Crunch-Time Gift Ideas

December 18, 2013

xmas_crunch   It’s almost Christmas Crunch-Time (and I don’t just mean the delicious candied popcorn we carry with the same name!), which means panic might start to sink in. Don’t worry, we still have plenty of gift ideas, courtesy of our own customers. In talking with people and looking at what has been selling, I’ve compiled a Now Trending list to help you out in your time of present-buying need!

Do-It-Yourself Gifts

  • Authentic Working Wood Catapult: Build your own historically accurate, working catapult! (Tiny castles to siege not included.)
  • Hishou Model Airplane: This twin-propeller pusher model airplane design dates back to Japan, 1911. Assemble and watch it soar!
  • Pinhole Camera Kit: Perfect for burgeoning photographers or teenagers who don’t even know that 35mm film still exists!

Gifts For Men

  • Our Edwin Jagger classic shaving sets (badger-hair brush, razor, bowl, and stand) are a best-seller for a reason. Encourage the man in your life to take time for himself with the closest shave possible at home.
  • Vintage pocket knives and corkscrews: We work with collectors and curate a handsome line of vintage pocket knives and antique corkscrews so that your gift will be as meaningful as it is functional!

So if you’re still shopping for that impossible-to-shop-for person in your life, stop by and talk to us or check us out online! We’ve got something for everyone, kids to grandparents, and all ages in between. Happy shopping!

The Holidays are about family, so why not give gifts to engender the spirit of togetherness? In plain words: Bring back family game night! Sterling Place has a bevy of games and activities for the whole family—I like to recommend these for people who aren’t sure what else to buy, because what you’re really giving is quality time spent together.

Wooden Chess and Checkers Set

Wooden Chess and Checkers Set

I’ve noticed a huge resurgence in the popularity of backgammon amongst our customers lately. To fit that bill, we have a travel set (12”, $58), a tabletop set ($65), and even a set that looks good being left out on its own as decoration, made of ebony wood ($148). The natural next question is, “What about chess and checker sets?” Yep, we have those, too! Wooden and paper sets, as well as one where you make your own pieces!

For bigger groups, why not try your collective hand at a puzzle? Our NYC subway system 500 piece puzzle will have you shouting, “No, it’s BERGEN Street!” in no time. (Or maybe it’s just me who shouts while doing puzzles…) Chinese Checkers is a good one, too, for up to six players. The hand-blown marbles are stunning on their own when not in use.

Chinese Checkers

Chinese Checkers

Dominos, a book of card games, playing card and poker sets… I really could go on for a while. Instead of listening to me, check out our site or visit in person. We’ll help you get family game night back on track!

Gifts for the Traveler

December 4, 2013

The light-up Orion Globe

The light-up Orion Globe

We all have that family member or friend who we know as the world traveler. They bring out your envious side when they start talking about their latest trip, and their picture slideshows are somehow actually exciting. You have to treasure the time you spend together because you never know where they’ll be running off to next. This year, why not give them a gift that will let them know you’re thinking of them even when they’re in far off lands?

Sterling Place is stocked with gifts for the traveler, so much so that I’ll restrain myself and just point out a few. The first is our selection of globes by Replogle, a company who’s been in the globe game for almost 100 years. They have a range of classic to contemporary styles, but my favorite is the Orion Globe. It has black oceans and a nightlight inside that softly illuminates the brightly colored countries.

One thing the traveler needs is a place to chronicle their exploits. That way they can regale you with all sorts of stories upon their return! Why not give one of our many different leather, hand-sewn journals? In a variety of sizes and styles, you’ll find one that’s easy for them to pack.

WWII Reproduction Compass

WWII Reproduction Compass

If that doesn’t strike your fancy, how about something to help guide them home? We have a range of (fully functional!) compasses inspired by designs from the past, like the same kind soldiers would have used in WWII. Pocket-sized and ranging in price from $19.95-$38, they won’t weigh down your traveler.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find something to spark that travel bug. Let Sterling Place help you encourage an adventure!

Holiday Helpers

November 14, 2013

As commercials on TV will attest, it is that time of year. “Again?” you may bemoan, or perhaps exclaim with a sense of excitement befitting a small child. Yes, the holidays are upon us, and in particular force this year. Thanks to a kink in the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah fall on the same day creating a portmanteau of epic proportions: Thanksgivukkah. With that and Christmas around the corner, you may find yourself wondering how ready you are to entertain. Whether it’s just immediate family or the whole neighborhood, we have an array of items that could help make it easier on you.


Big batch cocktails are easy for entertaining!

First off, let’s talk drink options. Have you considered making a large-batch cocktail the day before so that your guests can help themselves and not waste time mixing individual drinks? We have a bunch of great recipe books like Cocktails for a Crowd and Winter Cocktails that will show you how. Or have you checked your wine glasses lately? (Last I checked, a few of mine probably needed to be tossed.) We carry a line of German-made glassware, Schott Zwiesel, that is infused with a bit of titanium—that means that when it gets knocked over by Uncle Larry, it’s a little less likely to shatter. And at $16 a glass, you can afford to have a matching set. Or perhaps you’re looking for that vintage serving piece to spice up the table—how about a vintage silver plate tray with handles? All three of our stores have a variety!

While we can’t keep an eye on the kid’s table or bring the apple, sausage, and fennel stuffing, Sterling Place can still help you for the holidays. Come in to any of our three stores or shop online to see how!

When Less Really Is More

October 31, 2013

There are people out there who decorate to the nines for every holiday, big or small—every neighborhood has one. But what are you to do if you don’t have a whole garage or attic full of inflatable Santas and fake cobwebs and a 13’ Easter Bunny? I say put together the items you already have in a new and different way!halloween blog pic

Right now at Sterling Place, we have a stunning antique horn carving set that rests in a dark velvet cushioned box. By itself, it’s interesting (and functional!), but all we need to do is add another piece—in this case, a small animal skull—and suddenly it’s an appropriately creepy Halloween display! Arrange it on your table with a candelabra full of beeswax, dripless candles, and you have an effortless Halloween centerpiece.

So why make a special trip to the store to stock up on holiday home décor, when you could just pick up one or two new items at Sterling Place that will have year-long appeal by themselves but also combine with other objects to make a perfect seasonal display?

Talk to a staff member at any of our three stores and ask them to show you a piece that could take your home from blah to boo! in an instant.