M.S. Rau is often described as a “cabinet of curiosities,” one that attracts those yearning to discover the unexpected. Whether you’re a wanderer, dreamer, history buff, or jetsetter, you’re certain to find something that will suit your fancy or that of a loved one. So, if you’re in need of a gift for the man who has everything, read on for a selection of exceptional objects from our treasure trove.
The Royal Ice Pail by Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell
This incredible ice pail hails from the Grand Service that was created for King George IV of England by royal silversmiths Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell. The service took ten years to complete and cost £100,000 (approximately $15 million in today’s currency). The vast majority of the Grand Service, including four of the six ice pails, continues to reside in Windsor Castle where it is utilized by the Queen for entertaining. Two of the service’s six ice pails were taken, along with other royal silver, by the Duke of Cumberland when he became King of Hanover and relocated to Germany. In 1866, Hanover fell to Prussian troops and the King’s royal silver was smuggled to Gmunden, Austria, and was eventually sold in 1923. One of the two royal ice pails eventually joined a museum collection and the other, the last remaining royal ice pail, sold privately and is now on offer at M.S. Rau today. This storied, magnificently detailed work of art is the pinnacle gift for the man (or household) that has everything.
Old Timer by J.C. Leyendecker
Famed for his Saturday Evening Post covers and his influence on and friendship with Norman Rockwell, the work of artist and illustrator Joseph Christian Leyendecker captures a timeless depiction of American culture. In Old Timer, Leyendecker celebrates America’s love affair with cars and car culture. The painting depicts a gentleman in his car; yet its super stylized composition and solid yellow background anticipates the work of the major Pop Art movement of later decades. A perfect addition to the collection for car fanatics, pop art enthusiasts, and anyone who loves Americana, this work is accessibly priced and substantially sized – and would be a treat to live with, in the home or office.
Vacheron Constantin Chronometer
The chronometer is one of the world’s most accurate instruments for measuring time, yet also allowed maritime navigators to determine longitude while at sea. This so-called “deck watch” was crafted in 1929 by the famed Swiss watchmakers Vacheron Constantin. Fitted in a three-part mahogany box, the “heure exacte” was able to keep time in the roughest of seas. For the watch collector with too many watches, or who wants something even more rare and unusual, this sophisticated time piece is highly desirable and comes accompanied by a letter of certification from Vacheron Constantin.
Boxing Champions Folk Art Cane
This early 20th century folk art walking stick is decorated with the carved portraits of early boxing legends James John "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, Australian heavyweight Peter Jackson, the "Boston Strong Boy" John L. Sullivan, and Bob Fitzsimmons, the first three-division world champion. For the sports or folk art enthusiasts, this wearable work of folk art is an unexpected treat.
Churchill Bulldog Brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels
This 18K yellow gold brooch of an English bulldog is an artistic tour de force from Van Cleef & Arpels. The whimsical design depicts a tenacious canine in a white enameled wingtip collar and black enamel bowtie, with a rock crystal monocle raised to one of his circular-cut ruby eyes. The image of the bulldog is analogous to not only the steadfast British people, but specifically to the legendary Winston Churchill, who was affectionately known as “The Bulldog.” Men’s jewelry has made a recent comeback – and this unique antique brooch is not to be missed.
Patek Phillipe Electronic World Time Tower Clock
Crafted for the Parliament building in Bern, Switzerland, this time tower by Patek Phillipe is the largest and oldest of its kind. With this module-style time tower system, Parliament could guarantee complete time synchronization in multiple locations, offering both flexibility and accuracy during everyday operations. The unique components boast 65 individual analog dials that each measure hours, minutes, and seconds. These master clock systems were crafted on a commissioned basis for only the most important clients; this tower would hence make a captivating gift for the most important recipient.
Rock-Ola Ten Pins Bowling Machine
This vintage American bowling arcade game will spoil the man who never fully grew up. Built in the 1940’s, the “Ten Pins” machine was among the most popular game ever produced by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation. Known as a “mannequin” model, this machine allows a customer to control the miniature molded figure held inside, manipulating his aim to ensure a spare or strike every time. For just a nickel, one can play five rounds while the electronic mechanism within keeps score. In perfect working condition, the game is a pleasure to play by oneself or alongside family.