Ever since the glorious days of whaling, many New England country stores have had the flavor of an international bazaar. To this day they carry the best handcrafted native products, plus imported products from all over the world. To prepare its first Christmas shopping list, SI toured Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and selected 50 gifts for sportsmen from a variety of country shops. All of the items shown on the following pages may be ordered by mail from the particular store shown with each group—in time for Christmas.
Bratton's Country Shop, Williamstown, Mass., gathered its selection of gifts, clothing, foods and, furniture from 435 sources in the United States and 23 countries overseas.
$20 M. E. Brasher carves horses and dogs in authentic detail from solid walnut. Rearing horse, 6½" high, Arabian horse (left) 5" high, are both $20. Galloping foal, $7.50. Brasher also carves portrait, statues of dogs and horses. Send photos, write for prices.
$19.50 Cabin lamps from 19th century British ships are steel and brass, burn kerosene but may be wired. They're 14" high, 11" diameter. Express collect.
$5.25 Old fish-design buttermold is cast into bronze paperweight. A bronze cast of Breton fisherman's prayer can be mounted on boat. $4.25.
$26.50 This cast of an old weathervane horse is of aluminum, painted black. It is 30" long, 15" high. Bratton's and other stores on these pages will gladly send catalogs. Gift orders are postpaid unless stated.
The Country Store, Concord, Mass., has carried "only the best from the East and West" since 1938. The building was once the home of Henry Thoreau's father, who kept shop there.
$22.50 Authentic lederhosen are made in Austria. Gray leather, piped in green; women's sizes 12 to 18. Women's desert boots by Clark's; green or sand, $12.95.
$42.50 Chamois shirts for men and women are warm and soft. Chamois zippered jacket is for men only; has flapped pockets, $42.50.
Carroll Reed's Ski Shop, North Conway, N.H., carries winter sports equipment and clothing from all over the world. This shop also rents and repairs skis and ski boots.
$8.80 Lightweight La Fuma pack of canvas is made in France, has zipper pocket, drawstring closure.
$32.50 Paul Mage water-repellent ski sweaters are hand-knit in Copenhagen. Women's cardigan, left, is $32.50; has mitts and cap to match, each $4.95. Man's pullover is $35, has matching cap, $4.95.
The Vermont Country Store, Weston, Vt., is an authentic revival of an 1890 store founded by owner Vrest Orten's father. It draws 100,000 visitors a year to a town of 500.
$17-$35 Tubb Snowshoe Company, who equipped Admiral Byrd, also makes various chairs of handcrafted Vermont ash and rawhide.
$5.50 Come-and-get-it bell is of solid brass, has rawhide thong pull, horseshoe bracket. Bell and chair both are shipped FOB, Weston, Vt.
$75 Classic Harris-tweed suit of blue or tan heather mixtures has man-tailored jacket, flap pockets, single vent. Skirt has four gores. Jacket, $50, and skirt, $25, may be ordered separately.
$10.50 Authentic clan-tartan button-down shirts are of D. & J. Anderson gingham. These have long sleeves, come in men's and women's sizes. Various tartans and check patterns are available.
$10.95 Snowproof reindeer-hide mukluks are from Scandinavia, are trimmed with rabbit fur. Ladies' sizes 4 to 8, $10.95. Children's sizes 9 to 2, $7.95.
$2.95 up. Ski caps from round the world, from stocking caps to fast caps: center, $3.95; clockwise from left, $3.95, $3.25, $4.95, $2.95, $3.25.
$10 The lightweight leather "fanny pack" is designed to hold a cross-country skier's wax and lunch. It's also useful for cyclists, hikers, equestrians.
L. L. Bean, Freeport, Me., is as much a Maine institution as a shore dinner. Hunters find his store open 24 hours a day, can even buy game licenses there at midnight.
$12.85 Bean's Maine hunting shoe has rubber sole, elk-tanned leather top. This one has 12" top. Other shoes have tops from 6 to 18".
$60 L. L. Bean's recommended camping equipment, from sleeping bag to salt and pepper shakers, can be assembled for under $60. Order catalog.
The Vermont Workshop, in Woodstock, Vt., has Nancy Wickham's ceramic studio on the first floor, her shop above. She specializes in gifts hand-crafted in New England.
$16.95 Hand-turned wood is a Vermont specialty. This cheese tray is of hand-turned mahogany, has tile center with painting of a pheasant in flight. Similar cheese trays in birch are $10.95.
$55 Ceramic lamp made by Nancy Wickham in her workshop has reed shade. Design originated from deer she saw by moonlight munching beans in back yard.
$29.95 Russ P. Burr is a retired cabinetmaker who combs Cape Cod beaches for driftwood, then carves birds to suit the individual mountings. Double birds, like owls and mallards, are $29.95; singles, like the upland plover, $12.95. Sea gull by a Maine craftsman is hand-carved from ash. $10.
$9.50 A Naughty Duck doorstop is forged of iron, has alter ego called Nice Duck. They weigh 20 pounds, and must be ordered FOB, Woodstock, Vt.