Christmas Shopping: From the dream-charms of American Indians to craftwork from Egypt via a Harley-Davidson you can't ride, Rosalind Russell seeks out some novel gifts

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A gift from Egypt? The Egyptian House is an Egyptian government- sponsored shop helping unemployed families sell traditionally made goods and is the first of several to be opened around the world. Blue ceramic worry-bands are pounds 27.95, ear-rings from pounds 2.95, stone carved figures from pounds 11.50. The shop also sells rugs, brass lanterns, glass perfume bottles, scarabs and silver. The Egyptian House, 77 Wigmore Street, London W1 (071-935 9839).

West of the Mississippi, north of the Rio Grande . . . well, Gabriel's Wharf actually, on the South Bank, London. It's where the Museum of the Moving Image has taken a unit at a craft fair, to tie in with its current Western exhibition. On sale are silver Dream Catchers - as used by American Indians, two sizes (long dreams and fleeting dreams?) from pounds 15; silver and turquoise Navajo jewellery; posters from The Unforgiven and The Last of the Mohicans; and classic Western video films. From 11am to 6pm daily, 8pm on Wednesday, until Christmas Eve.

It looks expensive, it looks impressive, but the limited-edition Pentax Espio Silver automatic zoom-lens camera is simple enough to be operated by almost anyone. It has an auto-wide self-timer, is small enough to slip into a pocket and can even take sharp shots from a car window. The camera sells from around pounds 210, depending on stockist, or from pounds 220 with case.

Get a whiff of Australia without the drag of a 24-hour flight. Ecologically sound writing paper and envelopes come packed with a packet of pot- pourri gathered from flowers and plants of the Australian bush. The A5-size box costs pounds 8.99, available from branches of Paperchase: phone 071-925 2647 for details.

Can't afford to buy the bike? Then try the Harley-Davidson fountain pen instead. Almost as much vroom, much easier to park, immensely chic and available for just pounds 22.50. Also in ballpoint and rollerball (both pounds 17.50), from branches of Paperchase. Phone number as above.

Only the French could make cafe cups and saucers romantic. . . . The white porcelain large coffee cup - a reproduction of le McCoy veritable, emblazoned Grande Brasserie Nationale, 33 Rue de la Republique, and detailing the plat du jour, costs pounds 10.50; the matching saucer advertising the cost of the aperitifs is priced at pounds 5.95. There are also plates and espresso-size cups and saucers. Available from Heals, Tottenham Court Road, London W1.

Dark delights in a wooden box containing 8oz of Colombian coffee beans, a small coffee grinder, and Belgian dark chocolates, pounds 31.95 from Heals, address as above.

The Revival Art Company makes sculptures in reconstituted stone, copied from famous classic pieces. The Chatsworth Collection includes a Sleeping Lion (copied from Rinaldi's sculpture) and the Crouching Lion, both of which are 9in long and 4in tall. They make fine bookends and cost pounds 14.95 each. Available from the National Trust shop at 22 Caxton Street, London SW1, Harrods, or for other stockists ring 021-702 2727.

Flaming heart ear-rings from the V & A, inspired by an early 19th-century love-trophy jewel in the jewellery gallery, are plated in 18- carat gold and matt-finished to look old. The hearts, bursting with flames, are wrapped in a chain of lovers' knots. They cost pounds 24.95 (clip only) from the V & A shop, Cromwell Road, London SW7 (071-938 8438).

For purists, there's only one radio, the Roberts (By Appointment to HM the Queen). Roberts has produced a Revival model, based on the R200 which was so popular that between 1959 and 1965 enough were sold to stretch from London to Glasgow. It comes in blazing scarlet, claret and olive green, and costs pounds 99.99 from major stores such as John Lewis.

Cheap, but very cheerful, a gold sun mask to hide behind at smart parties. It is available at pounds 3.45 from Heals, address as for earlier items.

(Photographs omitted)

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