I’ve always had a love for old things, the passage of time, wear and tear, scars – all of this has been of interest since my earliest memory. We lived in a very old house in Cuba, a 17th-century building with old pasta floors and beamed ceilings. Most of it kindly neglected after the revolution but impeccably tidy. We moved to the US to a modern apartment not at all to my liking and so as a teenager I began buying old bits; Japanese Imari, an old French chair; my bedroom was a little museum in my mother’s Danish Modern home. I studied dance, but before becoming a professional working in Monaco I became friends with an antiques dealer who owned The Ballet Shop on the Upper West Side; I’d spend hours rummaging thru stacks of old Romantic prints and silver gelatin photos of famous dancers. Turns out that Norman Crider was a baton twirling ice skater, quite a character who was awarded the Order of National Merit and Philanthropy in France and founded the Antiques Center of America; as he had 3 shops he’d sometimes need a little help. Eventually I’d assist him setting up his booth at the Armory Show where he would display paste jewels once owned by Hollywood Royalty… I remember him saying after a little composition went up “oh dear, you have an eye” and so I cultivated that eye as I danced my way thru Europe and South America.
The best part of being an ornament is that you’re invited into people’s homes, houses decorated by Colefax and Fowler, Mongiardino, all the greats and so you see and you learn how to mix fearlessly. I remember Castaign’s shop in the 80’s, the last period of high style decorating. That’s why antiques are so important, they remind us of what visual quality should be. Luckily there are still many people who appreciate that quality. Speaking of older, when I hung up my ballet shoes I attended Parson’s and was fortunate to have worked with Bunny Williams and Thomas Jayne who use antiques in all of their projects, so it was another layer of training and when I went off on my in own in 1992 I knew what I was looking at. I opened a small shop along with artist Ric Best called from House to Home in Asbury Park and then Flourish in Philadelphia as well as a small booth at the now defunct Center 44; today I sell my finds to a few high profile designers and those who know where to find me. Luckily the Antiques Diva is a great resource for those in the know.
That’s why antiques are so important, they remind us of what visual quality should be.
My take on vintage and antiques is that if something has been around for a few decades or a few centuries, the chances are that with a little care they’ll outlive us all. And even the worst antique is probably better made than the best mass-produced repro. You also won’t see yourself coming and going in your friend’s houses. Stylistically I tend to gravitate to the neoclassical though that can span a very long period of time. Here are 5 items I’d be happy to use just about anywhere.
1. A pair of Regency marble-top consoles. I love Regency, it’s not as stiff as Empire and the scale can be a little more forgiving so these pieces are suited to city living. These particular tables could be used in an entry flanking a doorway or they could live on either side of a sofa with some mod little low tables in front of them or even as additional servers in a dining room. Add a modern painting or a simple mirror above and you’re pretty much set.
2. The now much-maligned cabinet once used to house our clunky TVs were once actually used as storage. Working with clients in NYC and environs not everyone is blessed with miles of closets. I tend to go for the very plain or the very interesting. Here’s a Biedermeier cabinet that’s not too deep, so while it makes a big statement with it’s architectural presence, all columns and rusticated detailing, you could center this on a wall opposite a seating area or perhaps in your bedroom or a study to hold papers and oversized books. At one time a cabinet like this would have cost a small fortune. Best time to buy this type of furniture is now.
3. A pair of faux painted classical planters. I have a thing for non-furniture items. I think the biggest rookie mistake is to buy upholstery and tables all from one source. The quickest way to look ‘done’ and be done in is to fill a room with store bought blandness. These planters could transform any space, they could flank a doorway or a window and as they’re large they could easily be placed on stone plinths in your double height living room with some palm trees. Why not be just a decadent, you know you want to. And it will give your room much-needed height. They could also go to the side of a fireplace to hold logs. So many uses!
4. I have a thing for the Grand Tour. My first time in Florence I visited a shop that was filled with 19th-century bronze casts and models of great sculpture and I was hooked. I buy them whenever I see them and they’re not that easy to find. Group them if you have a center table, use them singly on a modern cube or coffee table, you can’t go wrong. This Atlas was used by Kelly Wearstler in a recent project.
5. While I always mix modern and contemporary art with my antiques there’s no reason one couldn’t use an ancient textile here and there. Tapestries are not something the average person ever thinks about, but imagine this late 18th-century example in a very clean lined room, or in an entrance hall. The borders alone are enough to fill you with countless hours of joy. I also tend to like religious theme, not for everyone, but here is Moses finding water in the desert, talk about a refreshing subject.
And so those are the five items I’m thinking about right about now. Hope you’ve enjoyed them.
Featured image: Room by Louis Navarrete Decoration for Holiday House 2014
Louis Navarrete Decoration
834 Riverside Drive 5B
New York City, NY 10032
Born in Cuba, Louis was always interested in houses and their contents. After emigrating to the US, he studied ballet with renowned teacher David Howard and danced professionally across Europe with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, in the US with The Joffrey Ballet and in South America with Ballets del Zulia. A career ending injury afforded him the opportunity to attend Parson’s where he studied Environmental Design and Interior Decoration under the tutelage of ex Parish-Hadley alumni. He worked as design assistant to Thomas Jayne and Bunny Williams before embarking on his own in 1992. Louis is an expert on design with a keen eye for antiques and has developed a wide range of connections which allows him to source anything you might be in search of, at various price points.
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and that you’ve nominated us for Best Company Blog in the Amara Interior Blog Awards.
Voting is open now until September 15, 2017.
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Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Why You Should Choose an International Shipper Who Specializes in Antiques (and not a Regular Shipper)
When shipping antiques you must have safe and secure transportation of fragile and valuable goods:
- Custom crating and packaging in protective materials
- Exploration of the best method to transport your goods
- Detailed documentation for customs and VAT paperwork concerning the export and import documentation necessary for your goods, including Certificates of Origin and an itemized, detailed packing list including descriptions and weights using the international coding system
- Understanding of fumigation requirements of your container
- Insurance for the shipped goods from door-to-door
- Expertise on international exporting and importing antiques including taxes and duties
- Monitoring and communications on the status of your shipment
- Relationships with international shipping regulatory agencies and a network of shippers
- they are experts at packing fragile and valuable goods
- they understand the cost/benefits of transport by land versus sea versus air
- they’re experienced in the detailed and specific documentation required for exporting and importing antiques
- they have worked with international shipping government regulatory offices in other countries
- they have relationships with transport companies in other countries
- they are specialists in shipping logistics and can accurately monitor and report shipment status
AD&CO Logistics Shipping Concierge Services
AD&CO Logistics, a service of The Antiques Diva & Co, provides white glove art and antiques transport and shipping services to customers across Europe and around the globe, including antiques dealers, interior designers, builders and private clients. AD&CO partners with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in shipping services. Your shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.
Our bespoke shipping services will provide you with tags, labels and instructions to identify and inventory your purchases at the dealer or on your buying tour, and our shipping concierge is always available to respond to our customers before, during and after your shipment.
At The Antiques Diva we offer one-stop, turnkey antiques sourcing, buying and shipping services. AD&CO Logistics shipping services offer very competitive rates and the shortest possible handling and shipping time to deliver your goods from the antiques dealer to your door.
I’d love to discuss your international antiques shipping needs: contact me at email@example.com!
Toma Clark Haine – The Antiques Diva®
I’m crushing on Chinoiserie – it’s a chic blend of what you find on The Antiques Diva® European and Asian Antique Buying tours. Travel opens your eyes and senses to new ideas and experiences, and we bring our new experiences back with us and interpret them into our own homes. As celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk told us: “Modern interior design is all about the global mix.” Our guest blogger Liza Jones, of Liza Jane Interiors, shares her love of Chinoiserie with us and how to bring the global mix with some Eastern flair into your home!
I’ve always been fascinated with all things Asian and I especially love Chinoiserie. Both as a general interior design style and as individual elements seen in interiors of all types, it’s one of those styles that have been around forever but really never goes out of fashion.
So you won’t have to struggle through this post, here’s how to pronounce ‘Chinoiserie’ which is derived from ‘chinois,’ the French word for Chinese: http://howjsay.com/pronunciation-of-Chinoiserie .
It all started in the 15th century when Marco Polo explored ‘the Orient’ and brought the first exotic Eastern treasures like colorful silks and carved ivory and jade ornaments back to Europe.
Chinoiserie – which has always been less about representing the Far East accurately and more about Europe’s idyllic, romanticized idea of the other side of the world – took the west by storm in popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was truly the first international design style.
Both then and now, Chinoiserie motifs range from the natural (willow trees, mountain ranges, streams, monkeys, elephants) to the man-made (pagodas, bridges, temples) to the fantastical (foo dogs, dragons, phoenixes).
Bearing those motifs is the ever-popular blue and white porcelain. Did you know these vases, plates, ginger jars, and more were at one time among the biggest exports from China to Europe? Today it’s everywhere and at just about every price point.
My preference has always been antique Chinoiserie. Take a look at some of these beautiful antiques I spied that would make any space special.
Pair of Red Chinoiserie Bamboo Sconces, 1st Dibs
We see Chinoiserie’s timelessness in currently very trendy fretwork patterns and glossy lacquered furniture finishes. Chinese garden stools, lacquered Ming tables, and ginger jars also adorn many of today’s homes of all styles, from staunchly traditional to ultra modern.
If you are looking to infuse your own home with a bit of Eastern-inspired flair, here’s a selection of some of my favorite pieces on the market today ranging from pagoda-shaped lanterns to bamboo-framed mirrors. I just might have to get a dog so I can have that fabulous pagoda dog bed!
Pagoda Lantern, Charles Edward Lighting
Pagoda Mirror, Interior HomeScapes
Pagoda Pet Bed, Society Social
Willow Salad Plates, Loveramics
Macau Armchair, Ballard Designs
Oscar de la Renta Pagoda Bar Cabinet, Century Furniture
Many of the grandest, most fashionable rooms have one thing in common: hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper. Some of the best quality today are from Gracie or De Gournay. Take a look at these absolutely stunning wallpapers.
For those of you who might be on the fence about installing wallpaper, I have found a company that sells temporary wallpaper in Chinoiserie styles and I think they look amazing. How cool is that?!
By the way, remember to always order a sample of any wallcovering you’re looking to put in your home, whether temporary or not, as colors can look very different on a computer screen than they do in person.
When it comes to Chinoiserie print fabrics… the sky is the limit. Almost every fabric line carries one or two patterns at the very least. I have pulled together just a few of my many favorites for you here.
Isn’t it fun knowing you can put something (whether it’s brand new or a rare antique) in your home today that’s been considered beautiful and stylish for centuries? Even though the tide of design styles ebbs and flows constantly, I’m confident we’ll never see Chinoiserie be anything less than the epitome of chic.
So tell me, are you brave enough to include a little Chinoiserie in your home?
Liza Jones, owner and principal designer at Liza Jane Interiors in McLean, VA, believes that good design is transformative, allowing us to experience joy when our living environments offer beauty, functionality and comfort.
A proud eighth-generation Virginian, Liza has a unique ability to spot unusual pieces that will punctuate and define a room’s décor. She then combines those pieces with other elements to create an elegant, cohesive finished space that reflects the clients’ personal tastes.
Her passion for gardening and original fine art, and her ongoing world travels inform Liza’s tastes for different styles and cultures. She sources a wide range of unique furnishings, artwork, and accessories to create living spaces for her clients that move their souls.
Liza Jane Interiors
Perhaps Rio Hamilton said it best. Doesn’t he usually? “Our sunset hour was a treasured stroll through Mulford Farm for the East Hampton Antiques Show or as I like to call it East Hamptons Fashion Show. Even on the hottest day of the year – the à la mode sauntered by looking cool.”
Attending opening night VIP early bird shopping was like attending a runway show in New York or Paris, only the object was shopping for antiques – sort of like fox hunting but for interior design. It was definitely a competitive sport. You first dressed for the occasion. Chanel handbag. Check. Dolce Gabbana mumu double check. Hat à la Grace Kelly… Let the shopping commence!
We arrived the Grand Opening VIP Party at the East Hampton Antique Show held by the East Hamptons Historical Society as the Grand Finale of our 2 day Antiques & Design Inspiration Group Tour of the Hamptons after having stopped off at Wolffer Estates Winery to pre-fortify ourselves for shopping. Not to worry – plenty of champagne was on hand at the antiques fairs opening night party being served on silver trays to the Who’s Who of the Hamptons. As I reached for a glass my knuckles (clad in my own TCH Collection knuckle buster ring) accidentally brushed with Martha Stewart’s hand. In a fan girl moment, I stepped back in surprise, nearly bumping into Donna Karan. Clearly I needed to up my cool game. Breathe. I sipped the champagne slowly… “Ok. Now I know who I’m playing with.” We’re in with the big boys. I’ve got this. The event hosted by the exclusive media sponsor Hamptons Cottages and Gardens was definitely THE attend event of the season. (Pictured above: Tamara Matthews Stephenson, Toma Clark Haines and Kendell Cronstrom, Editor in Chief New York Cottages & Gardens and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens magazines.)
Strolling past stalls of antiques I gushed out loud in enthusiasm as I stumbled upon Don Belau of Girls Guide to Paris‘ booth. Her stall was perfectly French – having that vintage French feel straight out of a brocante in Provence. As we chatted Su Hilty of IFDA New York came rushing up to me… “I would love to introduce you to someone. She just recognized you.” I smiled from ear to ear. “Imagine that – being recognized in the Hamptons?” I sighed.
I stopped and chatted and posed for a picture with Lamont Studio owner, Carlyn Kenny. As chance would have it, hers was already one of my favorite booths. Her style embodied that Hamptons sea sand and air feel I was looking for. Another favorite vendor was Andrew Spindel Antiques whose cheeky inventory at the fair ranged from Americana to French to urban industrial. As we started chatting, he said “I read you were coming here. I subscribe to your newsletter.”
I travel the world. And speak at design fairs and antique fairs coast to coast. I can’t make a trip to New York or LA without running into someone I know… I shouldn’t still be shocked when someone in the antiques or interior design world knows who I am… But.. it still makes me blush like a school girl. Especially when in the Hamptons.
Paris, New York, Berlin, Bangkok all feel like home… but the Hamptons still occasionally intimidates me. The thing about the Hamptons is this… It’s a secret society. You have to know the secret handshake to get into the best places. Visiting there without local friends would be positively boring. The Hamptons is about access. And that’s what we at The Antiques Diva & Co provide. Locally-based Diva Guide Tamara Matthews Stephenson grew up on Long Island – while a renowned NYC interior designer (and co-founder of Root Cellar Designs) she’s had a house in East Hampton for nearly 20 years. As we walk down the road she’s stopped at regular intervals with local vendors thanking her for a recent blog post she wrote about their shop on her #1 voted interior design blog Nest by Tamara. Another vendor asks, “Are you still writing for Dan’s?” Dan’s Papers, for those who aren’t in the know, is the iconic Hamptons newspaper every local reads.
Tamara explains, “The secret to the Hamptons is knowing where to go. There are 100’s of antique shops in the Hamptons. 100’s of restaurants and 100’s of interesting places to be inspired by design. But narrowing down your choices to the right places… to the best places… takes a lifetime of making the right contacts and then of course knowing who to call to get in.”
Our little black book is what we specialize in at The Antiques Diva & Co. Whether you’re on a buying tour in Chiang Mai or touring in Tongeren or simply using our Buying Services for those times when you don’t have time to travel with us to go shopping… Our job is to understand what your fantasy antiquing experience is and then give you access to antiques and design inspiration only a local knows about. While our next Hamptons Group Tour won’t be available until next July – we do offer private Hampton Antique tours every day during summers.
As the East Hampton Antiques Fair VIP Opening shopping night came to a close, the sun settled low in the sky turning the horizon pink behind the 17th C Dutch windmill on the Mulford Farm estate where the fair is held. I began humming La Vie En Rose and smiling thinking fondly of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald would have been right at home here… I can almost hear the click-clack of his type writer keys as he writes,
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
Book a Hamptons Antiques and Design Inspiration Tour
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Have you ever wondered where the worlds leading antiques dealers, interior designers – and mere antiques lovers – go to source fabulous, unique and authentic antiques? The secret: The Antiques Diva® & Co.
Buying antiques is not difficult. Anyone who can google can find an antique store to shop. The trick is in knowing with 1000’s and 1000’s of options – where to go – which dealer has the best inventory, the best prices, who offers the biggest discount, who is prone to having “reproductions” mislabeled as period pieces, who has hidden warehouses full of antiques never put online. The trick is in knowing that person (moi) who has the best little black book of antiquing sources – who has every dealer worth his salt on speed dial – who can get you after-hour appointments with dealers in their private homes or advance access to inventory before it hits the big trade fairs.
When buying antiques it is challenging :
- finding the best antiques dealers in Europe and Asia (they’re usually not online) – plus US secret sources where interior designers shop
- identifying if antiques are authentic – their provenance and history – and if they’re period, how that impacts their value
- how to spot damage, repairs and identify fakes (sadly purchasing antiques is caveat emptor – buyer be ware!)
- knowing what to pay for antiques and how to bargain for a better price, and for dealers what return you can expect on your investment
- spotting a great piece or exceptional value: something unique that tells a story
- shipping your purchases back home without damage
How do dealers and designers find antiques treasures? Shhhhh… The Antiques Diva is their dirty little secret!
At The Antiques Diva® we provide antiques sourcing, buying and shipping services in Europe, Asia and America: one-stop turnkey antiques services on 3 continents. We offer four service tiers, providing you one-stop turnkey antiques services in Europe and Asia. I recently sat down with Steven Favreau of Favreau Design, and filmmaker Fabien Prauss to explain what we do at AD&CO – and how we are the ONLY antiques sourcing service to offer complete turnkey antiques sourcing services:
Video Transcript: Steven Favreau interviews Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva
Steven: My name is Steven Favreau with Favreau Design and I have a dirty little secret: this is the Diva of all Divas, everybody’s secret little weapon when it comes to finding just the right antiques: the diva of all diva’s, Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines has invited me to be with her today and I’m thrilled.
Hello Toma, it’s a pleasure to have you!
Toma: Thank you so much for having me as your guest!
If you’re not already familiar with legendary Manhattan-based interior design John Douglas Eason you’re going to thank me for this introduction! John Douglas Eason is not only one of the nicest (and most attractive) men I know he’s also one of the most sophisticated. If you’ve visited some of the grandest homes in Greenwich, Connecticut, without a doubt you’ve encountered John’s designs. Some of the best homes in America have John’s touch. At the core of John’s work lies a sophisticated modern sensibility, tempered by respect for traditional design. This can be seen in his strong, structured interiors saturated with texture and softened with organic forms and unexpected colors. John’s deep knowledge of fabrics, finishes, furniture and furnishings, from contemporary to historical, is leveraged in every project. Sourcing at international art and design fairs as well as hidden New York showrooms and secret sources, John brings a wealth of knowledge and resources to every home he designs.
Last week while traveling with John on our special Hamptons Antiques and Design Inspiration Tour (now taking reservations for our July 2018 Antiques Diva® Hamptons Group Tour – private Hamptons tours are available April through October) we were chatting about what a great time we had last year antiquing in Italy. Amidst the antiquing we took an extra day to soak in some design inspiration, visiting one of Milan’s best-kept secrets – Villa Necchi Campiglio, formerly a private home, and now a museum open to the public.
The villa was built between 1932 and 1935 for the wealthy Lombard industrialist family made up of Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi, and her sister Nedda Necchi. It is situated in a very well-to-do part of Milan and was designed by Italian architect Piero Portaluppi. Both architect and client paid close attention to detail to create a house that would be the backdrop to a life well-lived in Milanese high society.
I asked John to share his design inspiration from our visit to Villa Necchi Campiglio:
My fondest memory of the Villa Necchi Campiglio, other than the company I was traveling with of course, is those fabulous nickel and brass pocket doors leading out to the terrace. I also was captivated by the attention to the details, the intricacy of the that was repeated through the entirety of the house. It was on the pocket doors, the radiators, ceilings & stone floors! There was a most amazing track system for those infamous pocket doors that became seamless as it recessed to the height of the floor when the doors were opened. Recently I posted a photo from our trip of those nickel and brass pocket doors to Instagram and they immediately became one of my most popular IG posts to date. So memorable are they that I don’t recall anything from the movie “I Am Love” except for those phenomenal doors. This was the sole purpose that I so willingly tagged along for our group tour just to see a pair of pocket doors, and they did not disappoint. Much to my pleasure the attention to detail that abounds in the remainder of the house does not either!!
Let John’s design inspirations inspire you! Follow John on Instagram: @johndeason.
Watch I Am Love and see if you can spot John’s design inspiration!
When you’re in Milan, you simply must visit this inspirational house museum – it’s one of Milan’s best-kept secrets – a lesson in architecture and design as it successfully mixes impressive 19th-century style with progressive 20th-century design. Perfection!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Welcome to Indonesia
Photo Credit Susanna Ollmann, Ollmann Creative
Do you believe in love at first sight? That might have been how I felt when I met Michael Nalder. He’s suave, debonaire, devastatingly handsome and not only has the most gorgeous antique shop under the sun… he cooks too. Discovering that he had been an Antiques Diva® blog reader for years was almost as much of a delight as it was when Michael invited me for dinner chez him with my colleague Marilyn, who leads our Bali tours, and my friend Derrick Ricketts, VP of Dallas Market Center.
Visiting the home of an antiques dealer is always a treat… most dealers hold their favorite pieces back for themselves. But visiting Michael’s home was visiting his personal oasis. Enclosed behind an unassuming building the house surrounds an inner courtyard open to the elements and the pool inside. An artful mix of pieces from around South East Asia and the world, Michael’s home is reminiscent of his store, Lemari.
Lemari means cupboard in Bahasa (the Indonesian language) – and opening the doors to Michael’s shop is like opening a cabinet of curiosity, only chic-er, more stylish, and perfect for purchasing some of the most swoon-worthy designs on the planet.
Lemari offers the traveler an opportunity to take a piece of Bali home, selling an eclectic array of antique furniture, carvings, artifacts and objets d’art hand selected from the islands of the Indonesian archipelago as well as a variety of Dutch colonial pieces and other inventory collected from the world at large.
Michael Nalder explains, “Traditional Balinese architecture blends influences from other cultures to create something unique and interesting.” From European pieces chosen for their grandeur to cheap and cheerful folk art, the principle for Nalder’s collection remains constant; everything at Lemari must exude that certain uniqueness and beauty that Bali is known for.
Originally from New Zealand, Nalder explains, “Living in Bali is so different from waking up in Wellington, I can hardly imagine living anywhere else than Bali.” Hmmm…. though rumor has it, this bad boy has been cheating on Bali with Portugal as of late… Which simply makes me wonder. Will Portugal be getting a new shop called Lemari 2? And better yet, what’s the likelihood I can convince Michael to be our Antiques Diva Guide in Portugal if a move really is on the horizon?
Until next time,
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Antiques Diva® clients often spot a fabulous piece – or pieces – perfect for their latest interior design project, or exactly what they need in their antique shop. But the question is:
How can I possibly ship that home without it getting broken!
At AD&CO Logistics, that’s our specialty: we know how to ship large fragile antiques and art purchase from Europe to their final destination whether that’s across town, across the border or across the ocean. With over 50 years expertise in international shipping, AD&CO Logistics makes the impossible possible. On a recent buying Belgium Antiques Diva buying trip our clients spotted these beauties at an antique dealer’s in Brussels, snatched them up… and left the shipping to us!
Large, fragile antique statue, columns and urns require a crane to be removed from the Brussel dealer’s shop.
The pieces are carefully transported to AD&CO Logistics warehouses in Amsterdam.
At AD&CO Logistics warehouse, the pieces are carefully packed in custom crates for shipping to the US.
Smaller pieces are individually wrapped for shipment.
Large pieces are packed in custom crates for shipment.
THE ANTIQUES DIVA ART AND ANTIQUES SHIPPING SERVICES
The Antiques Diva & Co® is pleased to offer art and antiques shipping services from Europe to destinations around the globe. AD&CO has partnered with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in shipping services. Your AD&CO Logistics shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.
Our international shipping services provide the options of:
∗ full 20 or 40ft containers or partial containers (LCL: Less Container Loads)
∗ door-to-door shipping
∗ port-only shipping
∗ independent or shared location shipping
Toma Clark Haines wearing I Believe I Can Fly: Signature Piece of the TCH Collection
Photo Credit Susanna Ollmann, Ollmann Creative
I have a secret. It’s my super power. I can fly. Or at least I believe I can fly. As a child my parents always encouraged me. You can do whatever you set your mind to. They gave me roots and they gave me wings. And because they believed in me, I believed in me.
I sometimes think I must not have been like other kids. When a school teacher asked us to draw where we were going to live when grew up – my classmates drew pictures of white A-frame houses with 2 windows and a door. I drew a palazzo with neo-gothic windows and a gondola parked out front. And when my teacher said… “But Toma no one really lives in Venice…” Little 6 year old me said, “Don’t be ridiculous… of course, they do.”
Incidentally, as an adult two of my Diva Guides Chiara and Orseola live in Venice (and yes… Dear Kindergarten Teacher… the city has a population of 40,000 residents). Now I travel to Venice 6 or 7 times a year for work and pleasure (because really work in Venice is actually pleasure) and through my job as CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co I travel the world – Venice and beyond.
As a child that was my fantasy. To be a traveler. I would sit on the floor behind my fathers LazyBoy perusing a stack of National Geographics. I didn’t just study the far away places – but the clothes people wore, their accessories. I still remember the Long Neck Susans, that tribe in Thailand with elongated necks stacked high with necklace after necklaces. And fabulous chunky ethnic necklaces dangling on midnight black skin between bare breasts as a child suckled somewhere in the Congo. I snuck in the room to watch Dallas with my mother and didn’t just love the high fashion (and hair) but also the giant rocks and baubles. A diamond is forever, even if JR isn’t.
In university I studied abroad in London – I realized I couldn’t buy all the big pieces I wanted to commemorate my travels… but I could buy jewelry. It was small. Perfectly packable. Later when I would be complimented on my accessories, I would say “Thank you. I bought it in London.” Jewelry became a way of talking about my travels. The diva version of the souvenir t-shirt… And it also became an expression of me.
I love earrings and necklaces – the bigger the better. But once I put them on… I never see them again. I wear them for other people to see. But when I wear rings, I personally am able to enjoy them. All day long, whether I’m driving in my car, taking notes at a meeting, working on my laptop, or simply lingering at the end of the day over a cocktail… I see my hands.
I wear rings for me.
As many of you know I’m in a time of transition in my personal life… A time when some unexpected things have happened that I didn’t plan and I am learning how to respond and adapt to changing life circumstances. One of the things I’ve taken time to reflect on is what do I really want out of life. I love my job at The Antiques Diva & Co – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But somehow I want something more. Sometimes perhaps I’ve felt lost behind The Antiques Diva. The Antiques Diva is a persona, based very clearly on me and my most exaggerated traits – but The Diva is ultimately a brand. I am Toma Clark Haines.
Since I was a child I’ve wanted to be a jewelry designer. Pre-Pinterest I’ve torn images from magazines that inspired me. I’ve sketched designs on napkins when I’m sitting in a cafe and see a broach on the woman at the table next to me. Or have imagined drawer pulls as earrings. And I’ve bought vintage pieces and pondered how I could adapt necklaces to be the perfect length. This January 2018 I will be officially launching a new business in conjunction with The Antiques Diva & Co – the TCH COLLECTION – my very own jewelry line based upon years of being a traveling fashionista. Working with some of our favorite antique dealers, interior design showrooms and concept stores selling our line of jewelry cross promoting with our current following in the antique arena.
Jewelry Photography by José Manuel Alorda
In taking the decision to launch a second business I am taking a chance –– a gamble – on something new. The one thing I have learned as CEO of my core company – The Antiques Diva & Co – is that there is only one secret to success. In order to be successful you simply have to keep on doing whatever it is you do. Success comes to those who are willing to first take a step forward. Success stays with those who keep stepping forward every day.
If you’re shopping Antiques for Everyone in England this week – stop by and see the collection first hand. (pun intended).
ANTIQUES FOR EVERYONE
Antiques for Everyone is the largest and most established vetted art, interiors and antiques fair outside of London. Buy with confidence from an inspiring array of eclectic categories of beautiful, unusual and rare objects from antiquity to the present day.
The Summer Antiques for Everyone Fair is taking place Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 July 2017