By Ben Smith on Dec 23, 2021 10:49:14 AM
Christmas is a time to treat yourself and your loved ones. Canny shoppers are quick to pick up a bargain, maybe buying their decorations out of season when stores are keen to offload their Christmas stock.
But occasionally some of us like to splash out and buy something unique, a one-of-a-kind item that will really get the neighbours talking. These may have a price tag that would cause me to break out in a cold sweat and reach for the inhaler, but for the super-rich it’s clearly a price worth paying.
So, sit back, and marvel at some of the priciest Christmas decorations ever bought. Or use it as a shopping list. Whatever, I’m not jealous.
If you want to add a bit of class to your tree, perhaps hanging next to the toilet roll angel crafted by your little darling, then you could do worse than an £82,000 bauble, made by Embee Jewels of London in association with Hallmark Jewellers. It was sold in 2010 in aid of the National Autistic Society and is made up of 18ct white gold, encrusted with 1,578 diamonds surrounded by two rings featuring 188 red rubies. Smashing!
In 2019, a Christmas tree bought in the 1930s from a Woolworths in Dundee was sold at auction. It fetched the princely sum of £150 – which, if you saw the tree I think you’d agree, was a rather generous offer.
Surprising everyone in the auction room, it didn’t make it into the foyer of the Kempinski Hotel Bahia – no, for their guests in that same year only the finest would do. The Spanish hotel reportedly forked out £11.9 million for its festive fir. Decorations included “upcycled” Cartier and Bulgari jewellery and an emu egg set in 24-carat gold and finished off with an undoubtedly tasteful sprinkling of diamond dust.
If you like to keep up with the Joneses, then nothing beats an elaborate wreath adorning one’s front door. Pity then the neighbours next to whoever picked up this gem of a design – a Christmas wreath priced at almost £3 million. Pasi Jokinen-Carter used laurus, lingonberry and blueberry stems from his garden in Finland, because they are unavailable here in the UK, and then studded them with diamonds and other gemstones. Fret not, it might only have lasted 12 days on the door, but those precious stones could be reused in a bespoke piece of jewellery. Phew.
Ok, so not strictly a decoration but what is Christmas without a cracker, a toe-curling joke and paper crown that snaps when you sneeze? This year, you can pick up Harrod’s luxury Christmas crackers for a song at just £950 for six.
For the more generous host, perhaps try the Fortnum & Mason Regal Crackers for £6,000 – each of your six guests will receive two F&M hampers. And individual jokes penned by Jimmy Carr, one assumes.
But they are small change compared with the £1m crackers from uber brand VeryFirstTo which sold crackers at an astonishing £4m – gifts inside included a Cartier diamond necklace, Breguet Traditional Watch, the keys to an Aston Martin Vanquish and a Sunseeker Yacht. Naturally.
So, if you’ve got some spare change then there’s a decoration out there for you, made with the finest of gemstones, dusted with rare and unusual powders and hand finished by none other than the big jovial man himself.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Bauble: Embee Jewels