VALENTINE'S Day is for romance. A day you give your loved one a gift to show how much you care. For most Chinese people, 'purse' is an expression associated with romantic gifts of honour and love. In old Chinese novels and dramas, a purse could be filled with precious jewels or an embroidered wallet made by a maiden to be secretly given to her beloved. Here is your opportunity to revive this romantic tradition and give your true love a 19th-century embroidered silk purse and fill it with jewellery or a love letter. They are available from $500 upwards at Hanlin Gallery, Pacific Place. A fan would also be a welcome gift. They come in a variety of materials and styles from rare ivory to guilt-lacquered 'Mandarin' or highly-decorative 'a hundred faces'. The latter are covered in tiny court figures whose clothes are made of appliqued silks and the faces painted on mother-of-pearl. 'In 19th century Europe, every well-bred woman owned several fans which were an essential accoutrement when she attended private balls, parties, musical recitals and operas,' said Carlos Prata, director of Hanlin Gallery. 'Many a secret romance would have begun behind the flickering of a beautiful fan held by the woman.' Turn to the call of the desert for masculine gifts. Cushions made from Mashraf bags from Russia, Iran and Afghanistan make ideal gifts for men. The Mashraf bag has a heavily-embroidered Sumck pattern. The bags were used by the nomads to carry their possessions and were hung on either side of the saddle on a camel. 'We make cushions from these bags, bringing the romance of the desert into your home,' said Rizwan Butt, from Oriental Carpet Trading, Wyndham Street. 'They are decorative and make good gifts for the man in your life.' Branka Mir of Kinari, Wyndham Street, suggested men treat their women to a basket of flowers which could be placed on brass planters. They ranged in price from $300 to $500. 'The flowers will wither but the brass planters will speak of your undying love for years to come,' he said. 'We also have an antique silver handbag which was hand-made in Thailand. It costs $4,600 and would make a special gift as the bags are rare.' This lovely little shop also has a variety of hand-made silver jewellery from India and Thailand.