I don’t often share my secret sources… else they wouldn’t be secret! But when my friend antiques dealer Bie Baert told me she’s having an open house at her personal home in Antwerp, Belgium, I simply had to share! If you don’t know Bie, start following her immediately. She not only has impeccable taste, she’s witty and fun and charming – which is why she’s my friend. The fact that she also finds the most incredible antiques and curiosities is why she has long been one of my Belgium secret sources. She has been an antiques dealer for over 22 years, and is knowledgeable and discriminating. When she’s not at home in her workshop restoring antiques or out sourcing antiques, Bie sells antiques at the top antique fairs in Europe and America.
Bie Baert: Dealer in antiques and eccentricities
Entrez sans frapper is Bie Baert’s motto when you walk through the front door of her charming house in Sint Job in ‘t Goor, 20 km from the center of Antwerp, where Bie lives and works.
I want people to feel comfortable when they come visit my house, Bie says, it has to be a bit like coming come, where you can sit in easy chairs in front of the log fire, surrounded by unusual wooden objects and quirky furniture. Where the coffee and tea are always ready and where the atmosphere is warm.
Bie’s antique collection includes furniture, objects, lay figures & mannequins and paintings.
Bie Baert Open House
Serious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy antiques, vintage and decorator pieces at positively brilliant prices. On a Antiques 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.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Flanders is the perfect tour for an antique dealer seeking to stock his store. Flanders offers many off the beaten path sources for antique shopping and a slew of trade-only warehouses and private sellers. Our local expert Antiques Diva Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you antiquing in Flanders to our favorite vendors, exposing you to bargains on Napoleon III pieces as well as special finds from the 18th to 20th centuries. Flanders is one of our go-to destinations for antique dealers on the antiques trail. Booked in conjunction with several days on a South of France or England, this tour is ideal for antique dealers. One of my personal favorite antiquing destinations, Antiques Diva Flanders antique buying tours are sure to please!
Antiquing in Flanders
Flanders s the Dutch-speaking, northern portion of Belgium – where the local language is called Flemish. (The French-speaking part of Belgium is called Wallonia.) Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Tongeren are some of the best-known cities in Flanders. Today’s Flanders has been a part of Spain, France, Holland and Austria, and with its varied past was influenced by the whole of Europe in its furniture design. The region had a reputation for tolerance so refugees fleeing religious persecution settled here, bringing with them their own crafts and customs. For example, 17th C Flemish antiques have a Spanish influence as many of the craftsmen making furniture in Belgium at that time were Spanish refugees.
Flemish furniture was popular in and exported to England, where you still see it in many country homes – oak, heavy and with elaborate carving and the distinctive Flemish S scrolling. Over the centuries so many different people found refuge in Flanders, and today you can find many different styles including Louis XV, Louis XVI, Empire, Napoleon III, Spanish Colonial, Henri II, Willem III, Gustavian, Louis Philippe, Chippendale, Rustique, Baroque, Neo-Baroque, Lodewijk, Queen Anne, Bretonne… and more!
In Flanders you will find pieces from many periods and designs to meet any need – and our Diva Guides will who the best dealers, wholesalers and private sellers are:
- architectural salvage
- garden pieces and statuary
- art and objets d’art
- religious artifacts
- art deco
If you need to shop for antiques but don’t have time to travel to Europe, Antiques Diva Buying Services will work with you to source, purchase and ship pieces that meet your exact requirements.
Bruges Zandfeesten is one of the largest flea markets in Belgium, held three times per year: the 1st Sunday in July and August and the last Sunday in September – and its crowded with locals and tourists. Tongeren’s Sunday morning flea market has been booming for over 30 years, with bric-a-brac and curiosities as well as serious antiques. Many antique lovers are familiar with Brussel’s Sablon district with its amazing antique shops and galleries, but there is also a Brussel’s weekend antique market and a daily flea market on the Place de Jeu de Balle in the Marolles district. Your Antiques Diva Guide will create a custom itinerary based on your antique shopping requirements, budget and schedule that takes you to flea markets, small shops and dealers, antiques warehouses and private homes where the owner’s collection are available for sale.
Our Antiques Diva Guides are local experts – they know the dealers personally, have long-standing relationships with them and have sourced antiques at their shops for many years. Shopping with The Antiques Diva gives you insider access to the best antiques at the best prices. You have the shopping power of all our clients behind you – when antiques dealers see The Antiques Diva, they know we mean business! Our guides will translate, negotiate and help you find exactly what you are looking for, at a price you can afford. Then, we will help you ship it home either through our Antiques Diva shipping services partner or with your preferred shipper.
We’d love to see you in Flanders, where we’ll open our little black book full of restaurants, hotels, fashion, home decor and bien sur, antiques!
Flanders is a full day antiques tour and is available Tuesday – Sunday – and schedules perfectly with a France or Sweden tour!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
I’m delighted to introduce our new Amsterdam Antiques Diva Guide, Mariska Meijers. Mariska is not just a Diva Guide but a Dutch icon in her own right. She’s a fellow #GirlBoss and when I’m having a bad day she’s the one I call to say “Shoot Me Now”. Then – of course – she convinces me not to jump from that ledge! For those of you who are following me on my journey as I launch a new brand – the TCH Collection – Lush Decadence Couture Jewelry line – Mariska will also be our Amsterdam distributor for the collection. And will be participating in our TCH Collection pop-up shop in Paris this Jan 17 – March 18, 2018, at Galerie Vauclair. She’ll not only provide one of her signature custom-made kimonos for me to wear to the Vernissage January 19, but she’ll also have a special edition Diva Line of pillows for sale! What makes them Diva? Accessories of course? Anyone who knows me, knows I have a penchant for feathers, furs, glitter and more… and Mariska captures that personality in pillow form!
Mariska Meijers is a Dutch artist and designer, renowned for her signature vibrant colors and bold patterns. Based in Amsterdam, Mariska moved back home to Holland 15 years ago, after having lived and worked across Europe and Asia. She is an avid traveler and collector – and both inform her eye. She loves to share her hometown with visitors and introduce them to her local sources and contacts. She has grown her art and design studio into a global lifestyle brand sold through luxury department stores and small boutiques in over 30 countries. Her store/design studio in the historic city centre of Amsterdam is a hidden gem, located in the basement of a 17th century canal house on Keizersgracht 158 is filled with her own collections and art combined with original finds from all over the world, including art, antiques, vintage, lighting, jewelry and much more.
Mariska’s work has been featured in traditional and online media, including VOGUE.COM, The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, Homes & Gardens, House & Garden, Marie Claire Maison, Domino, ELLE Decoration, ELLE DECOR, Living and others.
- Antiekcentrum Amsterdam: a real treasure trove with over 55 dealers.
- Noordermarkt: an outdoor market only on Saturday and Monday.
- Gezusters Stoop Lampshade Workshop: I have a strong love for vintage and antique lighting. This tiny store and shade atelier has a great selection and if they don’t have it, the owner Carin will source it for you. They can also build a lamp from any object you bring in and custom make a shade for it.
In summer, picnic on a boat touring the canals – but not on one of the large touristy ones. Rent a small one with a skipper. https://www.rentaboatamsterdam.com
I personally invite you to book an Antiques Diva Amsterdam tour with Mariska and discover her Amsterdam for yourself!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Serious shoppers in-the-know go to Belgium to buy industrial and mid-century modern pieces at positively brilliant prices. On Antiques Diva Belgium tours, our Antiques 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. As always, our Guide translates and negotiates on your behalf, bringing the buying power of all our clients to the table when we walk in the door. We also liaise you with a preferred shipper to get your purchases home.
Mid-Century Modern Spotted on a Recent Antiques Diva Tour in Belgium:
Designers Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand
“Prouvé combines the soul of an engineer with that of an architect” – Le Corbusier
Antiques Diva® clients often spot a fabulous piece – or pieces – perfect for their latest interior design project, or exactly what they need in their antique shop. But the question is:
How can I possibly ship that home without it getting broken!
At AD&CO Logistics, that’s our specialty: we know how to ship large fragile antiques and art purchase from Europe to their final destination whether that’s across town, across the border or across the ocean. With over 50 years expertise in international shipping, AD&CO Logistics makes the impossible possible. On a recent buying Belgium Antiques Diva buying trip our clients spotted these beauties at an antique dealer’s in Brussels, snatched them up… and left the shipping to us!
Large, fragile antique statue, columns and urns require a crane to be removed from the Brussel dealer’s shop.
The pieces are carefully transported to AD&CO Logistics warehouses in Amsterdam.
At AD&CO Logistics warehouse, the pieces are carefully packed in custom crates for shipping to the US.
Smaller pieces are individually wrapped for shipment.
Large pieces are packed in custom crates for shipment.
THE ANTIQUES DIVA ART AND ANTIQUES SHIPPING SERVICES
The Antiques Diva & Co® is pleased to offer art and antiques shipping services from Europe to destinations around the globe. AD&CO has partnered with a premier international shipping company with 50 years expertise in shipping services. Your AD&CO Logistics shipping concierge will personally manage all facets of your shipment including collecting your goods from the dealers, tracking your inventory and payments, cross-referencing your tags, packing, complete all export/import paperwork and monitor your shipment’s progress from the time we receive your goods until they are delivered to you; and keep you advised of the status of your shipment.
Our international shipping services provide the options of:
∗ full 20 or 40ft containers or partial containers (LCL: Less Container Loads)
∗ door-to-door shipping
∗ port-only shipping
∗ independent or shared location shipping
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.