700.
All the items on these pages were selected and are offered for the companionableness of their character. The gift of giving is to fit the person with the gift.
Bicycle-Wheel bar by Baker is of pecan wood, has Micarta top ($389, Lord & Taylor). Champagne bucket is sterling trophy cup ($700), and glasses are cut crystal ($72 dozen, both Tiffany). Wild Turkey, Male is Bien second edition Audubon print ($185, Old Print Shop). Hand-woven wool rug has Chinese running horse motif ($60, Morjikian).
Indian horses of brass are authentic "temple toys," make fine bookends (each $35, Plummer, Ltd.). Books are from 33-volume set of 19th-century New Sporting Magazine, leather-bound ($485 the set, Ackerman Gallery). Sheaffer pen ($15) has sterling stand ($55, both Tiffany). Sportsman's stationery may be engraved to your order (Tiffany).
Oak-Barrel bar with brass binding opens on both sides ($225, Dunhill, Ltd.). Auto horn is bulb-type antique ($23, Bloomingdale's). Zebra rug is from Kenya ($200, Macy's). Hand-carved woodcock is by J. Ahearn ($65, Abercrombie & Fitch). Quail andirons are solid brass ($165 pair, Crossroads of Sport). Terracotta quail are Italian-made for Mottahedeh ($15 each, W & J Sloane). Hunting horn is English antique ($50, B. Altman). Old wassail bowl is carved of English lignum vitae ($250, Bloomingdale's). Antique ship's water barrel is brassbound ($40, Brooks Bros.). Swords are French antiques (left $75, right $90, Bloomingdale's). Pigskin pig is traditional English country footstool ($115, B. Altman). Ship's light and binnacle lamp with compass are antique English ($50 each, Brooks Bros.). Floor lamp is of old French gun ($100, B. Altman). Ceramic huntsman by Marilyn Newmark ($190, Crossroads of Sport). My Horses, and Other Essays by Nimrod is rare edition ($20, Ackerman Gallery). The Sport of Our Fathers is by George Stubbs, Ben Marshall, Walter Sparrow ($50, Ackerman Gallery).
Sporting prints, old and new, make Christmas gifts with a personal character. This selection shows (top to bottom) Trotting Stallion, an 1866 Currier & Ives lithograph ($85, Old Print Shop); Oarsman, a contemporary color woodcut by Paul Shaub ($30, Weyhe Gallery); Brook Trout Fishing, An Anxious Moment, an 1862 Currier & Ives lithograph ($450, Old Print Shop); Pintails Feeding and Fighting Pheasants (each $10), two Hans Kleiber etchings; Close Quarters ($10), a Nat Lowell etching, and In the Sugar Lot ($18), a Churchill Ettinger etching (all at Associated American Artists). Top right: Shell Hunters by Paul Shaub is a color woodcut ($55, Weyhe Gallery). Fishing for Fowl ($20) and Good Fishing ($35) are both Antonio Frasconi woodcuts (Weyhe Gallery). Citation is a lithograph by C. W. Anderson ($10), Hairpin Gate—Giant Slalom ($18) is a Churchill Ettinger etching, and The Three Graces ($10) is an etching by Luigi Lucioni (all Associated American Artists). Contemporary prints signed by artists.
Weather watchers come in various sizes and guises. Wilfred O. White wind instrument gives wind direction and speed on dials inside house ($122.50, Hammacher Schlemmer). Barometer has horse on ceramic insert ($85, Abercrombie & Fitch). Salem barometer and ship's bell clock are brass ($236.50, Crossroads of Sport), as is small Salem ship's clock ($55 plus tax, Hammacher Schlemmer).
Gaming table is of teak. Flip top is teak on one side, green felt on other ($125). Chairs match ($49, W & J Sloane). Chintz has hand-printed Kentucky Bred Champions design ($5 yard, Greeff). Sailing Ship Models by R. Morton Nance is one of a limited edition of 100, leather-covered ($40, Ackerman Gallery). Chessmen are French olive and rosewood ($25), board is inlaid ($11, both Macy's). Red leather cartridge cases are for playing cards ($37.50) and cigarettes ($25, Bloomingdale's). Rug is leopardskin ($249, Macy's.). On table top: Giant cards are Viennese ($5, B. Altman). Glass has handpainted game birds ($42 dozen, Mark, Fore & Strike, Florham Park, N.J.). Golf club stirrer is sterling ($14.50, Tiffany). Water goblet comes with yacht club flag and private burgee (to order, Tiffany). Green onyx ashtray has jumping-hunter model ($45, Abercrombie & Fitch). Cigarette lighter contains Canada-goose model in Lucite base ($35, Mark, Fore & Strike). English setter is of Royal Doulton ceramic ($85, Abercrombie & Fitch).
For the hunting set, this Crown Staffordshire English bone china is hand-painted (dinner plate $8, cup and saucer $5.50, demitasse $5.50, covered dish $10.50, creamer $5.50, sugar bowl $10.50: at Plummer, Ltd.).
Mallard-Family lamp has hand-carved base by J. Ahearn ($150, Crossroads of Sport). Limoges china is decorated with game birds (coffeemaker $15, saucepan $12, ovenproof casserole $32.50, place setting $27: Mayhew). Menaboni songbird plate (rear) comes in sets of four ($25 the set, Abercrombie & Fitch). Mahogany table has game-bird tiles ($142.50, Carl V. Schieran: Sakowitz, Houston). Woodcock is by J. Ahearn (see page 45).
Nautical tray is mahogany, with sailor knots and compass rose mounted under glass ($30, Crossroads of Sport). Yacht earthenware is blue and white, has anchor decoration (dinner plates $49 dozen, cup and saucer $49 dozen: Plummer, Ltd.). Stoneware mugs are emblazoned with your club and boat burgees ($35 for six, Hammacher Schlemmer). Gold-rimmed old-fashioned and other cocktail glasses have your burgee applied to order ($73 per dozen, Tiffany). Antique Danish compass has green tole case and cover ($28, Bloomingdale's).
Pewter tankards are shown in three styles. Large antique one has two handles, glass bottom ($49.50, Bloomingdale's); covered one is modern ($17.50, Dunhill, Ltd.), as is the one-handled one at right ($10, Lord & Taylor). Pillow has hand-appliquéd wood duck, (by Mrs. Marion Newton, $12: Crossroads of Sport). Decoys are all one-of-a-kind, circa 1900. Merganser (lower left) is $35; Canada goose $25; curlew on driftwood $35; yellowlegs $55 (all Stony Point, N.Y. Folk Art Gallery). Duck lamp is pewter ($178, B. Altman). Nautical weathervane is of antiqued copper ($220, B. Altman). French china greyhound is almost life-size, comes from Bavant in Normandy ($225, Mayhew). Chintz has America's Cup defenders' print ($5 a yard, Greeff). Prints are original lithographs: Off to the Onion Patch by Raymond Creelmore ($10) and Two Pair by Churchill Ettinger ($25, both Associated American Artists). Richard Bishop's Etchings of Waterfowl & Upland Game Birds is a rare edition ($50, Abercrombie & Fitch). Pewter canapé tray has raised horse-head design ($20, Black, Starr & Gorham).