Thursday, 19 May 2011

New York, New York - Feel the Luxe

As the saying goes, New York is so good, they named it twice. And as far as I'm concerned it's even better the second time around, certainly worth a re-visit.
So that's what we've done at Becker Minty, re-living everything from Prohibition to Studio 54 via a vintage collection recently hand-picked in New York by Jason Minty.

From tabletops to torsos, no surface has been left unadorned, and the lavishness of 20th century New York is all around us. 
Whether you fancy a cocktail, a disco top or a whimsical pair of bookends, every one can take a little bite of the Big Apple.

But beware, this collection is very more-ish: one bite is just not enough... 

But that's okay, because, as I've always said, less is just that - less, and more really is more.

You can even create your own Manhattan skyline with the truly sensational cityscape lamps and pendant light. Think bright lights, big city and pile on the silver, the gold and the glass.

On your dressing table, your coffee table and your bar. 

Then add colour. Lots of colour.  In glassware, ceramics and bakelite.

And if you need a small break from the big smoke, make like a true New Yorker and pop down to Florida for a minute and get yourself some bird life - prints, bottle openers and salt and pepper shakers, perfect for the collector of all things avian.

And for those who prefer something closer to the real thing, wrap yourself in our marabou and ostrich boas, collars and capelets. They may be new, but they've got vintage glam written all over them.


New York at Becker Minty: I wanna be a part of it.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Frutta di Mare

Now this is actually my favourite thing OF ALL TIME, combining three of my other favourite things, all conveniently packaged in the one beautiful homeware: shagreen, silver and half an avocado.

Traditionally known as shark skin, shagreen’s popularity surged in the late 19th / early 20th century (another of my favourite eras) often used as covering for small boxes, and instrument cases.
Truth be known, it’s actually made from the skin of a ray, technically part of the shark family. And after what they did to Steve Irwin, perfectly OK to be skinned.

This particular example takes the organic sculptural form of a cleanly devoured avocado, the naturally speckled surface perfect for this, the interior in a beaten silver, alluding to both the freshly scraped inside and the surface of the water in which the shark once preyed.

No longer any danger, and with no more calories, this is my kind of seafood.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011



It’s been called elegant, it’s been called kitsch, but I for one have never been able to resist the tropical pull of a bit of bamboo.
I wish I’d been the one to think of popping it on a handbag. 

I think I’m right in saying (and if I’m not, I’m still stickin’ to my story) that the bamboo handle first appeared on bags in the 1940s. 

As Europeans gradually departed the occupied East, they did so with eastern motifs in hand. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a trigger for the memory of sipping on a Singapore sling, resplendent in rattan, in the colonnaded colonial glory of Raffles? 

Mind you they’d been appropriating oriental imagery for almost two centuries by then. As far as I know the bamboo look first appeared in Europe in the second half of the 1700s, the English being particularly fond.


It experienced a growth spurt in the extravagant Regency period, my favourite era, and now its casually aristocratic touch has become a timeless staple in the annals of style.
 Put it anywhere you want, but whatever you do, don’t grow your own.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Totally Ace


This has got to be my totally favourite thing right now.
And I don’t even play cards.
But these I had to have.

Perfect when the cognac and cigars come out.
Around a circular table, dimly lit by a low hanging glass pendant.

And when the chips aren’t flying, pop the cards on your art deco credenza, decoratively stored in their customized velvet lined apricot wood box.

And you know how we feel about a small decorative box.

Did somebody say card sharp?

Available at Becker Minty stores and online 


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sculptural planes

These propellors have gotta be up there with my all time faves. 

Before they came into my life I’d never looked at an aeroplane as a thing of beauty – I’ve always been primarily concerned with safety and comfort, not necessarily in that order. And only twice in my life have I boarded a propellored plane – once 25 years ago in China for a truly terrifying flight, where air conditioning consisted of hand-held paper fans; the other I jumped out of (with parachute, of course) and if you’d seen this plane you’d understand why I was glad to have done so.

                       But I’d never abandon these flights of fancy.

The highly polished, almost mirrored finish highlights the individual contours of   each propellor. And in so doing conveys an altogether different sense of movement from their original purpose. The technical and potentially dangerous has been tamed, and although now static, seems quite serene.

It’s like industrial taxidermy.

Perfect for the modern trophy hunter, each piece comes with a pedigree: the model number of the vintage plane, and the quantity built are documented. The age, original quantity and current condition determine the value of each propellor.  

Available at Becker Minty and online

And considering their artistic merit, and that they constitute a one-off expense that will last you forever, they are miles ahead of any other spare part.
And with the turning circle of a dinner plate they fit in any environment.

Perfect landing.