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ANSWERED on Sun 21 Oct 2007 - 10:41 am UTC by nancy

Question: Present for an architect

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 20 Oct 2007 22:52 UTCSat 20 Oct 2007 - 10:52 pm UTC 

I need a present for an architect who did some really good work for me. Budget £250 roughly.

I found the following (among others), but am looking for something shinier/more special - even if it's the same type of item, e.g. a spirit level, I want a finer example of the type:

I also found some books, like:

but again, nothing that seems perfect.

Any ideas?




 21 Oct 2007 00:38 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 12:38 am UTC 

Maybe a nice edition of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio's Ten Books on Architecture would be appropriate.

This is the more expensive page with the book:

You can pick a previous page.

Here is a bit about him:

Christopher Alexander published a couple of delightful books that have become classics:

"The Timeless Way of Building" and "A Pattern Language"

Since your man may have these two already, you would need to check with his secretary and/or wife.

Or maybe a nice book about Andrea Palladio:

or his "Four Books on Architecture" in some edition:




 21 Oct 2007 09:18 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 9:18 am UTC 

Thank you myoarin. I should clarify that I am not keen on something new, and would prefer something old, hence the items I gave as examples are all antiques.




 21 Oct 2007 09:26 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 9:26 am UTC 

Those suggestions by myoarin are interesting. Particularly the Vitruvius and Palladio. So you know my thinking, I won't be going for a Vitruvius as I can only afford much later editions (obviously, but I am not sure there is much of a difference between an 1800 and a 2007 reprint of a first century architect's writings). The Palladio is very much the kind of thing that I want, although 100x beyond my budget :)




 21 Oct 2007 10:41 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 10:41 am UTC 

From Ruby Lane, an "Antique, Victorian, Level/ Watch Fob in Rose Gold" (also available in "Gold filled Rose Gold"):
(If you're interested in the fob level, you may want to partner it with an antique pocket watch.)

There are two antique levels at Art & Scientific Instruments UK; one is within your budget:

Ahura Collectibles has some antique surveying tools:

The Best Things has some vintage drafting tool sets:

At the Treasure Chest, see "Vintage Dietzgen Drafting Set & Case":

Patrick Kerr sells vintage drafting tools:

Antique architecture prints from Kitty Liebreich

Some Suggestions for More Contemporary Items

In case you can't find anything in antiques that you like, here's some more ideas:

Maclin Studios has numerous gifts for architects and designers, including Wright and Mackintosh designs.
For instance, architect and designer inspired watches:

The Chicago Architecture Foundation has Wright-inspired vases:

The Royal Academy of Arts has a Zaha Hadid vase:

From Aspinal:
Design/Architecture Portfolios

Recommended books from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects):

I hope these suggestions are of help.

Best regards,




 21 Oct 2007 14:08 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 2:08 pm UTC 

Nice suggestions.  Although I am partial to books, that watch-fob level is charming and appropriate  - as a desk toy, lapel-buttonhole dangle, something for his "wife" to wear on a chain, or watch-fob, of course, if he has a pocket watch.

My penchant for classical architecture extends to Turkey, which suggests this book on Sinan:

I don't think the monetary value of an appropriately chosen present is so important, assuming the architect received a commission.

Happy choosing, Myo




 21 Oct 2007 17:56 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 5:56 pm UTC 

Myo, you've made some really impressive and eclectic suggestions for books. I wouldn't settle on a book or a set of books until consulting the architect's office or spouse -- we have no idea which books he already owns.

I also like the fob as a desk ornament, especially if partnered with a rose gold pocket watch. I also like the vintage lettering sets; those would look good displayed on an office bookshelf.





 21 Oct 2007 18:16 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 6:16 pm UTC 

Oh, I forgot to point out the antique brass level with mahogany tripod at Art & Scientific Instruments UK:




 21 Oct 2007 20:33 UTCSun 21 Oct 2007 - 8:33 pm UTC 

Nancy, I quite agree.  (Ecletic is my middle name. ;)

Just to clarify, the "Ten Books" and "Four Books" are single volumes.  Vitruvius in a simple reprint is the size of a paperback novel.
I trust that the more expensive editions are more attractive and have more and better illustrations (which the Latin original probably did not have). Even if he maybe has one or the other at home, a good edition (not a collector's item) could still be nice as a coffee-table book for his office or conference room.

Cheers, Myo




 22 Oct 2007 00:17 UTCMon 22 Oct 2007 - 12:17 am UTC 


I just found this book, which may be of interest and is in your price range:

Morris' Influential Lecture

Re: Palladio books, finding collectible, antique editions outside a museum or library is nearly impossible, and from what I've seen, the few available for sale (and I got only a couple of hits for "collectible") are priced at four or five figures, such as:

If you would really like to give a collectible, vintage edition of a Palladio or other architecture book, your best bet would be to go directly to a knowledgeable antiquarian bookseller who can identify an edition that is in your price range, and possibly, obtain it for you.

Some more antique architecture prints:





 25 Oct 2007 16:56 UTCThu 25 Oct 2007 - 4:56 pm UTC 

I chose the spirit level / telescope item from

Thank you.


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