BELGIUM ANTIQUES and FLEA MARKET TOURS
It’s no secret that when I’m not at home in Berlin or traveling on Diva business, I can frequently be found in Belgium. Serious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy antiques, vintage and decorator pieces at positively brilliant prices. On a Diva Buying Tour, our local Belgium Antiques Tours Guides take you to our favorite sources including European antique warehouses and by-appointment-only secret antique shops off the beaten path, all the while translating and negotiating on your behalf. From classic French furniture to tabletop items and smalls, Belgium offers a variety of French flea market pieces for the antiques lover.
Antwerp and the surrounding area is one of the best areas for sourcing antiques. On our Antwerp tour, our Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to a plethora of antiques, vintage and home décor stores both in town and the surrounding countryside. Here you’ll find that classic Belgian style of bleached oak furniture and painted pieces as well as gorgeous linens, crystal, paintings and decorative pieces. Plus Mid-Century Modern and fabulous Retro pieces are incredibly hot in Belgium at the moment and the vintage art scene is definitely cool. Belgium sets the trends for design so be prepared to find pieces that may grace the cover of next season’s shelter magazines. On tour our Guide translates and negotiates on your behalf and we also liaise you with a shipper to get your purchases home.
Antwerp may be Europe’s best-kept secret when it comes to antique sourcing. On our Antwerp tour our Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to a plethora of antiques, vintage and home décor stores both in town and the surrounding countryside. Here you’ll find that classic Belgian style of bleached oak furniture and painted pieces as well as gorgeous linens, crystal, paintings and decorative pieces. Belgium sets the trends for design so be prepared to find pieces that may grace the cover of next season’s shelter magazines. On tour, our Guide translates and negotiates on your behalf and we also liaise you with a shipper to get your purchases home.
Antique Warehouses, By-Appointment-Only Antique Stores, Private Residences
Our Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to our secret sources including European antique warehouses, by-appointment-only antique stores – including private residences where virtually everything in the vendors home is for sale. Everything from decorative antique accessories to fine French or country furniture can be found on this tour. Tell us what you’re looking for and we custom plan a route to take you to the perfect places to find what you want. As always, our Antiques Guide translates and negotiates on your behalf, bringing the buying power of all our clients to the table when we walk in the door.
Use our AD&CO LOGISTICS antique storing and shipping service to get your treasures home, or we will also liaise you with your preferred shipper.
Meet Our Antwerp Antiques Guides
Antiques Diva Guide Philip Ver Hoeye
Philip Ver Hoeye is a native Belgian and is our Divo Guide in Belgium and the north of France. Born in Antwerp, his interest in antiques began in his teenage years when he started collecting small antique objects and furniture. His lifelong passion for antiques and fine living has culminated in opening a boutique hotel called JVR 108 in Antwerp. His favorite part of being an Antiques Diva Guide is taking clients to hidden secret sources and helping them choose antiques whether they are looking for fine 17th century pieces or mid-century modern. Aside from collecting antiques, Philip also enjoys cars, particularly British ones and interior decoration which is evident in his perfectly appointed guesthouse in Antwerp!
Antiques Diva Guide Frederik Aers
Frederik Aers is a native Belgian hailing from Brussels. He’s also lived in the Flemish part of Brabant and now resides in Antwerp. He is one of our Divo Guides in Belgium, North of France, and The Netherlands. He’s always had a passion for antiques and design. In fact, when he was just a small boy he would constantly be drawing houses, building villas with blocks and collecting articles on interior design, antiques, and gardens. Today, along with our other Divo Guide Phillip, he operates a boutique hotel in Antwerp called JVR108. Frederik enjoys taking clients to see beautiful places where they can find special antiques and objects d’art. When not on tour with The Antiques Diva & Co, he loves to travel and experience different cultures which gives him inspiration. Touring interiors which reflect the personality and tell the story of the people who inhabit them is a favorite activity for him. Frederik believes that a well-combined collection of objects and furniture tells a story and this is part of why he loves taking people on Antiques Buying Tours!
Philip and Frederik are also the AD&CO international shipping and storage concierges, and are experts in exporting antiques to other countries.
When I visit Antwerp, I stay at Philip and Frederik’s luxury guest house, JVR108: The hotel is actually a historic mansion that happens to be right near the heart of Antwerp. The location is convenient to the historic city center where you can find shops, restaurants and museums, not to mention the city’s famed cathedral. Public transportation is close by and there are also bicycles available to guests free of charge. Learn more about JVR108 here.
We’d love to see you in Antwerp, where we’ll open our little black book full of restaurants, hotels, fashion, home decor and bien sur, antiques!
Until next time,
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva
“I’ve been around the world and I, I, I….” (sing with me people) have never visited a castle as magnificent as this. Who wouldn’t want to travel to the Belgian countryside in the fall and shop for antiques at a privately owned Chateau? While the Chateau Deulin always has antiques for sale by private appointment – this is one of our favorite diva-worthy sources in Belgium – for the next two weekends Chateau Deulin is hosting the Chateau Deulin Antiques Fair!
Join our AD&CO team October 1 and 2 and next weekend on October 8 and 9 in the Chateau Deulin Antiques Fair where chic shopping meets Chateau living as a plethora of top antique dealers gather on the grounds to sell out-of-this-world antiques.
Shop for everything from fine 18th-century furniture to jewelry and tabletop items. Clients are always gobsmacked when they visit the castle and its grounds, as enchanted by the turrets and as they are the lovable family who calls this palace home sweet home. Over the last several years as I’ve visited the Chateau I’ve been able to watch as restoration took place, one section of the chateau at a time, and finally after extensive restorations the renovation is complete and the Chateau is ready host the many antique-lovers who will be pouring in this month to shop the fair. If I were to have a second wedding I’d definitely do it in their chapel – the chateau does rent out the facility for private events and gatherings as well, and rumor has it, there is a suite of rooms in one of the wings for special guests.
Should you not be traveling in Belgium this weekend, but want to book a special Antiques Diva Tour drop me an email email@example.com so we can book a special Antiques Diva Weekend with you at the Chateau visiting nearby antiques venues whilst sleeping and dining in the castle.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
erious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy antiques, vintage and decorator pieces at the positively brilliant prices. While it may be our smallest tour country geographically, Belgium makes up for its modest size with amazing finds at great prices! While you can certainly find fantastic antiques of several different styles including Flemish, French, English, and Swedish, Belgium is also home to some of the best Mid-century modern dealers in Europe.
Pick up any international shelter magazine and you will find Mid-century pieces being incorporated in every type of interior imaginable. In Belgium you can find an entire range of Mid-century pieces. From larger furniture pieces like seating, desks, dining room tables, and commodes to smaller furniture like side tables, livingroom tables, and side chairs, Belgian dealers are scouring Europe for the sleek silhouettes and sexy lines of Mid-century style. But they’re not stopping with furniture. Several of our sources offer gorgeous mirrors, decorative objects, and lighting as well. In fact, a lighting is one of the most popular categories clients are looking for right now. Belgian dealers stock a range of lighting options from huge mid-century glass chandeliers, to smaller chandeliers, standing lamps, desk lamps, and wall-fixtures. While it can be more difficult to find Mid-century artwork, we do have sources that deal in unique, qualitative and quantitative are from paintings to objects.
Some clients are looking for specific designer pieces that command a higher price due to their provenance. This is where our Buying Services can come in handy. We have very good sources for top-of-the-range exclusive and rare pieces of Mid-century furniture. We put the word out to our vast list of secret sources in our little black book, and when a particular piece becomes available, they let us know before putting it on the market. It’s a great way to add to a collection or source highly specific pieces.
For those who want the Mid-century look without the costly price tags, we certainly have seen a vast amount of pieces which are “in the style of” famous designers, but are offered at much lower prices. This is the perfect way to get the look you’re after without paying for the designer name. Regardless of whether you want to source designer furniture or simply get the look for less, you can find very reasonable prices in Belgium compared to what is for sale in larger American cities, or international websites which sell antiques.
As far as trends go, we’ve seen clients buy a lot of Mid-century credenza’s, desks, seating, and lighting as of late. That means these items are popular and will be showing up in America stores, homes, and on magazine covers in the near future.
If you’re interested in booking an Antiques Diva Mid-century Buying Tour in Belgium, I’d recommend a 2 to 3 day tour depending on the scope of your interest. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about your wants & needs to determine the perfect custom tour for you! if you can’t make it over to Europe but still want to source Mid-century pieces, email me about our Buying Services. You may just find it’s easier to source antiques in Europe than you thought!
Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
or those of you who are coming to Paris this September for Maison Objet I’ve got a SPECIAL OFFER for you!
Ooh la la… Extend your stay in Paris during Maison Objet this September 2014 to antique in the Belgian countryside where the bargains abound. Join Toma Clark Haines, CEO of Europe’s largest antiques sourcing and touring company The Antiques Diva® & Co, on an exclusive, all-inclusive, jam-packed 2 Day Group Tour buying antiques in Belgium, departing Paris 7am September 10 and returning back to the City of Light the night of September 11, 2014.
Choreographed specifically for interior designers to build their little black book of sources, this intelligently composed antiques buying tour takes you off the beaten path to antique warehouses, by-appointment-only stores and to some of the best Belgian sources for buying abroad. Liaising with international shippers we’ll help get purchases home sweet home across the pond, taking the mystery out of sourcing abroad.
All Inclusive Group Belgium Antique Tour includes:
- 2 fully-packed days off the beaten path on an antiques buying tour in Belgium, visiting more than 10 secret antique sources – some of the largest antique warehouses and most exclusive by-appointment-only stores.
- Round trip ground transportation from Paris to and throughout Belgium
- 1-night hotel in Belgium
- 2 breakfasts
- 2 lunches
- 2 dinners
- Wine and other beverages and snacks on tour
Price 1100 EURO per person (approx. $1500 USD).
Deadline date August 1, 2014
To RSVP or for more information contact Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours – email@example.com. In addition to this special GROUP TOUR going on during Maison Objet as always each weekend of the year we offer our private, one-on-one custom tours of the Paris Flea Market as well as further afield in 8 countries – France, Belgium, England, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. Private tours in Provence & London pair perfectly with Parisian trips to Maison Objet.
See you soon!
The Antiques Diva ®
Dear Diva Readers,
I’m really not supposed to pick favorites in my clients or my vendors… but here’s my Diva Confession du Jour… I do! And between you and me, Tijdloos Antiek in Belgium happens to be on the top of my favorite places to take clients to shop in Belgium for French Antiques.
First off, the vendors – Roderic and his wife, Evy – are simply wonderful. They are as nice as they are informed about their inventory. Next up, they always treat my clients with such incredible customer service, going that extra mile to help Antiques Diva® clients find what they’re looking, sharing historical information (not to mention coffee and cookies) as well as answering a slew of Q’s .
And then there is their inventory – which is DIVINE. Tijdloos Antiek has good quality, gorgeously restored pieces and very reasonable prices. I also like that they are creative – they aren’t afraid to repurpose pieces for modern living, for example cutting down tables to make coffee tables! Clients go mad over these repurposed pieces!
With between 200 and 300 pieces of 18th and 19th C furniture in stock their store has gorgeous farm tables, wardrobes, cabinets, bureaus, secretaries and more! Their pieces are beautifully and lovingly restored and net net, if you’re looking to buy wholesale in Belgium, Tijdloos Antiek gets The Antiques Diva® Seal of Approval!! Thanks Roderic & Evy for being you!!
The Antiques Diva®
PS. If you’re going to Belgium, why not book a 2, 3 or 4 day Belgium Antiques Diva Tour so you can find more great warehouses like Tijdloos Antiek. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
January 22-31, 2010
BRAFA: Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair
Tour & Taxis Bldg
Avenue du Port 86C
Late Hours until 10.30pm on Jan 26 & 28
– Guided tours by a BRAFA associate are daily at 3pm. Inquire at ticket counter for details.
– The 130 participants represent different countries such as Belgium (60%), France, Germany, Great-Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Russia, Spain, USA and Switzerland
Brussels Airlines offers promotional rates for BRAFA visitors and exhibitors: valid from 15 January till 5 February 2010, 25 %* on b.business and b.flex economy and 15 %* on b.light economy rates.
Make your journey easier by travelling on Thalys when you go to Brussels from Paris, Cologne or Aachen. Benefit from the Thalys preferential rates to go to the fair: -50%* in Comfort 1 and -30%* in Comfort 2 on the Hi-Life price.
March 19-28, 2010
Eurantica 2010 – Fine Art & Antique Fair
Place de Belgique # 1
(enter via cote Atomium)
Hours: 2pm-7pm (Mon-Fri)
March 25: Late Night until 10pm
– Free Entry to Ladies on Ladies Day Jan 26 (2pm-7pm)!!!
– 150 leading antiques dealers and art galleries of Belgium, Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy who are to exhibit at the Brussels Expo Hall 5.
April 3 – 5, 2010
3 rue de Marche Couvert
Hours: 10am-7pm Daily
– Over 700 Vendors!
– Professional Day April 2 – Antique Dealers get 1st dibs!
October 2-3, 2010
Foire du Verre
Centre Sportif, Rout d’Ohain
(Just 5km from Waterloo!)
– A “Glass Fair” unique to Belgium
– Over 4 soccer fields filled with glass and crystal, antiques vintage & collectibles!
Mid-November 2010 (Date TBD)
Antica Namur: Salon d’art et d’antiquites
Ave Sergent-Vrithoff, 2
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR 2010 DATES and HOURS of Operation!
To view photos from 2009’s great event, click here!
The Antiques Diva™
(seen right hitting the fleas in Tongeren, Belgium)
I noticed in my recent Antique Week paper something that your Diva Readers/shopping tour clients will be interested in attending. The Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair will be later this month! It looks like it will be great – the article quotes:
“BRAFA will truly feature a more international flavor in 2009 – two American galleries – Sophie Scheidecker Fine Art from New York and Tony Anninos Asian Art from California – will have a presence among its 18 new exhibitors, as well as galleries from Hungary and Russia will make their debut.”
Fair dates are Jan. 23 – Feb. 1, 2009 daily from 11am to 7pm and will be held in Brussels at the Tour & Taxis building, avenue du Port 86 C/ B – 1000 Brussels. Late nights opening Monday 26th January 2009 until 9.00pm and Thursday 29 January 2009 until 10.30pm. Admission is 20E per person.
It sounds like this fair is going international in a big way. From the article it sounds like it is going to be a great fair – one that doesn’t need to be missed! Another source writes that BRAFA, “reaffirms its respected eclectic position in the heart of Europe. From the centuries-old everyday objects to the most prestigious masterpieces, visiting this antiques fair offers an unforgettable view of the incredible skills of craftsmen and artists of the past… In a way, it is a real “temporary museum” which opens every time, appealing to the eyes and sensibilities of all discerning visitors.”
Your Name Twin,
Toma at Victorian Cobweb
Realizing for the first time the consequences he faced as a result of not sharing in the coordination of our international move, he was given an answer that would define nearly a decade of expatriate life, “As an expat, Europe is now my playground. A person’s home should reflect not only who they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going.” By bringing only our favorite possessions, I gave us room to grow into the people we’d become through living abroad.
Needing a table on which to dine, as well as the china to set on it, we began searching the flea markets of Europe, letting our travel choices dictate our décor. “Darling,” I rang my husband’s office one day, “We need a buffet and I’ve just read an article on the selection of antique side boards available in the Costa Blanca. Shall we go to Spain this Easter to see the procession and to stop by an excellent source for richly carved chestnut chests?” Weekends were passed flea marketing in the French countryside as we filled our home and stomachs while sampling the specialties of the regions. As our waistlines expanded, we’d return to 6eme Parisian apartment with a shabby chateau canapé that would groan when sat upon and Napoleon III side tables lacquered and adorned with mother of pearl embellishments.
When we moved to Holland, Belgium became our favorite getaway as it brought back memories of France with its abundance of French antiques, but better Belgium prices. Trips across Germany have filled our home with the type of knick knacks we never knew we needed until they completed a tableau. While visits to see friends living in Switzerland resulted in us starting a new collection of antique globes found at their many brocantes and led us to purchasing a politically incorrect vintage fur throw straight from a chalet at a bargain bin price.
Guests visiting us in The Netherlands nearly a decade after our expat journey began tour our home and comment on the eclectic international décor and when I point out a pile of plates that I peddled home in a box tied with a bungee cord to the back of my bike, they exclaim, “It’s just so you!”
PS: To read the country overviews I wrote for Expatica, simply click on the links below!
Hello Antiques Diva,
I am interested in attending one of the brocantes you listed in a recent blog — the Brocante Temploux 23-24 August, 2008. BY any chance do you know if there is shipping available?
Thank you for your help.
Antoinette from Atlanta
Sadly the fair coordinator, Luc Halleux, has explained that “With 1000 exposants and 150,000 visitors, we already have a lot of work. So we cannot organize any shipping and we do not have contact with any company to do it. Apologies and Best Regards!” Should you have any more questions, you can contact Luc directly at email@example.com
Even though The Antiques Diva Exclusive Antique Shopping Tours of Holland, Belgium and France does not organize shipping, I didn’t want to leave you high & dry on this question so I put my Belgian Antiques Diva Tour Guide, Lucretia, to work searching for a solution! Her advice is that as Temploux is nearby Namur, your best bet might be using a shipping agent there to help orchestrate your overseas shipment. While The Antiques Diva™ Enterprises cannot make any official recommendations (as we haven’t tested these companies yet), we did find a few potentials for you to investigate.
One Entry is an interesting company which allows you to compare costs for a multitude of services – international shipping included. The website http://www.antiek.com/ recommends a few vendors who are helping antique dealers by organizing overseas shipping. Antiques Carriers looked particularly interesting as did Belga Traders.
Last but not least, should you need antique shopping advice while in Belgium (or before going), please feel free to ask! The Antiques Diva Offices are closed the month of August but whenever possible we try to help and might be able to squeeze in a last minute appointment if you’re in jam!
To shop with a local on your arm while in Belgium, Lucretia’s fees are 25 Euros per hour + transport costs (i.e. fuel/train) or for a full day shopping service 140 Euros. Lucretia is Belgian, speaks English, French and Flemish fluently (as well as pretty good Italian & German) and is an expert at bargaining in all these languages! Her Masters is in Decorative Arts and she’s an absolute delight to shop with! You’d love her!
Good Luck with your shopping adventure!
All the best,
The Antiques Diva™
Meanwhile, Robert Frank of the Wall Street Journal has posted on his WSJ blog an informative article about Spire and this new means of social networking targeted towards people who are interested in travel, gourmet food, wine, cultural events, etc. In this article, they mention three “People in the Know” including me, The Antiques Diva™! Click here to read all about it,
The Antiques Diva™