On The Square

12 Holiday Gifts for the “Impossible to Buy For” on Bidsquare

By E. Jung

Dec 12,2023 | 13:00 EST

Looking for unique, one of a kind, and environmentally friendly gifts?
You’re going to win with these.

We all have someone on our list who is difficult to shop for.
The holidays are more than gifts, sure, but what does one do for someone who is utterly wonderful but they just have everything? We have ideas to make your holiday shopping easier.

We are leaning into the trend that’s been warming up for a few years, gift giving in a more climate-friendly way. It’s been circulating as early as 2021 in this Washington Post article, but the buzz this year is that it is indeed a long term trend indeed, toward a reducing the environmental impact of gift-giving. In the best cases, this may also be somewhat budget friendly. The rhetoric coming into play with this approach feels so fresh, and includes clutter-reducing ideas in the form of consumables, experiences or memberships, handmade items and even pre-loved gifts.

At Bidsquare, the notion of pre-loved items is more than a sustainable practice. It’s for us a passion of connecting objects with history to passionate collectors and culture makers so that those items can live longer, even more exciting lives. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of items that are hard to buy for the person on your list, that’s environmentally friendly–and in some cases economically sound–depending on who it is on your list you’re looking for.

Read on to see our top picks in upcoming auctions.

Now, there’s a caveat to this. Instead of clicking “Buy Now”, you’ll have to bid on these items, or submit an absentee bid ahead of time. But then you can name your price. And either it works out, or it doesn’t. If you’re new to online auctions, this is the thrill of the chase.

Let’s try something new this year. Consumer electronics will always be there…

1. Lalique Glass Ornament- Starting Bid $20


This delicate ornament from renowned glass art maker Lalique is signed. An ornament is a gift that someone can bring out every year and have as a keepsake for years, and possibly generations to come. This item is lot 87 as part of Turner Auctions + Appraisals “Estate Jewelry & Gold Coins” auction on December 16.

2. Zanetti Italian Mid-Century Modern Art Glass Seal- Current Bid $100

We all know that tasteful holiday decorations are hard to come by, so here’s another winter decorative object.This 9”x14”x6” sculpture made by Licio Zanetti will be a gem for the Mid Century Modern collector.  Lot 15 in the “New York City Estate Auction” from Showplace on December 17 will go with any style, but will strike a special chord with the MCM enthusiast on your list.


3. Y. Hiyoshi “New York” Oil Painting on Canvas - Starting Bid $100

If you’re beyond the point of getting things, but have a poignant tastemaker on your list try gifting a work of art. There are many cost effective options, but we like this one, by Y. Hiyoshi from 1973 which captures a 1973 view of New York City with an interpretive sun and red glow. It has both a nostalgic effect with an old skyline while keeping a riveting point of view for someone who is avid about their art. This is lot 57 in the aforementioned Showplace Auction.

4. Marc Chagall (1887-1985): Metropolitan Opera Poster - Starting Bid $1000

For someone who has a passion for art and art history, this 1966 Met Opera poster for the New York Metropolitan Opera signed by Marc Chagall is an absolutely stunning gift. This print is from edition of 150, signed by Chagall himself in black crayon and numbered 98/150.  This is Lot 232 in the upcoming Locati LLC December 2023 Sale on December 17.

5. Georg Jensen Savannah 18k Gold Smokey Quartz Ring 1506 - Starting Bid $200

Whether you’re into jewelry or not, there’s always someone on your list who will appreciate an exquisite statement piece to wear on the right occasion. This vintage 14k yellow gold smoky quartz ring in a modernist setting is edgy, cool, and elevated. If you happen to have a person who is “into crystals” this will hit the spot. Smoky Quartz is known for its property of spiritual protection, so instruct the recipient to don this at their holiday party to ward off energy vampires.
If that’s a bit “woo”, let’s couch it as a neat anecdote attached to a solid vintage jewelry find.
This is Lot 354 in the December Jewels and Timepieces from Farber Auctions on December 19.


6. Swid Powell "Tigerman City" Candlesticks, 3 - Starting Bid $100

Candlesticks are a great gift, while not at the top of the list, they’re functional and will elevate the table setting of the person on your list who loves hosting. When not in use holding some tapers, these are minimalist ceramic pieces that will compliment even the most minimal aesthetic.
Lot 143 in the Showplace Auction.


7.Boucheron Yellow Gold Chain Link Cufflinks - Starting Bid $375

This pair of cufflinks are 18k yellow gold featuring a chain design. Consider this gift for someone who takes “dress to impress” quite seriously. These are a contemporary twist on a classic that will delight. Find them as Lot 281 in the aforementioned December Jewels and Timepieces auction.

8. Vintage Cartier Concord 14k Yellow Gold Wristwatch - Starting Bid $700

A contemporary classic, the wristwatch is a perfect present for those conscious of their time. It is just as appropriate for someone who could be a little more conscious of their timing who looks good in gold. Find this in the December Fine Estate auction on December 17 as Lot 120.


9. Three Nantucket Basket Purses - Starting Bid $100

This could be a whale of a sale, you have a nautical enthusiast who loves their Nantucket decor. These are functional basket purses, sure, great for resort wear, but their delicate construction makes them stunning decorative accents. Each basket has a bentwood handle, carved lid and base, two with carved bone whale decorations, and the third with an ivorine panel decorated with two quails. See this as part of the Locati LLC December 2023 Sale on December 17, as Lot 151.

10. Cartier Paris Gold Plate Lighter - Starting Bid $100

Note this is a really niche gift, but there are more people who collect fine lighters than you know. This lighter is working, which makes this a statement piece for the avid collector, or someone who is looking for a display-worthy way to light their candles. Nevertheless, the presentation of this lighter will delight your collector, with this in its original box. Part of the aforementioned Farber auction on December 19, as Lot 523.


11. Vintage Cartier Oval Alarm Desk Clock - Starting Bid $100

For the person working from home, this is a stately addition to their home office. A clever vintage desk alarm clock from Cartier, with a gold plated brass and enamel finish.
Find this in the Kodner Galleries auction as Lot 41.


12. Bvlgari Bulgari Serpenti Tasche Star Orange Leather Handbag - Starting Bid $500

Last, but certainly not least on our list is this brand new handbag from Bulgari, with a retail value of $3060. Yes, the starting price is as much as some other designer retail bags, but this one is incredibly unique, and untouched. It comes with a long leather strap and dust bag. This is a pristine designer bag that could be the start of the holiday gifting circle for a fraction of its retail price. Find this, Lot 390 along with other spectacular accessories in the Farber auction on 

December 19.