Tail of the Yak

by Angeliska on November 14, 2010

There is a very special place, tucked away in the blossom-bedecked
avenues of Berkeley, California – a little boutique where you must
ring the bell to gain admittance, where you will find yourself surrounded
by the most wondrous, most delectable, most glorious treasures imaginable.

Tail of the Yak
Tail of the Yak is one of my most favorite places on earth. It’s a bit
like walking inside an enchanted cake – or, what it might be like
if you could shop inside my brain. It’s probably a very good thing
I live so far away from it, because I’d likely bankrupt myself there
five times over – their stock is constantly changing, and yet it
always seems to be just what I want. Alice Erb and Lauren
McIntosh are the owners, both very magical women, who have
made it their mission to create a little piece of heaven, populated
by gentle-faced saints in paper dresses, cooing doves, and very
exquisite taxidermy. They travel to the far corners of the globe,
collecting the most wonderful goods and curious objects.

Tail of the Yak
I was cursing myself for not picking up one of these clever white journals!
My red moleskine wandered off somewhere, and I’ve been lost without
a daily planner. I like these because they are not dated (you can fill in
your own, and start any time.) I prefer that, as I have my own unique
sense of chronology. Also, I am saddened by piles of unsold and obsolete
planners and calendars half-way through the year. Unfilled, unfulfilled.

Ortigia
I did indulge in this perfume from Ortigia (Fico d’India)
though I’m sad I couldn’t afford the get the black amber also.
Alas! I’ve been craving a good dark amber perfume, and that
one really blew my whistle. Maybe they’ll still carry it when I
make my way back there. Fingers crossed. Oh, restraint and regret!

Tail of the Yak
The angel of fine papers watches over, protecting from ink-spills + silverfish.

Tail of the Yak
Is this not the most majestic chandelier? I would like to marry it,
if I were also a chandlier, or perhaps if I were a jellyfish. Either, really.

Tail of the Yak
Joss papers from China for luck, burning and art-making.

Tail of the Yak
Explosions of paper flowers everywhere! Like fireworks, hana-bi.

cicada ink
Magic cicada ink! I had to buy three, because they were so amazing.

Maison Bouche!
I also went a little crazy with the Maison Bouche chocolate bars, as you can see.
In my defense, some are meant for gifting… Probably! It’s hard not to gobble them
all. I got Tilleul, Absinthe, Violette, and Pain d’Epice. I’m also such a sucker for
pretty packaging – they use shimmery metallic papers and colored foils. Le sigh!

Dana at Tail of the Yak
My darling Miss Dana Sherwood inspecting the jewels. Tail of the Yak
has the most splendid selection of jewelry – Victorian mourning, Georgian
rose-cut diamonds, Edwardian intaglios, Bohemian garnets… In other words,
every thing I’d like to have a strapping collection of, one day. Marvelousness.

Tail of the Yak
Oh, the agony of not being able to buy every single thing…
Also, my crown is very, very heavy. O dolorosa!

Lauren McIntosh also makes wonderful paintings, and has the most
exquisite calligraphy hand. I’d love to take classes with her one day.
Here’s a nice peek into her world: Studio Visit: Lauren McIntosh

Also, here’s another look around from Poppytalk,
and some glimpses from my last trip out that way:
The Barbary Coast

I recommend a pilgrimage:
Tail of the Yak
2632 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 841-9891

4 comments

Magic cicada ink! I have been dying to visit Tail of the Yak since you first mentioned it.

by Eliza on November 15, 2010 at 7:14 am. #

when i was in san fran i made a stop there and it was everything i expected it to be. unfortunately everything was rather pricy but i did get away with some wonderful journals, postcards and prints. i wish i could afford the shawls they had when i visited, they were truly something magical. + the victorian jewelry is a must see!

by katja on November 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm. #

I’m the last of the non-Bay Areans left from the weekend, writing from Polly’s – the whole gang went to ToftheY in your honor! And we toasted you but we ran out of absinthe. !@#$%^&*.

by yr cuz e on November 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm. #

This is one of my favorite stores as well. I think Tail of the Yak caused me to develop my obsession with Victorian hand jewelry & old wooden santos. Also nifty (but nowhere near the same league of fabulosity IMO) is Bell’occhio

by Marcy on November 21, 2010 at 11:23 am. #

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