Papier Passions

In Praise of Holiday Trinkets

Our shoot shines a deserving light on the humble holiday trinket.





In our opinion, the unheralded holiday trinket deserves some love. As our shoot shows, we think they’re museum worthy – whether they’re hand-made, papier-mâché crabs from Cuba, or mass-produced, plastic mosque alarm clocks from Abu Dhabi.

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The holiday trinket is too often derided as ‘tourist tat’; unfairly judged by those who pass a miniaturised landmarks-laden stall with a disdainful wave of the hand. Yes, the majority may be more tacky than they are tasteful but even the most gauche of Tour Eiffel keyrings has a certain charm.

Whether you like them or not, they’re every bit a part of your holiday as fretting over whether your hand-luggage is going to be too large or learning to say “bill, please!” in the local lingo. And they’re pieces of your holiday that you can bring back with you. They’re fun, sometimes funny and deserving of artistic reappraisal.

Oft-forgotten once returned home, the humble trinket is a noble character. Dust-covered on the top-shelf or hidden at the back of the drawer, silently waiting to be glanced at, whereupon it will raise a quiet smile of fond memories.

It’s time these colourful travel companions were dusted off and given their turn in the spot-light. Each is a memento not just of a personal holiday but of a certain place in a certain era. So let’s cut those vacation knick-knacks some slack.