Dear Diva Readers,
his time of year is my favorite – brocanting is in full swing across Europe!!! And Amsterdam is no exception – but in typical Dutch fashion they put their own twist on the antique season. Rather than spreading the antiques and vintage finds across the streets, several savvy antique dealers in the Jordaan have joined together to promote The Open Door Days!!
This weekend and next in Amsterdam several antique dealers are inviting you “chez them” – into their private residence to antique shop in their chic surroundings!!! Two of my favorite Dutch dealers are participating in the Open Door Days – Annette Brederode and Johan de Feijters.
Chez Annette Brederode
1015 GS Amsterdam
27th – 29th May 11am to 6pm
Chez Johan de Feijters
1015 TL Amsterdam
20 – 22 May, 2011
27 – 29 May 2011
from 12:00 to 8pm
While visiting Annette & Johan ask about where you can find other dealers participating in this weekend event! They’ll be happy to direct you to additional secret addresses open these few days only!
The Antiques Diva®
This weekend, Nov 26-28, and next weekend, Dec 3 – 5, The Association of Antwerp Antique Dealers “Antiquairs Antwerpen” will open their doors to the public for their Winter Open Door Days with a special walking tour! Visit the site for more details.
While most of the dealers opening their doors to their galleries are located in downtown Antwerp, a very special person outside of town is also participating in the event. You can’t hear the words “Belgian Décor” without thinking immediately of the famed Belgian Axel Vervoordt and for the next 2 weekends you have the opportunity to visit his castle!
More than 50 rooms in the castle of ‘s-Gravenwezel, the private home of Axel and May Vervoordt, can be visited. In the Music Room and in the office of Axel Vervoordt, a part of the collection of Jan Vlug, the famous antiques dealer from Brussels from the 1960s, will be on display. In Axel’s son Boris’ store, Kanaal, there will be a presentation of the real estate project “ Becoming a City in the Country”. On Sunday the 28th of November, the new book ‘Axel Vervoordt. wabi inspirations’ (Flammarion, 2010) will be launched. Entrance at the castle: 15 euro (entrance to Kanal is free) and this Diva can guarantee a visit will be well-worth the entrance fee for this nearly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Why do I say nearly? Well, he does open his doors each winter for this special annual event!
(seen right with Antiques Diva Belgian Guide Lucretia in Antwerp)
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Over the past few years I’ve come to eagerly anticipate the arrival of postcards from Annette Brederode, announcing her twice-annual “Secret Sales” – known locally as “Open Door Days” in Amsterdam, where Annette literally throws open the doors to her private residence and lets you shop your heart out inside her living room. This is a woman with Style – and do note that is style with a capital “S”! She oozes good taste and then combines that flair with innovative and creative ideas, putting together eclectic finds and traditional French antiques in a manner that inspires! After a visit into her shop-in-her-home, you’ll want to go home yourself and redecorate. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, for she (and her home) has been featured time and time again in Dutch decorating magazines! Her shop doesn’t have a store front and she doesn’t run a website or advertise. Instead her Secret Sales dates tend to be spread via word-of-mouth along with her twice-annual post-cards announcing the dates to former clients. This year’s post card (see image above) came with a note attached “No Old Shoes, Simply Antiques”, and the following explanation:
This is my new invitation – I needed a break from my yearly beautiful cards picturing the things that I sell. This old shoe is over 100 years old. I found it in Italy and it symbolizes the beauty of things that we don’t throw away, but keep instead, until they themselves are antiques.
The sale takes place on the 3rd floor in an inconspicuous building. Ring the buzzer and climb the stairs for shopping paradise! When you’re finished here pop over to Johan de Feijters Secret Sale!
Dec 11-13, 2009
Loving the concept of appreciating the beauty in all things, I knew I had to share her words with you in addition to sharing some pics I took recently while visiting Annette Brederode’s private shop with Diva Clients. Mark your calendars for Dec 11-13, 2009. Should you miss the sale dates, do note that you can book a private appointment to visit Annette’s home/shop at your convenience!
A few items for sale Chez Brederode:
This painted armoire has a patina like I’ve never seen before! And I love the long, rustic farm house table!
You can’t help but wonder how far this funny little gnome has traveled!
I considered buying these peacock feathers for my mother-in-law, but the real draw in this picture for me is the clustering of vintage and antique bird cages in the background. What unique décor!
This “Koffie” canister would be adorable in my kitchen and the woven table takes me back to yesteryear, memories of summer wine and eating fresh strawberries off the bush!
Here one of my clients is in a serious quandary – “Which should I buy?” she asked! My response: “Both!”
That gnome keeps making an appearance. I love how light and airy this room is!
Another Diva client pondered the “café au lait” bowls.
These pics are just the tip of the iceberg. Look back at some past Diva posts to see more of Annette’s sensational inventory!
Read This One: Brederode Secret Antiques
Or what about this one: Last Chance!
The Antiques Diva™
Dear Diva Readers,
Long-term Diva Readers will have heard me dish time and time again about the incredible “Secret Sale” – The Open Door Days at Johan de Feijter’s Amsterdam antiques shop! You’ll want to drop what you’re doing and clear your agenda to make this December’s sale in the Jordaan!
18 – 20 December, 2009
For a sneak peak at the fabulous French inventory available during these Open Door dates, check out these gorgeous pictures of Johan’s shop!
If this isn’t eye candy, I don’t know what is!??! I’m simply drooling…. Buy your Christmas gifts or better yet, buy something for yourself!
While at Johan’s make sure when paying for your many purchases that you ask for directions to the nearby shops participating in the Open Door Days. Johan has some sensational addresses up his sleeve and he’s always happy to share his secrets!
As always, Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!
The Antiques Diva™
This Secret Sale isn’t the only “Open Door Sale” in the Jordaan this weekend!
Just a few blocks from Annette Brederode’s abode in a quaint canal house is another “Open Door Day” at an antiques shop which is usually only “open by appointment”!
Last year while visiting Annette Brederode’s secret shop she crooned, “If you like my shop you should visit my friend Johan at # 58 Bloemgracht.”
Sadly I was in a mad dash that day and didn’t have a diva minute, so I made note of the address and promised to visit them on their next “Open Door Days.” Then, a week later, Lucretia, one of The Antiques Diva Tour Guides, called to tell me that she had stumbled upon an Amsterdam antiques shop I HAD to know about – “It’s Amsterdam’s Best Kept Secret” she cried! As she began describing the location I asked, “Could it be the same shop Annette Brederode recommended to me – Johan de Feijter at Bloemgracht 58?”
“Indeed!” Lucretia cried and then confessed that she hesitated to tell me as she was afraid that I might go and buy their entire inventory before she had a chance to return!
Amazingly my favorite antiques shop in Amsterdam had just recommended that I shop at the same shop that one of The Antiques Diva Tour Guides called her “new favorite Amsterdam antique shop!” This was clearly destiny! Needless to say, I knew that Johan de Feijter’s shop at Bloemgracht 58 HAD TO BE GOOD!
On the next Open Door Days in June, I dashed to the Jordaan and was dazzled by Johan’s collection so much so that I knew this time I couldn’t lump Johan’s antique shop together in the same blog as Annette but that he deserved a blog of his own! I could go on for ages and pages telling about the incredible assortment of 18th and 19th century china, porcelain & pottery but clichéd though it may be, a picture is worth a thousand words… and these pictures taken recently at Bloemgracht 58 speak for themselves!
Save the Date!
This year’s Open Door Days are 12- 14 Dec. and 19-21 Dec.
Hours: from 12 noon – 8pm
PS. When Johan sent me pictures for today’s blog, he clued me in on a little tip. His friend Eduard Tovar Estrada recently started a great new antiques shop that is particularly interesting! I think I might have to interview him next year as part of my Mantiques series! In the meantime, visit Eduard’s website – Antique Canes Amsterdam – to see his beautiful collection of antique canes.
Enjoy these wonderful treats!
The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
FYI…Today’s post is coming from Provence in a guest blog by our Provence Antiques Diva guide, Caren Trafford.
t started with a door.
The short email appeared unexpectedly one afternoon. It was marked URGENT. Wanted, it said. The typeface was bold. I clicked it open and read on.
“Wanted: matching pair of Louis XIVth doors, original condition. Walnut wood preferred but oak a possibility, patina unworked, curved. Looking to ship as soon as possible, transportation needed to USA.”
I pondered the query with a sense of excitement. I was in the perfect place to accept the challenge. An Antiques Diva treasure hunt was about to begin.
As the lucky residents of Provence will tell you, Provence is known for many things; its location in southeastern France offers an attractive climate, a sumptuous choice of cuisine and enough history to fill at least 10 encyclopedias.
What you can’t learn from the travel, cooking and history books is that in Provence, the sunniest part of France, can be found some of the finest antique doors in the world: some, many hundreds of years old, crafted by the Masters from another era. Today, these doors may be locked away in some antique dealer’s cellar, or stacked carelessly and half-forgotten, at the back of dis-used warehouses. It’s just a question of knowing where to look.
I considered the email further. The 17th century style is stately and sober, elegant with a complicated style of moldings. So what manner of a door would be the right match for my client? And what would this investigation uncover? A door is a statement. The exterior door is the first thing people see when they pay a visit, so choosing the right door is a worthwhile exercise. What first impression would you like to convey?
Doors are an introduction or a prologue. They can be an invitation or a deterrent. Whether it is your home or office, a door is the first point of contact for any visitor. And here in Provence, we have some of the most beautiful doors in the world.
In city offices, the modern, semi-transparent, smoke-coloured, austere glass doors only open if you are a member of the “club”. Key cards and passwords allow passage through them. At home, it is no different. A door is the portal into your private world. And yet, too often nowadays, a door is at best glanced at, passed through and then forgotten.
The antique doors hidden in various corners of Provence are the opposite. They are antique timbers that once adorned a chateau or gated a bas tide that were beautifully crafted and are now sought after by those who can well appreciate them. In their hey-day these doors were the focal point- a starting place- from where to create a sense of anticipation for what lay beyond. French timber doors and shutters have a character that new woods will never have. They reflect the craftsmanship and theatre of ages past: a statement, a promise, a mystery. Where have they been? What secrets were whispered by those who lived behind them? But I digress… As I said… it started with a door.
An eager Sherlock Holmes with the enthusiasm for the mystery of a new case, I went to work. My goal? To locate the perfect door.
I sent out a flurry of emails. That was the easy part. Antique dealers, formerly inaccessible without an appointment or a letter of introduction, are familiar with the concept of emails. However, whether they can be bothered, to respond to them at all, is another matter. Photos and emails make much of the initial research easier but nothing can replace a visit to those “Aladdin’s Caves” of antique doors.
A few hours later, replies flashed across my screen and my planning session began. Living in Provence has provided me the opportunity to meet many interesting characters but the sellers of all things ancient, are a breed apart. Young and old antique dealers love their antiques with a passion. They protect their treasure-troves fiercely. You have to be bien connu (well-known) before they will let you into their confidence and sanctum.
Here’s a hint of how it’s done: share a few glasses of the local wine and let them beat you at boules. You’ll gain Brownie points.
But even getting to know the antique dealers won’t help you secure the item you desire. Often, when finally a selling price is agreed, it will be as a favor. Many antiquaires admit quietly that they will sell a piece only if they like you.
Peter, an antique dealer of repute, is a fine example. He is a thick set antiquaire, who enjoys his wine and his lunches as much as his antiques. He could pass as the brother of Friar Tuck. Peter will rub his thumbs together, look you up and down, sniff a few times before he delivers his verdict. If he is not liking what he sees, he will simply say, ‘Non, c’est ferme aujourd’hui. Désolé.’ (Sorry, I’m closed today.)
The timing of a visit to the antique dealer’s lair is crucial. It took a while for me to realize that the vague gestures and the distracted looks that entered the conversation when discussing the age or origin of a particular piece were not personal.
At first I thought my accent was beyond them but no, the French find the foreign accent rather exotic. Nor was it a question of price. It was far more probable that the seller just had his lunch on his mind and was contemplating which bottle or two of wine would accompany it. Or perhaps it was the aperitifs that called?
I tried arriving after lunch. But if it wasn’t the fine wines of Provence calling, it was likely to be a game of boules, underway outside the shop, on the sandy public foot-path. ‘I’ll be with you in a minute,’ is the normal greeting, and so you watch as the antique dealer flings his final boule to win against his antique-dealing friends.
I was introduced to Antiquing in France by a friend who was leaving her business, to set off on a world adventure. She took me around and introduced me to her contacts. I learnt quickly that these were not just contacts, they were also friends. Many antique dealers have been in the antique dealing trade for generations: fathers, sons, grandsons and daughters, and many of their antiques have been handed down through the generations.
The antiquaries welcomed me into the fold. The language spoken was French, but not the French that I had learnt at school and was familiar with. Here in the south, the patois or accent is delivered at the speed of the French motor bikers racing between cars on the motorway and is akin to a Londoner trying to understand a Newfoundlander. The exchange is loud and excited. There is little pause for breath. I came away shaking my head and begging for a translation. After a few visits though, the ear acclimatizes and you realize you understand the guts of the conversation. By the time you are offered an aperitif you know that you have been given the thumbs up even though, they will continue to consider it your severe misfortune that you come from another land.
Searching out the perfect door in Provence is hard. Even with the right contacts. Why? Because there are so many: all contending for the position. And my role as the match-maker is to find a connection between the door and the buyer. Then, I stand back and watch the sparks!
The range of antiques available in Provence is vast, thanks to the successive waves of settlers that have made this area home since the days of the Romans. Romans gave this area its name, which comes from the Latin word Provincia. The architecture and form of Provence may have their roots in antiquity but the style of decoration is from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The area is covered with chateaus, manor houses (bastides) formerly occupied by wealthy farmers and smaller dwellings called mas’s. In the 19th and 20th centuries many of these homes were converted into summer dwellings by Parisians, seeking the sun, or by the well-to-do Marseillais who wanted to escape the heat of the city. The architecture and furnishing of these buildings, although based on antiquities, re-invented itself into a relaxed elegance that is now known as the Provencal style. Today this is known as the Provence style and is copied and sought out internationally.
Through Antiquing, my love for the environment has found a new route to run. I can help to recycle the great masterpieces of Provincial history that are lying discarded and forgotten. As a passionate recycler, I could immediately see the potential of finding new homes for those pre-loved pieces of art and architecture, crafted in the atelier workshops of ages past. Here, the antiques of Provence are waiting to be rediscovered, to stand again and to be admired.
And so, back to the doors. The ones I found were real beauties. The dealer who located them in his cave of treasures, loves his doors. And the whole family is in the business: uncles, aunts, sons and daughters. Three days of searching and then, they unearthed the treasure. Hidden behind a stack of other doors, covered with grime and cob-webs they had stood there quite forgotten, since grand-father had opened for business. They were a rarity from the 17th century, double doors, with a beautiful curved arch.
A few drinks, a game of boule and emails sent and voila, they were sold. Smiles and hand-shakes.
Arriving home, I sent the final details to the shippers. Just as I finished, another email arrived in my in-box. It read: “Great work. Just on the off chance, can you locate a Napoleon III chimney-piece?”
Caren Trafford not only is our Antiques Diva Provence Guide but she also writes environmental books for kids. She is happy to find architectural pieces of interest for you in Provence – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Get ready, get set, mark your calendars – some of my favorite Dutch antique dealers are opening their doors for special fetes this June and you’re invited to shop your heart out diva-style all around Amsterdam!
June 4 – 6 June and 11-13 June from 12-8pm
Join Johan de Feijter for his special theme “Viva La France” at his shop Chambre des Amies! While I’ve written frequently about de Feijters sensational shop, I recently discovered that he’s also been in Travel+Leisure magazine and I simply have to share what T+L had to say about Chambre des Amies:
Owner Johan de Feijter founded Chambre d’Amis by accident. “I used to fill my house with things I’d find at flea and Belgium,” he says. “A few years ago there was an art fair in my neighborhood, and someone asked if she could show her paintings in my house. As they walked through, people kept asking to buy my things, and I thought, Maybe I should go into business.” These days, in his front room, kitchen, and courtyard garden, you’ll find all the flea-market treasures you’ve been too impatient to hunt for — vintage mercury-glass bowls ($190) and candlesticks ($125), creamy ceramic French, Belgian, and Dutch tableware from the 1800’s, turn-of-the-century photographs. Since the exquisitely edited store is a sideline for de Feijter (he’s a sexologist), he keeps eccentric hours — usually Thursday through Saturday, noon to six.
By appt +31-20 623 6204.
Next up, is another all-time Amsterdam favorite – Brederode Kunst & Antiek – ran by the effervescent Annette Brederode in her own home! When you arrive at the address Lijnbaansgracht 56 D in Amsterdam’s Jordaan you might think I’ve lead you astray for you’ll find yourself standing in front of an apartment building rather than a typical antique shop. Never fear, ring the buzzer marked Brederode and mount the stairs to step into a typical French brocante! You must click around my blog to read more about this sensational shop and to see more pics of the type of inventory Brederode specializes in! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Brederode Kunst Antiek
By appt + 31 20 6236 236
June 12-13, 19-20 from 11am-19:00
Robert Schreduer Antiquair
By Appt + 31 6 2428 9550
The Antiques Diva
Mark your calendars for a sensational weekend of Antiques Shopping in Amsterdam!
June 5, 6 and 7, 2009
11am to 6pm.
To read more about past sales, click on the names of each vendor and get all the diva-licious details and pics!
The sale takes place on the 3rd floor in an inconspicuous building.. ring the buzzer and climb the stairs for shopping paradise!
Then pop a few blocks over for another Secret Sale!
The Antiques Diva™
P.S. The photo at right was taken the night of our good friend Harry’s 50th birthday dinner at De Jonge Dikkert (a restaraunt just outside of Amsterdam in the city of Amstelveen). The restaurant is among our favorite Dutch treats, partially due to the historic ambiance inside a Dutch windmill built in 1672 and also owing to the sensational modern French Mediterranean cuisine done with a Dutch touch!
September is la rentrée – the French summer holidays are over, students return to school and tout Paris returns to work. La rentrée is a time of optimism and fresh beginnings – and treasure hunting! The world famous Paris flea market – le Marché aux Puces de Paris-Saint-Ouen – is fully reopened and restocked and ready for antique shopping – furniture, jewelery, design and vintage clothing from antiquity to the 1990’s!
As the official tour guides of the Paris flea market’s Paul Bert Serpette, Antiques Diva Guides know les Puces like the back of their hand. Head Paris Diva Guide Danielle Pelletier has some news about 2 fabulous rentrée events at les Puces that she shares below
- Puces Mon Trésor: Paris Flea Market Evening Party Sept 19
- Marché Dauphine Brunch de Rentrée: Back to Work Brunch Sept 8
If you would like to attend the Paris Flea Market Evening Party or the Brunch de Rentrée – or schedule a buying tour at Les Puces – contact us!
Meet Danielle Pelletier, Head Paris Diva Guide
Danielle Pelletier is one of our Paris Diva Guides. She was born and raised in Paris and has spent her entire life going to the famous Paris Flea Market. And while she’s always loved antiques, she graduated with a law degree and also worked as a journalist. Having lived internationally as well in both Canada as well as Switzerland, Danielle thinks with a global perspective understanding both our clients as well as the local culture in France. Whether she’s leading an Antiques Diva Tour or simply shopping for herself, you’ll find her each weekend at the Paris Flea Market. As a result she has many friends who are dealers – and that inside connection gives our Antiques Diva clients an edge when shopping the fleas. Perhaps harking back to her days as a lawyer, Danielle’s top skill set is her art of negotiating. Danielle is by nature a collector and her home is beautifully decorated with pieces picked up over the years at the Paris Flea Market. Danielle’s passion is antique perfume bottles – she loves Baccarat as well as Marcel Franck, who was the largest perfume bottle maker until the 1990’s.
PUCES MON TRESOR:
PARIS ANTIQUES MARKET, MY TREASURE
Puces Mon Trésor Opening night Thursday, 19 September 2019 at 7 pm, and from 20 – 23 September at usual opening hours
On September 19th, 2019, the Paris / Saint-Ouen antiques markets celebrate the back-to-school time with their annual festive event, featuring this year theme “My Treasure.” Our special ambassador is Vincent Darré, one of the most celebrated French designers. The 12 markets and five streets will welcome visitors during that weekend, until the end of Monday 23rd. It is a unique opportunity to (re)discover the largest second-hand bookstore in France, the street dedicated to vintage fashion, an exceptional design selection as well as highly qualified craftsperson and restorers.
Vincent Darré, who is a true Parisian, is a passionate regular visitor and knows the markets like the back of his hands. As the ambassador of this year’s event, he embodies the chic, sophisticated and extravagant spirit of the antiques market, and looks at its vibrant universe with his particular cheerful gaze. He has chosen to present several visual creations, ten sets with his own touch, for photocalls displayed all over the markets like goodie bags: Vincent Darré will invite guests and visitors to play with him according to their treasure hunt.
Treasure hunt at the Puces is a must; it is a national pleasure and a worldwide passion that has no dead season. More than 5 million people visit the markets each year, and up to 150,000 guests some weekends: the Puces is the fifth largest tourist destination in France. The markets are located in Saint-Ouen, a neighboring city North of the capital. Since 1885, this fabulous place, which is also the largest antiques market in the world, is composed of 12 private markets, owned by different owners, plus five “market-streets”, and extends on 7 hectares: a unique maze of more than 1100 antique dealers. They are all experts in their specialty – ceramic, furniture, chandeliers, archeology, paintings, sculptures, vintage fashion, fashion accessories, fashion jewelry, silver ware, glassware, advertising posters and signs, vinyl records, vintage hi-fi… They all work in a booth, a house, a warehouse or even an entire street. Neophytes indulge themselves in this incredible labyrinth, whilst insiders stimulate their eye and nose. Everybody is happy to get either a sentimental souvenir or an exceptional piece that might end up in a prestigious antiques fair like Basel or Maastricht, in a private collection or even a museum.
The Puces is a lifestyle destination in its own right, yet intensely Parisian, a village in the big city: it has its own vendors, restorers, restaurants, bistros, hotels, etc. But mostly it has its humanity, made of singular destinies. From famous clients browsing the streets incognito to the most demanding interior designers, from the most unexpected collectors to the most viral influencers, from enlightened amateurs to the most radical designers, the regular customers compose the best of taste and cultures. The Puces is also a formidable source of talent building: some vendors and art dealers who run the most prestigious Parisian addresses, like Alexandre Biaggi, Pierre Passebon, Jacques Lacoste, Aline Chaste-Maréchal, Jean-Jacques Dutko started as vendors at the Puces. Some of them even go from a modest booth to the most famous Salons and Biennales in the world.
This exceptional tradition will be perpetuated with the International Antiques Dealers School, due to open in 2022, for which the MAP – Marché aux Puces, the alliance of the 12 antiques markets – has won the competition organized by Paris and the Region. Many of the decorative mainstreams were born in the Puces, many forgotten styles, periods and designers have been – and still are – rehabilitated.
All of this take a part in the popularity of our famous antiques market and make it the place to visit when in Paris, whether the visitor is an interior designer, a stylist, a gallerist, an architect, a journalist, a treasure hunter or a collector. Starting with the Astier de Villatte, relentless treasure hunters, who wrote “Ma vie aux Puces,” an addition to “Ma vie à Paris,” their guide where they give out their favorite addresses (sold at the Office du Tourisme in the heart of the Puces).
1. VENDORS: BEST OF THE BEST
From the early days, the Antiques Market vendors are the soul, the consciousness, the liveliness and the very vitality. Some of them have made a fortune, some have made a name for themselves. Others learned their way before opening their own gallery “in town.” Alexandre Biaggi, Pierre Passebon, Jacques Lacoste, Aline Chastel-Maréchal, Jean-Jacques Dutko, they all started at the Puces. The Puces vendors start trends, revive fashions, re-boost forgotten talents. Sometimes, a vendor finds a piece that will end up in a prestigious fair, in Basel or Maastricht, at PAD or Paris Biennale. It is the case for Maison Steinitz, a major vendor at the Puces for three generations: they supply exceptional pieces to the greatest museums worldwide, such as the Louvre or the New York Met, on top of being part of the major fairs like Brussels, San Francisco and Paris.
Not all the vendors were born a vendor, although a lot of them are second, third or even fourth generation. If you talk to them, you will discover that many had another life before the Puces, whether they activity was in the bank, advertising, publishing, music, real estate. Some of them come from foreign countries, cultures, horizons, like this Egyptian man who has become a specialist of Napoleon III furniture. Most of the 1100 Antiques Market vendors are ultra-specialized. Even better: they are experts. Some have had a book published like Ben Ramognigo and Marc Mineray, who wrote a monograph on Quasar Khanh, a most creative designer.
Their chosen fields of expertise are sometimes so advanced they can sound surreal: Cheese brands key rings; 1949 – 1970 French silverware; 1950s swim caps; antique US jacket and workman underwear; Luxury brand jewelry and artist sets from the 1980s; vernacular gardening tools; Furs and shoes; 1925s embroidered linen; argentic photo material; 18th century locks; Oriental rugs and Lurçat rugs; 1950s debutant ball gowns; antique men’s watches; rattan garden furniture; store signs. Or ancient books like the ones found in the maze of “Librairie de l’Avenue,” which is authentically the largest second-hand bookstore in France and spans on 600 m2 and offers 1 km shelving. Whether it is a micro-booth or a whole house, several connecting booths or a warehouse, or even a whole street like the luxury vintage shop Chez Sarah (1920s to 1970s fashion), isolated in miscellany or gathered in a single market like vinyl records in Marché Dauphine, design in Paul Bert / Serpette, antique toys in Vernaison, these targeted destinations are highly valued by collectors and amateurs. The merchants’ law, ruled by eclecticism, surprise, discovery, is here in the hands of their clients, interior designers, stylists, gallerists, architects, journalists, bargain hunters, collectors, coming from next door or the other side of the world.
2. THE PUCES: A VILLAGE WITHIN THE CITY
Paris / Saint-Ouen Antiques Market is not solely a vendor’s haven, it is a real village that sustains 3000 families. You can find there a whole network of restorers and craftsmen, some of them in booths in the heart of the markets. Add the shippers, the delivery guys, and a new type of trade: the certified guides and personal shoppers at the Puces. Among the different craftsmen you will find gilders, pedestal makers, goldsmiths, cabinet makers, upholsterers, painters, painting restorers as well as leather casing activities. The shippers offer to ship the goods you purchased, with insurance, and deliver them throughout the world at a preferred rate. Some of their offices are located in the markets, which makes transactions and quoting a lot easier for the clients. If you need assistance to be guided and helped for your antiquing, you can trust one of the six antiques guides and personal shoppers certified by the MAP (The Puces markets organization); they are all fully bilingual and know the markets like the back of their hands, and they will take you to the best vendors according to your needs.
What would a village be without restaurants and hotels? In the vicinity, you will find 32 restaurants and 6 hotels to meet your taste. You can have lunch among the vendors, taste some exceptional wines or eat with live music on, sleep in the heart of the Puces or in a hideaway in a secret garden. The Puces has it all!
You can find the complete list on our website http://bit.ly/lespuces-informations
3. THE PUCES: NUMBERS AND PROJECTS
The Paris / Saint-Ouen Antiques Market is the only one of its kind in the world. Unparalleled in its field, it is a major tourist destination, ranking fifth after Euro Disney, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre. More than 5 million people visit the markets each year, and some weekends up to 150,000 onlookers come to smell the scent of the times passed – past starts in 1999 -, capture the new trends, fall for treasures, get excited on an appealing object.
Like any self-respecting market, the MAP generates a revenue, estimated between 400 and 500 million euros a year. It is a little more than Drouot, the famous auction house that announced a turnover of 376 million euros for 2018, and almost twice as much as Sotheby’s with a turnover of 251.4 million euros in 2018 or Artcurial with their 200 million euros. For example, the combined turnover of the 10 major French auction houses in 2019 represents a total of 463 million euros at the end of the first semester. Open four days a week – two of which are normally for trades – the MAP generates thousands of transactions, ranging from 1 euro to over one million euros several times a year.
By the end of this year, the MAP will have a new commercial tool available on its new official website, as of the second fortnight of September 2019. In the beginning of 2020, a market-place is due to be issued in French and English. The vendors who have agreed to this new sales channel will be able to present one or several pieces at a preferred price and to bargain with the client live. This unprecedented large-scale project initiates a new era without hampering the intimate pleasure of treasure hunting in this endless goldmine.
Another significant future event is the launching of the Ecole Internationale des Antiquaires des Puces – the International Puces Antiques Dealers School, due to open in 2022-2023. This project, which will move the Puces forward in the 21st century, has been successfully won by the MAP in June 2019, awarded in accordance with the Greater Paris Project. The school will train a new generation of vendors recognized by a National Degree. It will be located Porte de Clignancourt.
4. TIMELESS ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY, THE PUCES DNA
Before the Puces even existed, recycling was part of the Parisian society culture. This process was performed by ragmen, officially authorized to collect second hand usual objects, who sorted out and sold them to plants and workshops as a source material for reprocessing and transformation. The new existence of this raw material was then a matter of taste, artistic flair, good eye and creativity of their new owners. In 1904, the daily collection made by the Parisian ragmen provided them an income of 50,000 gold francs a year. After the Second World War and the shortage of goods, this type of recycling gets in full swing. The Antiques Market is by essence a component of environmental responsibility with regards to furniture, decorative arts and textile. Of course, not each and every one of piece of furniture, curio, lighting, object, clothing, has been produced with our modern standards of environmental sensibility, but they are now fully part of it. Everybody, vendor or client, is aware of this virtuous circle which incorporates pure affect, slow-consumerism, sustainability as well as an elegant fight against planned obsolescence. Sometimes all it takes is just a skilled restoration or a meticulous repair to revive its use. Journalists Katell Pouliquen and Nathalie Dolivo devoted a complete separate chapter of their book “Rétro-cool: comment le vintage peut sauver le monde” – published by Flammarion – to Paris/Saint-Ouen Antiques Market.
5. LIFESTYLE LES PUCES
From the ragmen dashed off as literary or poetic figures by Victor Hugo, Eugene Sue or Aristide Bruant to allegoric bargain hunter in the songs performed by Jean Ferrat or Joe Dassin, the Puces have always been a fantastic pool of personalities and talents building a phenomenal cloud of references, cultural legacy, anecdotes and human history. Poets, cartoonists, caricaturists, composers, movie makers: they all left an emotional footprint which is part of the strong Parisian identity – foreign visitors adore that.
Yesterday Colette, Colette, Anna de Noailles, André Breton, Zadkine, Francis Carco, Blaise Cendrars, MacOrlan paved the way to this «passionate pilgrimage place», described by Anatole Jakovsky, an art critic and author of “Paris, mes Puces”. Doisneau and Willy Ronis gave it a face. In the 1970/1980s, you could have bumped into fashion and haute-couture elite. Actresses like Andrée Debar or Sophie Desmarets would scour the markets on a regular basis to furnish their cottage, mansion or even store in the Village Suisse or Galerie du Bon Marché.
Stars – anonymous yet not too much – can browse the alleys without being identified. Sophie Marceau, Arielle Dombasle, Virginie Efira, Vanessa Paradis, Charlotte Gainsbourg, etc… Brad Pitt and George Clooney are regulars. Pierre Gagnaire, Vanessa Bruno, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, Lenny Kravitz, Pierre Arditi, too. Sophie Fontanel, Thierry Ardisson, Alain Ducasse and Chantal Thomass, attested to their regularity: they agreed to be filmed for the theme “J’aime les Puces” – “I love the Puces”.
Nowadays, the Puces is the playground of many movie makers, such as Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris” in 2011, the Bollywood film “Befikre” featuring the Indian stars Ranveer Sigh and Vaani Kapoor in 2016, or the latest movie of the Chinese film maker Leo Zhang “The Hunting” due to be issued in 2020 (many scenes were shot in Vernaison market).
For an exhaustive list of the movies shot in the Puces, the Astier de Villatte movie, and many testimonies, visit here.
ANTIQUES CIRCUS: A STORY IN ITSELF
Since October 2001, the Paris/Saint Ouen Antiques Market has the status of Urban and Landscape Architectural Heritage Protection Zone – the one and only in the world with free entrance! Its roots go deep into the history of the ragmen work. The guild, counting about 11,000 souls and handling 75,000 kilos of goods, was reassessed in 1883 after the police commissioner Eugène Poubelle orders all Parisians to use iron garbage bins with tight lids. The commissioner finally allows them, between midnight and five AM, to pick up their merchandise from what was already called “poubelles” – now a common French word for garbage bin. This plunder was then displayed in the different market, like those of “La Mouffe” (Mouffetard), Aligre and Porte de Clignancourt. Porte de Clignancourt was an unbuildable military zone located outside the old fortifications. After the Montmartre territory was absorbed by the city of Paris, the village of Saint-Ouen was adjacent to the big city. It had become an industrial town with a population thirty times what it was only a few years before. The mayor was Alexis Godillot, who established tanneries and military shoes manufactures. When expelled from Paris, the ragmen seek refuge in Clignancourt, adjoining Saint-Ouen, connected by a train line and two lines of the new Métro. They will settle among circus, amusement booths, bars, and open-air cafés.
In 1898, a new rule specifies that a “brocanteur” – junkman – is a “reseller of old furniture, ragged textile, books, jewelry, tableware, and other objects and random merchandise.” Soon the place will be browsed by Parisians from wealthy neighborhoods and Belle Epoque high society, who come every Sunday to have fun in bargaining, among an incredible bric-a-brac, some treasures. The first ragmen union is created. The newspapers reflect this particular lifestyle, “this picturesque Court of Miracles, this jungle where snobbish bourgeois and thugs mingle.” The term “flea market” appeared around 1904 from an anonymous source. In 1910, the Puces’ fame is definitely under the spotlights when the satirical magazine “l’Assiette au Beurre” published a full issue illustrated by Poulbot figure. And the legend is born.
When the fortifications are torn down, in 1920, the Puces (by the way, it spells with a capital letter from then on), move to Saint-Ouen, where the municipal authority responds favorably to this extraordinary human and cultural mix which sustains hundreds of families. Though entrenched, the Puces remain precarious and their future uncertain, in spite of their success. The English lifestyle dictates the idea of weekend; the Saturday and Sunday opening time doubles the attendance. The vacant lots and wasteland become a property financial issue. This is how the first enclosed markets appear. The first one opens in 1920: Romain Vernaison, an ex-licensee of Les Halles parking places, who rents chairs in Paris public parks, owns a 12 000 m2 land where he stores his chairs. He develops the idea of building pre-fab cabins and rent them to brocanteurs. Then Marché Biron is built, inaugurated in 1925 by Saint-Denis Brocanteurs Union, expelled from Clignancourt. Its nickname is “Les Belles Puces,” before being considered as the Puces ’Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Biron was the first Saint-Ouen Brocante Fair, as well as the first market to sell restored antique pieces. Is becomes a more elegant destination visited by the fashion and arts elite, and launches the trend for African Primitive arts. That very same year, 1925, following a municipal decision, the Puces are open from Saturday to Monday. The Merchant Guild is comprised of 120 members; 300 more dealers, who remain “free,” are gathered in the markets. Around the market, the landscape changes drastically when Citroën and Wonder open their plant. The bars, bistros and eateries operate at full capacity. In 1938, Amedeo Cesana, a Venetian vendor, opens the Jules Vallès market. In between had opened two more markets which are destroyed in 1942. After WWII, the Puces remains a dark spot on the outskirts of the City of Lights, a maze of shacks where nothing is insured against fire or theft. In 1946, Paul Bert market opens on rue des Rosiers, in the space formerly occupied by a garage. It is very innovative, with its 200 12m2 booths. The definitive shaped will be rebuilt in 1954. At that time, the Puces, spreading over 4.5 hectares among which 2.8 are occupied by the private markets – Vernaison, Biron, Jules Vallès etc., become an irresistible attraction again. Recycling is everywhere, enhanced by the windfall of US stocks. The ragmen have prospered. Some of them are even rich. The Puces have become a “Fantastic curiosity” and antiques dealers are now settling in. The clientele has changed, more and more international, posher and posher.
In the late 1960/1970s, the Puces sustains, not including the vendors, 2800 people among whom 400 trades, all living in the vicinity. The Puces widens when more markets open- Marché Cambo, Marché des Rosiers, Hall de la Brocante – the occupancy surface expands to 7 hectares, still remaining to this day. In 1977, Alain Serpette, the son of a vendor, opens another covered market: Marché Serpette, built without construction license… Marché Cambo, burnt down in 1990, is rebuilt in 1993. Marché Malassis, opened in 1989, is an antiques dealer market with underground parking; it is the only one built by architects. Two years later, the newly built Marché Dauphine accommodates 150 vendors under its Les Halles-style skylight.
The Paris/Saint-Ouen Antiques Market also includes micro-markets like Antica, an enclave located in Vernaison perimeter, L’Entrepôt, or Le Passage and L’Usine, and brings together the five market-streets like rue des Rosiers, Lécuyer, Jules Vallès, Paul-Bert and Impasse Simon. The total number of vendors is 1100, most of them highly specialized and expert in their fields.
GLOSSARY: HOW TO SPEAK “PUCES”
- Do not pretend you are interested in a piece different from the one you want.
- Do not say in front of the vendor: “My grandma had the same,” or, when he gave you a price “oh! I should have kept mine.”
- Price: it is of the essence to understand that at the Puces, price is never a problem, there is always a smart way to pay. Which translates by: you bargain, negotiate, make friend, you show your curiosity you thank the vendor, you come back.
- I come to see an object: it is the favorite sentence used by interior designers hunting for a piece they already spotted – and negotiated – as an excuse when they bump into a colleague or competitor.
- The “biffin”: an old Parisian slang word for ragman. Nowadays the correct word is not antique dealer, flea guy, brocanteur, but “Marchand” – vendor.
- “Biffe” is what was found in the garbage bins in the streets. “Came” is the general word for inventory, regardless what style, period, condition etc.
- 20th century “came”: everything created during the second half of the 20th century, including all the modern design from the end of WWII to 1999. DO NOT use the word “vintage” for furniture or design, but you can use it for fashion. ”Bidouille”: everything poorly restored or tampered.
- ”Rossignol”: this word is used for anything flawed, wobbly… and irreparable.
- ”Déchirade” or “Chopin”: the “bingo” piece, the miracle find you buy for a few euros but know it is worth a thousand times more.
- “Caramel”: the piece impossible to sell, like glued to the vendor’s stand for years and years.
- “Dérouille”: everything that has finally been sold.
- ”The iron stick”: used for a complicated client, hard to convince.
- “The hand breaker”: the first sale of the day, whatever the time is.
- The “déballovitch” is used for the early bird client, the “remballovitch” for the last-minute client.
Puces Mon Trésor
- September 19th, 2019 from 7 to 11 PM
- September 21st, from 9AM to 6PM, September 22nd from 10 AM to 6 PM, and September 23rd from 11 AM to 5 PM
- Vincent Darré’s scenery and exhibitions will remain until October 21st, 2019
The rest of the year…
Open Saturday 9 to 6, Sunday 10 to 6, Monday 11 to 5.
Open to the trades Friday morning.
Agence Véronique Lopez email@example.com +33 (0)1 47 03 15 87
David Giroire Communication firstname.lastname@example.org +33 1 84 79 18 09
Office de Tourisme in the heart of the Puces Paris/Saint-Ouen 124, rue des Rosiers, 93 400 Saint-Ouen
Guided visits organized by Office du Tourisme, informations at +33 1 55 87 67 50. Certified Personal Shoppers and guides: list available here.
• Porte de Clignancourt, ligne 4 – Garibaldi, ligne 13
• 56, 60, 85, 95, 137, 166, 255, PC 3, Laudonienne (Circulaire) Saint-Ouen
• Porte de Clignancourt or Porte de Saint-Ouen or Porte Montmartre
• 6 parkings available in the Marché aux Puces
TRADUCTION EFFECTUEE PAR DANIELLE PELLETIER, ACCOMPAGNATRICE POUR LE SITE ANTIQUES DIVA & CO.
Back To Work Brunch at Marché Dauphine
Les marchands, antiquaires, galeristes et artistes de Dauphine vous invitent au brunch de rentrée le dimanche 8 septembre
Vendors of les Puces’ Marché Dauphine are hosting a Back To Work Brunch de Rentrée for the September Maison & Objet design trade fair:
- Sunday, September 8th
- central aisle of Marché Dauphine
If you would like to attend the Puces Mon Trésor Evening Party or the Brunch de Rentrée – or schedule a buying tour at Les Puces – contact us!
Vive la Rentrée! Viva les Puces!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Content Marketing For Antique Dealers: Free eBook
Reviews & testimonials
When we invited Toma as a featured speaker at the 2014 Design Bloggers Conference, we only knew half her story. We were aware of her penchant for antiques, travel, and social media, but had little idea about her powerfully energetic style that automatically captivates audiences. Her command and knowledge of design and antiques combined with an acute knack for human connection makes you just want to be around her all the time.
/ Founder of Design
Toma was invited to speak at the 2017 LAPADA Conference at the House of Lords to share with our members her unique insight into the dynamics of the client/dealer relationship. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she presented a carefully tailored talk designed to motivate and inspire. I would highly recommend Toma as an expert in the wonderful world of international antiques.
/ CEO of LAPADA
Working with The Antiques Diva® & Co has been changing for my career – They’ve taught me how to use antiques, how to source them, how to find them and who to talk to. How to connect with experts in the industry. Through that I’ve been able to grow my company and bring a better product to my clients. I’m able to do my job better because of The Antiques Diva.
/ Interior Designer NYC
Mr. Call Designs
Toma Clark Haines is truly a force, and the exuberance she applies to her passion for antiques shopping is also evident in the relationships she’s cultivated with everyone from market dealers to the dedicated members of her multi-country team, not to mention the design community at large. Shopping (and navigating) the designer-frequented Paul Bert Serpette at the Paris Flea Market with Toma and her French guides was both enlightening and fruitful, making the not-for-the-weary process of negotiating, purchasing and shipping newfound treasures a total breeze.
/ Editor in Chief of
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine
We have returned home today, and wanted to thank you for our wonderful antique tour in Venice with Chiara and Orseola. Our teenage boys said it was their favorite tour of all! Thanks again for making our Venice trip a once in a lifetime experience.
/ Wheelock Design Associates
Whether you are an experienced traveler or designer with years of shopping trade shows under your belt, having the “Diva Team” help guide your experience is simply “good for business!” Time saved, hidden sources found, and all the headaches of shipping and handling made easy.. Why wait? Book a tour today!
/ Mehditash Design
I just returned stateside (cue the tears!) but I cannot thank you for such an amazing trip. You are a very busy lady and your time is precious so I was spoiled to get a tour with THE Antiques Diva. Not only did I learn so much about antiques, not to mention get an idea of how I will stock my home one day (overwhelmingly so) and get inspired to write this piece but I am very happy that I made a friend! I had such a great time, memories to last a lifetime!! I will be hauled up editing and writing and am very excited to share this big photo collection with you in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
/ ROSE & IVY
Wine and Design 2016: I just wanted to say “thank you!” to you, Jeremy, Toma and team for putting together a truly magical and unforgettable trip. There were so many amazing experiences throughout the week it is hard to say what I loved most (the wine is definitely high on the list)…I would go again in a minute.. A huge highlight of the trip was meeting the remarkable people who made up “our group”. I hope to see you all again next year if not before.
/ Founder & Publisher of www.bestselfatlanta.com
“An unpredictable surprise! The Antiques Diva & Co is a top notch guide company – their unpretentious and knowledgeable leadership make buying abroad successful, fun, and most importantly, EASY! On my list of things that I could not live without while shopping in Italy, AD & Co ranks at the top of my must have list.
/ Manager, Treillage
Originally from Scotland, I’ve worked as an antiques dealer there and in New York for 20 years. I never thought I would need the help of an antiques tour guide sourcing for the trade. I’ve been around the world and around the block resourcing fine, unusual objects for collectors, decorators and museums. Then, when I decided to expand my business with new sources, I signed up with The Antiques Diva on one of her Berlin tours. It was a wise decision which still stands me in good stead today with continued relationships and contacts generated on that trip. In addition, there is the lovely and lasting memory of the successful buying trip with The Antiques Diva! It is rare to find someone who consistently shows insight and excellence in a business setting and even more unusual when these same qualities are combined with fun and originality. Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, is that person. I whole-heartedly recommend any-one thinking of taking one of her antiques buying tours with she or her guides to jump at the opportunity
My entire experience in Belgium with The Antiques Diva & Co was so unforgettable that I don’t even know where to begin…. This was more than just a shopping trip but truly an adventure into the Belgium antiques world. I own a small antiques shop in Summit NJ. When Toma Clark Haines – owner of AD&CO – said she would be taking me to dealer’s homes and warehouses I have to admit I was afraid the dealers would not want to be bothered with a small operation such as mine. I could not have been more wrong. The Antiques Diva & Co is so respected that any client of theirs is given preferential treatment. I was welcomed everywhere AD&CO took me and all of the dealers treated me with kindness. Toma has made connections in the antique world that one could only imagine to hope having – we even visited a private castle and had wine and great conversation with the owner/dealer and his son after buying antiques from the castle. Not only does Toma know Belgium’s antique world she knows the countryside as well and personally drove me all over Belgium. Even more – Toma did her homework too. She had me – and my interior design style – pegged from the few photos I sent her, showing my aesthetic. Everywhere she took me I basically had to gasp for air because I could have bought everything in each and every store.
Thank you Antiques Diva for an experience I will never forget! I can’t wait to do it again.
/ The Muddy Boot, Antiques & Objects
As a young designer, my practice is based on composing pedigreed interiors. Living in New York City, I have access to quality antiques, but every other New York designer has seen the inventory. Instinctually, I knew shopping abroad would provide the differentiation from other designers I was looking for. I consulted books and could not find an insider’s perspective as to how to shop for antiques in Europe and manage the logistics.
The Antiques Diva & Co changed my practice in 2011 after a chance introduction on Twitter. With The Antiques Diva & Co, I now source antiques exclusively in Europe. The Divas pre-shop ahead of my trip, making sure time is best utilized. If I can’t make a trip, the Divas are able to source and provide buying services for acquisition. My clients benefit from her insight and team by having unique antiques in their homes. My benefit is having a colleague who guides me through the logistics and continually introduces me to exciting and new antiques that inspire my work.
/ Interior Designer in NYC
Don’t miss The Dynamic Antiques Diva, you’ll have an amazing time!
/ Bruce Tilley Decor NYC
Toma Clark Haines IS the Art of Fine Living.
Toma the Antique Diva. Nobody does it better. Makes me feel sad for the rest.
One of a kind. A gift to the art of discovery. Boundless energy, knowledge and integrity. Contagious kindness. Give her a whirl. Adventure awaits.
/ Hospitality | Residential Outside Sales Representative
Working with Toma Clark Haines – aka The Antiques Diva – has been an absolute joy! Her energy and enthusiasm are unparalleled, and her expertise of the Antiques industry is truly awe-inspiring. We were so lucky to have Toma lend her expertise for the launch of our new ANTIQUES collection at AmericasMart as a spokesperson during Atlanta market. Her daily tours and presence on the educational panel were a huge success, and we hope she will be able to work with us again in the future for all of our major Markets. She went above and beyond what was asked of her and surpassed all of our expectations. Toma has a way of making everyone she comes into contact with feel special and appreciated, which is SO important to the overall Market experience, and that’s one of the reasons why her company has been so successful growing from a one-person firm to become Europe’s largest antiques touring company. She makes antiques accessible whether leading a promotional group tour stateside or taking clients on her one on one customized antique buying tours.
/ Senior Manager of Gift, Home & Rug Marketing AmericasMart Atlanta
Working with The Antiques Diva & Co was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences in my design career. Founder and CEO Toma Clark Haines and her guides are unbelievably knowledgeable and the value of being in such a charismatic entourage of antique enthusiast was invaluable to me sourcing antiques abroad for my clients. I had the pleasure of working with Antiques Diva Italian Guide Susan and I could not have asked for a better guide. It was comforting to know I was working with someone who knew the lay of the land, and Susan was an expert antiques, the market itself, the international purchasing process, and shipping. More than just a resource, Susan was enjoyable company. Above and beyond is an understatement in the level of service, experience, and expertise offered by the Antiques Diva & Co. The items I was able to source for myself and my clients have so much more meaning and story with the hands-on experience coordinated by The Antiques Diva & Co in obtaining them. In addition to this being the ultimate and unparalleled way to source antiques, I left the trip feeling refreshed and inspired and most importantly that I had made new friends and gained trusted colleagues that I will utilize for the rest of my career.
/ Interior Designer NYC
Along with being an author and a journalist, I manage online platforms for global companies in design-related arenas so when it came time for me to select a set of tastemakers for one client’s new web site, the first person I reached out to was Toma Clark Haines because of her savvy outlook, global following and high-quality objectives for herself and her brand, The Antiques Diva & Co. I’m over the moon that she agreed to participate, and this made me realize the most fabulous thing about Toma is that though she is way too young to have cut a legendary swath in her field, she embodies the essence of success so well it is a thing of beauty to watch. You might say I have a touch of #DivaEnvy!
I wanted to send a note of thanks to all of you. On my drive home on Friday evening, I felt beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to connect with you. Life is certainly good when you get to spend two full days immersed in beautiful design, intriguing history, gorgeous scenery, abundant laughter and thoughtful conversation. Tamara & Toma, it must’ve been quite the undertaking to plan this tour, but I can say that your hard work, hospitality and extensive knowledge was very much appreciated and I owe you a great deal of thanks!
/ Public Relations & Events Manager, The Robert Allen Duralee Group
Ms. Toma is an actual Diva… we orbit together in the home furnishings industry. It’s kind of an ‘I’m with the band’ situation for me… she is global, she is fabulous, and one of the fiercest, inspiring women I know. She is well known in the world of home, specifically for antiques… so basically the most fabulous part of our industry. I recently sat on a panel with her where we discussed being “global women of design.
/ Aviva Stanoff Design
Shop as the dealers do and let self styled Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines be your guide. Toma, who hails from Oklahoma, has built a highly successful business on her unique blend of insider knowledge and formidable energy. If you can keep up with her she’ll introduce you to dealers you otherwise wouldn’t get to meet, take you to antiques warehouses you’d never find on your own, and help secure bargains, that without her, might have slipped through your fingers. She’ll save you time and money. She’s a terrifically energizing person to shop with too.
/ Period Homes & Antiques,
Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, and her team of locally based Diva Guides are the ONLYpeople I recommend to anyone antique shopping in Europe. They know everyone, know where to find the best antiques for the best pricing and, most importantly, they KNOW antiques. They can recognize a fabulous find in a crowded room and then tell you what it was used for, the period in which is was made and where you can use it in your home today. Shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co will be the best time you will have ever had learning about design and history. Sophisticated, witty and so easy to be with, The Antiques Diva & Co is altogether a delight! I high recommend putting ‘shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co’ on the top of your bucket list!
/ The Daily Basics
I am an antique dealer and auctioneer that has spent decades driving the roads of New England and eastern Canada, knocking on doors, attending shows and auctions, and making estate calls in order to find inventory to support my business. The time needed to establish and maintain good contacts is significant. Imagine my surprise when I found out about The Antiques Diva & Co. Knowing that antique buying trips to Europe can be pre-arranged with guides that understand my taste and style, that can take me to the best suppliers, translate, and suggest good shipping solutions is an invaluable service. The Antiques Diva & Co offers a concierge level of service, whether the client is buying for their own needs or inventory to support their business.
John D H Bottero
/ V.P. of Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
This is the best time in my adult life or at least since the year 2000 for an American using dollars to buy an apartment in Paris or a house in France due to the significantly reduced euro to dollar exchange. Plus you’ve got historically low mortgage rates and low housing prices. If you can’t swing buying a place, you should absolutely buy all of your antiques and collectibles this year and early next in France or anywhere in Europe – they are all on sale – reduced by 25% due to the euros slide. We are all going to be kicking ourselves if we don’t take advantage of this moment in time, which will not last. If you know what’s good for you, make it easy and work with the pro’s at The Antiques Diva & Co.
/ Author & Founder of Girls’ Guide to Paris & Paris Cocktails
There are just no words to describe how awesome The Antiques Diva & Co is! You made the entire process of buying antiques abroad easy from day 1 with: your info-packed email answering our questions before our tour about buying abroad, to taking us on a choreographed tour, to the final process liaising us with our international shipper. Our entire antiques buying tour has been seamless and perfect and I really can not thank you enough. You are a gem! I can’t wait to do this again and wouldn’t consider buying antiques abroad without you by my side.
/ Interior Design & Parish Sales Representative
The presentation given by Toma Clark Haines (aka The Antiques Diva) was a model of professionalism and preparation targeted appropriately for the audience. As a moderator for the event attendees told me time and time again how much they got out of what she had to say.
/ Editor in Chief,
New England Home
Wine and Design 2016: There is only one thing that I would change about my Antiques Diva Wine & Design Trip… .and that would have been the date on my plane ticket…to a week (or a month) later. I wasn’t ready for it to end! Thank you to Adam, Toma & Jeremy who created the most memorable experience with so much heart & thoughtfulness in every delicious detail. It wasn’t just a trip, but a life-changing journey that I was honored to be a part of along with 30 truly amazing people.
Vicki Gladdle Bolick
/ Ace of Space
Toma Clark Haines is a fabulous and incredibly engaging speaker extremely generous in sharing knowledge. The audience walked away from her Antiques Diva® Style Guide and accompanying Champagne Tour with invaluable information and a renewed passion for world of antiques. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a fun, informative and engaging speaker. From the planning stages through her speaking engagement during the Spring Lecture Series at the Antiques and Design Center of High Point she was a joy to work with. We’ll be having her return to speak in the future!
/ Antiques & Design Center of High Point, NC
As this was our team’s first trip to Mercantein Fiera in Parma, Italy, we were naturally apprehensive due to our limited knowledge of the Italian culture and language. The first night we arrived The Antique Diva & Co (Toma Clark Haines and Susan Pennington) put our minds to ease. Their knowledge of the fair, the culture and general operations of the event were invaluable. They prepared us for what to expect and helped us navigate the labyrinth of aisles when we arrived at the show. Their guidance completely changed this experience for us….from one of intimidation to delight!
/ Marketing Director U.S. Antiques Show
Wine and Design 2016: As a long time lover of wine, I think I have come away from this Antiques Diva Wine & Design trip with very different eyes. Being a farm boy from Oklahoma I have certainly always had the farm to table experience and understood it’s virtues but something very significant altered in me being in the valleys of the Valpolicella and sipping the wine from it’s soil. I have been transformed. And the only thing that makes transformation more powerful is to experience it with others. I am honored to have shared such a magical experience with so many wonderful people. Until we can raise our glasses again….
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ― Paulo Coelho, Brida
/ Andrew Joseph PR
Wine and Design 2016: This trip was a dream come true for us in every way enhanced by the beautiful friendships we found in each of our guides – the generosity of Adam, the heart of Jeremy, and the joie de vivre of Toma.
Ruthann & Eric Ross
/ Interior Designer
Toma is a great connector of people and an amazing advocate for Antiques. If you haven’t been on one of her bespoke tours you’re really missing out. She opens the doors no one else has the keys for!
/ BBC Antiques Roadhouse
My Antiques Diva Hamptons Antiques and Design Inspiration Tour was truly a special couple days. Design. History. Inspiration. Rosé. Antiques. Old friends. New friends. Family. Food. and a lot of laughs!
/ Ron Marvin Design
It was a pleasure having Toma Clark Haines speak and guide market attendees on a vintage tour during the Total Home & Gift Market at Dallas Market Center. Her enthusiasm, spirit, warmth and knowledge are truly an inspiration not only to Market goers, but to everyone she meets. Toma is a leader to look to for guidance, an entrepreneur to aspire to be and a woman that shows us that with hard work, your passion can be your profession.
/ V.P. Marketing, Home & Design, Dallas Market Center
The Currey & Co design team spent a full day with Toma & Danielle at Le Puce de Paris. Having been to the market more than 20 times on our own, they took us to the back side of the flea market where we’d never been before – and it was all NEW to us. We found lots of inspirations and a few concrete ideas on new furniture designs. The best part of the day (other than a superb lunch) was a tour of vintage clothing & fabric shops. We could have spent all day there! Toma and Danielle seemed to know just about every vendor at the flea market and were full of historical information on how Le Puce came to be. All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining day—oh, and did I mention champagne! Bubbly always makes an excursion more fun.
/ Currey & Company
Knowledge is power – The Antique’s Diva & Co has developed a powerful network of knowledgeable guides and antiques’ experts over the years creating valuable buying tours and services for designers, antiques dealers and enthusiasts. Identifying the best sources takes time and a lot of ‘hands on’ experience. Over the years of knowing founder Toma Clark Haines – I watched her and her team build trusted relationships with clients and vendors, identifying the best antique sources in Europe and sharing them with her clients. The company’s success and growth speaks for itself.
/ Founder, Modenus -
The Design Source
Thank you for the trip of a lifetime. It was a two-week mega tour and you, Gail, and your team delivered more than I ever know existed. The amount of planning and coordination that this trip took was monumental, and I cannot thank you all enough.
Your dedication to the antiques trade and to helping other women in business is unparalleled. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with you and get to know you better. Gail and you have inspired me and supported me in so many ways. I could never possibly repay either of you for everything, but please know how deeply I appreciate your help.
I said it while on the trip but want to say it again, nobody can do what you do! The people you have access to, the quality of the products, and the relationships you build make your business entirely unique. You are definitely a relationship builder! I look forward to many more trips with you.
/ Antiques Dealer & Founder of The Modern Antiquarian