Inventory No. 36 | Monocle

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  1. David Weeks/ animal toys
    Having hewn some considerable woodworking talents in his furniture workshop, David Weeks has turned his wittler to toys. A timber gorilla, elephant, bear and rhino made from sustainably harvested beech, and the Cubebot 3D puzzle carved from cherrywood, have been designed with articulated joints trussed with elastic cabling. Weeks was careful not to create something too infantile, also appealing to big kids and collectors. “The one theme I’ve tried to keep going is a level of menace in each of the pieces. I didn’t want them to become too cutesy, although in theory they started as kids’ toys,” he says. We’ve called for a cantankerous wild boar to complete the set.

Woody Puddy/ cooking toys

Kanto-based toy-maker Woody Puddy’s superb craftsmanship has found fans among the children of Japan. This “grilled fish-making set” is suitable for children aged three and above. It is made up of a traditional fish grill, chopping board, natto, a wooden fish held together by magnets, miso soup, rice and a serving tray.

Christmas Gifts

  1. Boa Boca/wine
    Portuguese food company Boa Boca Gourmet has made its first foray into wine by teaming up with the Herdade do Sobroso estate and come up with this fresh triangular take on boxed wine. Hand-harvested grapes and short barrel maturity are part of the plan to bring high-quality young wines to the table.

Alessi/dish drainer

French designer Pauline Deltour was commissioned by Alessi to create a collection as part of its Topical New Issues project, which seeks to anticipate the direction of design in the coming years. This dish drainer employs industrial wire and is part of the A Tempo set of household objects – or Deltour’s “examination of rhythm and movement”.

Monkey 47/gin

Monkey 47 is the first gin from the Black Forest that uses the unearthed home recipe of Royal Air Force commander Monty Collins, who made the tipple in Germany during the 1950s. Revived by Black Forest Distillers last May, it’s composed of 47 ingredients: from local juniper to exotic cubeb berries and cassia. After a sell-out first batch, a second will become available in Germany, France and Spain this month.


Unlike most folding umbrellas, which you can’t put in your bag when they get wet, these conical brollies come in a leak-free case so there’s no danger of soaking your spreadsheets in the September showers. They are available in black, light blue and Red Riding Hood red.

Lily’s Kitchen/dog food

A quick glance at the ingredients listed on these beautifully illustrated cans for canines, prepared by Lily’s Kitchen, makes you think its food for a human gourmet. This tin of Slow Cooked Lamb Hotpot contains, among other things, organic rice, squash and blueberries. Dig in doggies.


The idiosyncratic and charming “Socks Rolled Down” concept was designer Anu Penttinen’s inspiration for these glass pitchers. Penttinen, who owns her own design company in Finland called nounou, was commissioned by Marimekko to design a full set of glassware, including tumblers and wine goblets.

Haferkorn & Sauerbrey/ stationery

Haferkorn & Sauerbrey is a Berlin-based design studio whose greetings cards, including this graphic “Marseille” range, are printed on high-grade Italian Fedrigoni paper and screen-printed by hand. The duo also produce customised wedding stationery and cards.

Kirin/jam spoon and butter knife
This jam spoon and butter knife are hand-crafted by Makoto Osawa. She was apprentice to renowned craft designer Tatsuo Tokimatsu for 11 years before branching out on her own three years ago. Her products are available in the Kagiya gift shop of Oita Prefecture, Yufuin’s exclusive Kamenoi Besso ryokan.

Greenhabits/wash ball
Use 80 per cent less detergent in your washing with this gizmo from Amsterdam-based Greenhabits, a business promoting environmentally sustainable products. Ecowasbal lasts for 1,000 washes – four years on average – saving on packaging and substantially reducing the release of detergent into the environment.

Dean & Deluca/iced coffee

Dean & Deluca Japan releases this monochrome iced coffee carton each year for a limited time during the hot summer months. The coffee is prepared from Arabica beans that are blended with water from the riverbed of the Minami-Arupusu, an area in the Yamanashi Prefecture.

Souvenir from Tokyo/ ice-cream crayons
These ice-cream scented crayons are stocked at the Souvenir from Tokyo shop in the National Art Centre in Tokyo. Flavours such as chocolate almond, berry mix and candy provide an olfactory pop for doodlers of all ages.

Pure Architecture/book
Monocle contributor Åke E:son Lindman has specialised in architectural photography since the mid-1980s. His latest book takes the reader on a chronological pictorial journey around the world. The book opens with a pyramid in Egypt and ends with Jean Nouvel’s DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen.

Peter Liversidge/book
When hotelier Peng Loh and the Whitechapel Gallery put out the feelers for artistic commissions for London’s Town Hall Hotel, artist Peter Liversidge sent in 99 proposals. Impressed by his persistency, Loh made the artist’s proposals into a book that will go on sale this month in the hotel lobby. Liversidge’s practical and mad-cap plans include: “I propose to hand-etch all the glasses for the new bar,” and “I propose to run a soup kitchen from the hotel.”

Visvim/candles and scent

Each season Japanese fashion brand Visvim collaborates with Parisian perfumer Blaise Mautin. There are currently seven room sprays including “Kyoto”, which expresses the city where Visvim launched a store last year (see Issue TK). Our favourite scented candle is the No 2 “mint”.

The renowned producer of Crozes-Hermitage, Alain Graillot, is leading the renaissance of Moroccan wine. He has teamed up with Jacques Poulain, a Bordelais winemaker, to create Tandem in the domaine of Thalvin near Casablanca. They selected 48-year-old vines to produce this Syrah du Maroc. Find it at London Moroccan restaurant Momo, one of only a few European stockists.

Roullier White/anti-spider spray
Roullier White has created an arachnid-friendly spider repellent called Mrs White’s Leg It. It works on the grounds that spiders smell with their feet, and thus they won’t cross the barrier formed by the spray’s unique blend of essential oils.

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