Museum Context is a themed gift and home interior shop in Cockburn Street.
One word: Harry Potter. No. Wait! That’s two words. But, really. Museum Context is heavily specialised in the popular JK Rowling book and film franchise. Besides being a licensed stockist of Harry Potter merchandise, there are also many vintage and retro items, and Edinburgh and Scotland themed designs and products stocked. Those range from tote bags, notebooks, writing sets, signage, wands, soft toys, shortbread, mugs, cushions, canvases, globes, crests, t-shirts, scarves, books, postcards to board games, to name a few.
The shop is Hogwarts galore. A step up from cheaply produced merchandise, these items look and feel a bit more exclusive. The staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
All prints being exclusively designed for Museum Context, there is a choice of JK Rowling illustrations, a range of Harry Potter characters and royals depicted as pets, Edinburgh and Scottish landscape and landmarks (the Kelpies, Edinburgh castle), and pipers as well as other endearing subjects by Edinburgh illustrator Iain McIntosh and other UK artists. These are printed as postcards, and A3 posters (costing from £12.95).
Not just for dressing up, T-shirts, nice quality school house and Quidditch jumpers, hats, woollen scarves, and the famous Gryffindor necktie are on the racks for those who want to immerse themselves in Harry Potter themed clothing.
Beautifully illustrated books, a selection of themed board games, trump cards, stickers offer something for collectors and children at heart. For culinary souvenirs, there is a small selection of chocolates, shortbread and loose teas.
For excellent souvenirs with practical use, there is a choice of tote bags starting from £7.95 for simple designs, with prices going up for embroidered ones on a thicker fabric. A small selection of jewellery items starting with pins for £7, to necklaces, cufflinks, to the magical gold-plated egg for £69. For £39 a replica wand made of resin (but looking convincingly like hand carved in ivory or wood) can make a fan’s heart beat faster.
Harry’s snowy owl Hedwig, or Fluffy, the three-headed dog are examples of HP-themed soft toys that have proven to be popular gifts for children. For the smallest amount of pocket-money, a bunch of colourful marbles can be bought for £1.
The owners of the business have a commitment to work Edinburgh-based and UK designers and manufacturers as much as they can. This is also reflected in the retro products sold at Museum Context. Memorabilia packs designed in Edinburgh, containing replica vintage ration books, ID cards, bookmarks and similar, with different themes available like seaside holidays, Beatlemania, home front, Titanic, etiquette and steam trains, enjoy great popularity and make an interesting gift for nostalgia lovers. Another bestseller is a miniature vintage air balloon which is particularly popular with Italian and Spanish tourists. Protected in its box, the smallest size can comfortably fit in a suitcase.
Conveniently located on the upper part of Cockburn Street just off the Royal Mile, Museum Context has everything a Harry Potter fan or a nostalgic retro and vintage lover desires.
Many items are exclusively designed for Museum Context and not sold anywhere else. These make them unique souvenirs to take home from Edinburgh, the birthplace of J.K. Rowling’s brainchildren.
42-44 Cockburn Street
Photo credit: None