It seems strange that my treasure should be something bought from a stranger when my house is full of things that I have found or that have been made by friends, but I love this object. It is also strange that it is purely decorative, because I would normally say that I favour the functional. It hangs from a hook near my computer and is in my eyeline when I look towards the window and the sea.
We bought it from the museum of craft in Delhi eight years ago, where selected master crafts families live for a while demonstrating and selling their crafts. It is an object that could be kitsch, but is beautiful. It has six different trees on it, all with different leaves and seven different animals, an elephant, a camel, a rat, a donkey, a monkey a horse and a deer all roughly the same size, they are all bound in a very fine golden grass, I noticed a cobweb on it today and mistook it for a loose strand of grass. We carried it home on the plane carefully folding it into a plastic bag.
Twice a year when we measure our children against the wall, we take it down from the hook and lay it ceremonially on the sofa. If the house was on fire, I would grab it on my way out.
Alison Milner designer and author of ‘Inspirational Objects – a visual dictionary of simple elegant forms’, UK.