Ashmolean Museum Gifts

Inside the Ashmolean ShopAs part of our mission to bring you the best Oxford has to offer, we’re visiting University shops in the run-up to Christmas. From the Bodleian to the Pitt-Rivers, we will be tempting you with some original gift ideas. First stop – the Ashmolean!

I was so impressed by the range of different gifts on offer – a huge wall of books and range of cards and Christmas cards - and so many with a real connection to the Museum and its displays that made them really special.

My first ‘spot’ was a range of bags made from banners that had advertised past exhibitions at the front of the Museum. Made from weather-proof material and put together at random, you could find yourself carrying around part of the face of a Pre-Raphaelite woman alongside the ticket prices! They are all completely unique and a chance to own a part of Ashmolean history. Bags are in messenger or shopper style and range in price from £15 to £35.

With the new Egyptian galleries due to open soon, my attention was caught by some photomontage jewellery based on items in the Egyptian collections, with cufflinks, necklaces and earrings starting from £35. You can also buy hand-carved netsuke (part of traditional Japanese dress) relating to the Eastern Art collection, and signed by individual craftsmen for only £20. The East Meets West theme continues in an exclusive collection of Isis ceramics produced locally and made especially for the Ashmolean – jugs, tea caddies and plates start from £80.

The Ashmolean has also published some beautiful books which would make ideal gifts. The latest exhibition on Claude Lorrain has a very attractive accompanying catalogue at £25, and for Oxford residents planning a trip, the new Floor by Floor guide (£5) looks invaluable. For visitors with children, the Discovery Book is a great introduction to the Ashmolean, complete with stickers (!) for less than £5.

The products featuring the iconic Ashmolean logo are also striking, and very reasonably priced, with mugs in different colours at £7 each, and small ceramic logo magnets at £3.

Personally, I’d be delighted with any of these! Not that I’m hinting or anything…

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