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
January 21, 2018, The Antiques Diva & Co celebrated our 10 year anniversary at our annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch. Attended by hundreds of design professionals during Paris Design Week, we started the New Year with a fabulous 10th anniversary event organized by my publicist Andrew Joseph PR, the Paul Bert Serpette Marché and our dynamic team of Antiques Diva Guides who welcomed our guests and provided mini-tours of les Marchės Aux Puces after and during the fête. Professional photography by Joachim Frydman.
Here is a peek at the festivities – try and join us in person next year! We always hold our fête on the last Sunday of Déco Off, first Sunday of Maison & Objet at the Paris Flea Market!
The brunch was held at Antiquitiés Rodriguez Décoration, a stunning antiques store filled with of antique furniture, decorative objects, art, architectural salvage and curiosities at 15 rue Jules Vallès. One of the largest – if not the largest – shops, it was an ideal setting for a party with our VIP interior designer guests; Deborah Lalaudiere and her team welcomed us to their store and so we could browse and shop while we sipped cocktails and coffee. Visit their shop at the Paris Flea Market or on 1st Dibs – you won’t be disappointed!
Our 10th Anniversary Champagne Brunch was co-hosted by Traditional Home Magazine, and our panel discussion was led by Krissa Rossbund, Senior Style Editor at Traditional Home.
Un gros merci to our sponsor CITADELLE GIN for whipping up French 75s using our Antiques Diva champagne, Citadelle Gin and a splash of lemon and simple syrup! Alex Gabriel and Paris Antiques Diva Guide Debbie Gabriel (below) are the owners of Maison Ferrand, makers of Citadelle Gin. Watch me learning how to make a French 75 cocktail here with bartender Cedric.
Guests at the party were able to get a sneak peek of a few of my furniture designs for the upcoming Antiques Diva Collection by Aidan Gray.
As the fête was held during cocktail week in Paris, it was only appropriate that we had author Doni Belau of Girl’s Guide to Paris in the house signing her book Cocktails in Paris! Doni is also one of our US Antiques Diva Guides.
Keeping up the cocktail theme, we were delighted that root cellar designs was one of our 10th Anniversary Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch sponsors, contributing cocktail napkins from their fabric collection to our Gift Bag. Merci, Tamara Matthews Stephenson!
More behind the scenes photos are in our photo album.
We’ll be celebrating The Antiques Diva’s 10th anniversary at events throughout the year – and setting the date for next year’s Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch soon #WatchThisSpace!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
At our 5th Annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch I’m serving cocktails #DivaStyle:
Coco Chanel With a Dagger by Maison Ferrand
Artisanal Gin de France producer Citadelle Gin, by Maison Ferrand, will make French 75s – my signature cocktail that I like to call Coco Chanel with a Dagger – with The Antiques Diva signature champagne. Not only is Citadelle my favorite gin, Maison Ferrand happens to be owned by Alexandre and Debbie Gabriel, one of our Paris Antiques Diva Guides. Citadelle Gin is made following a centuries-old method, using an open flame pot still distillation, and a traditional Charentaise pot still used in Cognac, France. Distillation over an open flame allows the complementary aromas to come together when the wine comes into contact with the bottom of the boiler. The name Citadelle honors where this gin was first authorized to be made in 1775 by Louis XVI, at the Citadelle in Dunkirk.
WATCH: Citadelle bartender Cedric taught me to make a Coco Chanel with a Dagger
Coco Chanel with a Dagger by Maison Ferrand Recipe
- 1 1/2 oz Citadelle Gin
- 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 oz rich simple syrup
- Fill shaker with ice, gin, lime juice and simple syrup
- Shake like mad until well-chilled, then strain into chilled champagne flute
- Top with champagne (I prefer The Antiques Diva signature champagne)
- Garnish with lime spiral
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Cordially Invites You to the
Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch
With an exclusive preview of The Antiques Diva furniture collection for Aidan Gray Home
For 10 years, AD&CO has worked behind the scenes with leading names in interior design, sourcing antiques as well as providing Design Inspiration Tours for furniture manufacturers looking to the past to create their newest collections. After 7 years of sourcing for Aidan Gray Home, Toma is proud to present her first ever licensed furniture collection with a world leader in the home furnishing industry, focusing on the segment of European Inspired Interiors.
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Antiques Diva® & Co at the
Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch
Hosted by Traditional Home Senior Style Editor Krissa Rossbund
with Randal Weeks, CEO of Aidan Gray Home
January 21, 2018
10am – 2pm
The Paris Flea Market – Marché aux Puces
Albert Rodriguez Antiques
15 rue Jules Vallès
Saint Ouen, 93400
Toma and The Antiques Diva Guides at the 2017 Champagne Brunch
Just as travel opens the mind, antiques help us learn from the past to improve the future. On his grand tour, Louis XVI was inspired to create his legacy in interior design by his travels to Pompeii. The traditional treasures he saw inspired him to transform Versailles, and, and make classical neo again.
As designers today, our creations are influenced by the past. Join Krissa Rossbund, Senior Style Editor of Traditional Home, as she discusses the process by which the past influences the future of design with Randal Weeks of Aidan Gray Home, Melissa Mittag of Fromental, and Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva!
Artisanal Gin de France producer Citadelle Gin, by Maison Ferrand will make French 75’s – aka Coco Chanel with a Dagger, with The Antiques Diva signature champagne
Book Signing: Paris Cocktails
US Antiques Diva Guide Doni Belau, of Girl’s Guide To Paris, sells and signs her book Paris Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired by the City of Light
Today’s guest post is from one of our favorite clients, Bruce Bailey. He booked an Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market antiques buying tour of the Marché aux Puces, the famous Paris flea market, for himself and his clients. Shortly before the tour date, we were approached by a TV crew asking if they could film us on tour! Bruce said yes: and then spent 6 weeks in Paris last winter with AD&CO Diva Guide Danielle Pelletier filming our TF1 Documentary (France’s most popular tv channel) that depicts how we work as Paris Flea Market Guides.The documentary (filmed in French) featured three aspects of the Paris Flea Market; one of the focal points of the documentary was the role of an Antiques Tour Guide and the benefits to hiring an antiques buying guide versus trying to navigate the flea market on your own. As the official tour guides of the Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette, I was honored when TF1 contacted us asking for our involvement. (Watch the documentary on replay on TF1: original air date June 11, 2017 – you must have a TF1 account.)
Our role at The Antiques Diva® is really to be an ambassador of design, building a bridge between our mostly American and Australian clients and this French National Landmark. We translate, negotiate and help clients ship inventory home sweet home across the pond.
Danielle was the perfect Diva Guide to be featured on film. She has shopped the market her entire life. She is known and loved by all the dealers, and most importantly she is the world’s best negotiator. The art of negotiation is simple… she is always fair. She always makes sure BOTH parties – her client and the vendors – feel that they’ve won. When everyone wins, everyone is happy! Client Bruce Bailey was dynamic on film – we’re convinced this just kick-started his on-air career! Bruce used AD&CO Logistics, our in-house art and antique shipping service, to get his flea market purchases home – so he experienced the full Diva package!
I was thrilled when Bruce sent us this review of his experience working with Diva Guide Danielle to share with you – our team of locally based Antiques Diva Guides are my secret weapon to making sure your Antiques Diva tour is everything you hoped it would be!
Shopping the Paris Flea Market with a Diva
There is a little secret I know about that many of you who want to shop the Paris Flea Markets should know about as well – The Antiques Diva & Co.
I was introduced to the service two years ago as I was in Paris with a small group of designers and the AD&CO had been hired to tour our group through the 17 acres that are the Paris Flea Market. We continued on after Paris, touring the antique warehouses of Brussels and Bruges. A friend who had put this little trip together is very astute and had AD&CO on her radar for a few years, following Toma Clark Haines’ blog.
Two years later I found myself returning to Paris with friends – I needed to hire the AD&CO so my friends and myself could go shopping in the Paris Flea Market. I wanted someone help us.
“Help? You?” my friends asked, “Bruce, you’re are pretty self-sufficient and can manage just fine.” Well, true… to a point.
I can find what I want at the market. I am great at scanning a stall and picking out in my mind the item I think is best and even moving on and recalling what stall the object I really want is in. I must admit it’s nice to have the help that is there to negotiate, document the purchase.
Easy enough you think? No, not really. Having an Antiques Diva Guide is like having your own personal assistant.
The other factor is getting the item home. How do I find a shipper and arrange for pick up? How do I know they are picking up the right thing? This is where AD&CO really come into play.
There are several logistic companies out there, but AD&CO has their own. Yes, they are a one-stop shop kind of guide service. They guide, negotiate, document and do logistics. For the price, this makes them very reasonable.
I want to talk about the Guides. I traveled with Toma two years ago, she is THE Diva of AD&CO, but she has several other Divas that work with her. Several teams of them in fact. I have worked with Katie, Lucretia and Danielle. Each is an individual and well-versed in their area of expertise. I must admit that I was drawn to Danielle the first time I met her and knew I wanted to work with her in the future. I just knew she would understand my needs. All of the Divas want to understand the needs of their clients, but you know when you meet a person and there is instant rapport? I was like that with Danielle.
I communicated a bit with Danielle before I left on this last excursion. The Divas want to know their clients. I told Danielle directly that I did not have anything specific in mind, but I would know when I saw it. I have a thing for chairs, chandeliers, beds and really groove on the decorative arts of 18th century, Directoire, Empire, Louis Philippe and Napoleon III. I am not opposed to rustic farm pieces, primitives… honestly, I like too much. I can either be an easy client or difficult. The couple coming with me aren’t sure what they are looking for either. This was going to be an interesting day for Danielle… Because I was a wild card!!!
In the meantime, Toma contacted me and wondered if I am cool with a film crew joining us for some television documentary. I am go with the flow. No problem. Bring it on! Hello Hollywood. Or rather… Paris!
The day for our tour arrives and my clients have just gotten to Pairs and they are sick. Not like they have the plague, but they need rest and quiet. It appears it’s just me, Danielle and the film crew. This has just gotten easy… or difficult.
I am excited though. I have Danielle to myself. Danielle is a treasure and I know this already. I knew it the first time we met. Danielle helped me for about five minutes one day, not even being my Diva, and I knew this is who I wanted to work with. Danielle knows antiques, knows the dealers and has been shopping the market since she was… well, a lady never tells… but a long time.
Danielle arrives to pick me up at my gorgeous little apartment and she makes me instantly comfortable. She tells me what will be happening today with the film crew and again asks if I know what I am looking for.
I tell her I want to see it all.
I have already been to the market the previous weekend. I have been scouting certain stalls. I picked up a couple small items I can carry in my suitcase and a small framed engraving, some small gift items. I like finding bargains…treasures. I also enjoy the curated parts of the market as well. Some of the stalls are cutting edge and are setting design taste, not just reflecting it.
Marché au Puce is 17 acres and if you are looking for something specific you are going to find it. There are museum quality pieces with museum prices. There are also treasures to be unearthed for centime. Let’s say there is something for everyone.
Danielle and I have things to look over. She knows I am not looking for museum pieces but she also knows I appreciate them. Being with Danielle is sort of like being with a walking encyclopedia. She is knowledgeable.
We go through stalls and I am asking about period styles, quality. She is showing me techniques to see if the marble tops are old, if the luster can be brought back into the wood surface and pointing out good doré compared to lower quality. We look over china, chandeliers and an oversized faux bois garden set.
I sometimes get distracted that the dealer has done too much work to a piece. I don’t want something that refreshed… it’s distracting.
Danielle and I are both hungry and lunch is in order. Danielle knows where we can get something hot and a nice glass of wine.
I start to uncoil as we lunch and discuss some of the items we have seen. I have photographed things that caught my eye. I am keeping a record of items and prices discussed, but so is Danielle. That’s part of her job as my PA. We spend the afternoon going through the dealers in Jules Valles and I am finding a few things I can work with. A painted bed is a possibility, I buy a great Napoleon III tray, find a chandelier I must have and this cool primitive bench.
Danielle and I are discussing what this bench was used for. It looks like it should be for children in a kindergarten or maybe church? Its low, six to eight inches off the ground but the seats are wide.
The dealer who has been eating her lunch has noticed us. She comes over and starts discussing the items in a stream of French. I admit I can understand to certain degree, but I am lost in this conversation. Danielle is discovering that this is a ladies milking bench. Maybe for goats, but now we know why its low and why the seats are more adult sized. I could not have gotten that information. My French isn’t that advanced.
Having my Diva there is a blessing and I purchased this great item. I may have not if I hadn’t had Danielle there.
I must admit I have priced other services. I have contacted other services and found out there is a minimum on price, or it’s for 3 hours and they don’t document nor do they have logistics or help you arrange any logistics.
Honestly, for the value of an all-day guide, (and you won’t even scratch the surface of the market in a day) having someone negotiate, document and the fact that they have a logistics service as well. I am no fool. It’s like having someone hold your hand through the whole process.
You think I forgot about the film crew? No. They were there the whole time and got the footage they needed for the documentary. It was actually kind of fun and not normal circumstances. The director was cool as were the film crew.
The next week Danielle took me back to another part of the market. Yes, the film crew was there as by now I was quickly becoming a French film star ;). We went to another part of the market and it was open only for the morning – only for the trade, only on secret access. All in all, it was quite the adventure.
Now it surprising me that people think this is a service for professionals. I would say, every professional should access and use this type of service, but this is the type of service that should be tapped into by people wanting to shop the Paris Flea Market. Maybe two or three friends go in for a day, split the cost and find those signature pieces for their home? Find that look that you see in the magazines. It’s not as expensive as you think. Especially if The Antiques Diva is negotiating for you.
You can never put a price on memories and finding such a service as The Antiques Dive & Co is really worth it. Friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Two thumbs up.
Bruce Bailey is a life stylist, having coined the term long before it became novel or cliché. He is educated in art, history, and art history, with an emphasis on design. Bruce’s eclectic taste and intense curiosity about the world around him have permitted him to become a practicing connoisseur of everything from 18th Century art-and-architecture to modern-era landscape design.
Be Like Bruce
Book a custom, private antique shopping tour with your secret weapon:
an Antiques Diva Guide who will not only customize your buying trip,
they will negotiate, translate and arrange for shipping.
A Diva Guide pays for itself. Just ask Bruce!
Do you have questions about our antiques shopping tours in 15 countries, our buying services or our international shipping? Contact me today at email@example.com
Toma – The Antiques Diva
At The Antiques Diva we not only love antiques, my Diva Guides and I can be a bit style-obsessed; we love vintage fashion and accessories. J’adore Chanel – both new and vintage – but I am NOT a label-snob. Just as in interior design, in my wardrobe it’s all about the mix: I love to carry a Chanel bag with my H&M coat; I remember once I was chatting with Lynn Yaeger, contributing editor of Vogue and she complimented my fushia jacket – I confessed it’s origin and she said “Good design is good design regardless of the label.” On our Paris Tours we offer Antiques Diva® Paris Vintage Chanel and Vintage Fashion Tours for the equally design obsessed! (And yes, even on that tour you’ll discover the high low mix – unknown designers being sold next to the divine.)
If you’re in Paris December 1 and 2, don’t miss The Vintage Collector’s Fair at the fabulous Hotel Le Bristol. In its 2nd year, this curated high-end vintage fashion and accessories event for lovers of luxury and design will have amazing designer pieces from Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Paco Rabanne, Courrèges, David Webb, Patek Philippe and designers you’ve never heard of – but want to know, presented by expert international vintage dealers and collectors. Featuring handbags, leather goods, couture and fine jewelry, watches and haute couture fashion and accessories, this event is perfectly timed at the start of the holidays to buy a gift for someone special… or for yourself. (Hmmm. My favorite presents are those I buy myself. After all, don’t we deserve to spoil ourselves?)
Fair organizer Catherine Lecomte, whom I know from from her vintage stall at The Decorative Fair in London, is well-known for her passion for style and vintage or rare fashion, having launched Katheley’s in 2010. A kindred spirit, she wants to make beautiful things accessible and launched the website and social media platforms so designs often only found in Europe are now globally available.
Our style-spotters have been able to preview the collection that will be available at The Vintage Collector’s Fair, and here are a few of my personal favorites:
Vintage Collector’s Fair Details
- FREE ENTRANCE
- Preview event on the 30th of November
- Friday 1 December 2017: 11 am – 10 pm
Saturday 2 December 2017: 11 am – 7 pm
If you’re in Paris, this special vintage fashion is not to be missed! If you’re planning a trip to Paris and want an insider’s guide to buying vintage fashion in Paris, contact me for an Antiques Diva Vintage Fashion Tour.
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Bastille Brocante –> Place Joffre Antiquité
- November 9 – 19, 2017
- Place Joffre, 75007 Paris, France
- 11am – 7pm daily
- tickets: Joel Garcia Organisation 10€
Book an Antiques Buying Tour with The Antiques Diva
Recently I was leading a private tour of the Paris Flea Market, and I happened to overhear a husband telling his wife: but the import taxes will double the price. Naturally, I had to intervene and assure the couple that there is no import tax on antiques over 100 years old… as long as US Customs rules are followed and your paperwork is in order.
How much are the import taxes on antiques?
One of the questions I’m most frequently asked about importing and shipping antiques is how much are customs fees and taxes?
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol regulations, antiques are classified as being over 100 years old and are duty-free under provision 9706, providing the importer has proof of age:
Antiques classified under heading 9706 in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) are duty-free, provided the importer has proof of the goods’ age (i.e. the year of manufacture). Certain items, namely original artwork, pearls, semi-precious and precious stones, stamps, coins, and collector’s pieces (see 9705 for details) should be classified under other provisions of Chapter 97, (or 71 for stones) even if they are antiques.
Of course, the burden is on the antique buyer – not the seller – to understand US import rules and to make sure all your purchase orders and paperwork are in order. At AD&CO Logistics – our in-house antique and art shipping department – part of our service is to 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 monitoring 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.
Duty on Personal and Commercial Imports of Antiques
Customs paperwork, forms and regulations vary by country, so it’s important to work with an international shipper who has experience shipping antiques, has relationships with customs brokers in your home country and understands all the different regulations on duties on personal and commercial import of antiques:
- Exporter and vendor documentation certifying that the antiques are over 100 years old
- Customs and VAT paperwork concerning the export and import documentation necessary for your goods, including Certificates of Origin and an itemized, detailed packing list including descriptions and weights using the international coding system
- A formal entry is required for antiques imported for resale if the value of the combined shipment is over $2500
- What level of restoration disqualifies an item as antique
- Documentation requirements when your shipment is a combination of antiques and other goods.
- Knowledge of protected cultural property statutes and government certifications required
- Import regulations and government documentation of architectural, ethnological or cultural items that are on a private or public museum’s inventory
- Understanding of the US Value Publications detailing the customs regulations
- Separate custom regulations for artworks, firearms, vehicles, musical instruments and inherited antiques
Our advice? If you are buying a single antique piece or two for personal use, ask your vendor for the documentation certifying your antique is over 100 years old and follow their advice for shipping it to the US, or carrying it home with you in your personal luggage. When importing large shipments of antiques, or antiques for resale, consult an international shipping professional – you’ll save time and money.
FYI: Taxes are state-driven, not federal: which means the amount of tax due on your purchases will vary depending on your chosen destination port.
For more questions about AD&CO Logistics international art and antiques shipping services,
visit our FAQ page.
Happy Antique Shopping!
Toma – The Antiques Diva
Get A Dose of Paris Design Inspiration!
July 14 the French celebrate la Fête Nationale or Quatorze Juillet, what we call Bastille Day, with military parades, fireworks, concerts, and balls. Nothing will help you get in the French spirit more than a movie filmed in Paris – except, of course, a trip to Paris with The Antiques Diva®!
While lunching with Antiques Diva client Bruce Bailey at Chez Paul in Place Dauphine, Paris, Bruce told me that this restaurant was the setting for a recent movie (Me Before You), which led us to discuss films that will give you a dose of Paris design inspiration before a trip to Paris. Bruce recently spent 6 weeks in Paris with AD&CO Diva Guide Danielle Pelletier filming our TF1 Documentary (France’s most popular tv channel) that depicts how we work as Paris Flea Market Guides (The Antiques Diva is the Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette’s only official tour guide).
Movies Bruce Recommends Before a Trip to Paris with AD&CO:
1. Me Before You
A romantic comedy it seems, but maybe not.
2. Rape of Europa
Documentary showing how Hitler planned the plundering of Europe.
3. Woman in Gold
Based on a 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt.
A history of the Louvre during the occupation.
5. The Collection
A series set in a post-war Paris fashion house.
A series about palace life under Louis XIV.
Other movies and TV shows that evoke Paris:
French Design Inspiration Films:
- Gabrielle with Isobelle Huppert
- Paris with Juliet Binoche
- Summer Hours with Juliet Binoche
- Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- Bel Ami
- I Have Loved You for so Long
- Farewell, My Queen
- Molière (2007)
- A Little Chaos
- Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
- The Affair of the Necklace
- The Dressmaker with Kate Winslet – not French in aspects, but Dior inspired
- Dior and I
- The Eye Has to Travel
“Paris is always a good idea!”
~ Audrey Hepburn
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Custom Couture For A Curvy Diva
I have a bit of a reputation… in addition to drinking entirely too much champagne, I’ve got a penchant for high heels and fabulous dresses. In fact one of my most frequently asked questions when I speak is and when I meet clients and brand followers in real life.… “Where do you get your dress?” And while I’m a fan of both high end and low end – from DVF to Laundry – I look for items that flatter the figure. I’m a curvy girl and what curvy girls everywhere know is you can look fat… or you can look curvy. I choose the latter.
I’m going to let you in on one of my biggest fashion secrets… This January we hosted our annual Paris Champagne Brunch at Paul Bert Serpette in the Paris Flea Market – I wore a sensational cape-sleeved knee-length red jacket with a simple strapless tube dress underneath. The design was a one-a-kind design by Cambodian Designer Romyda Keth.
I first visited Romyda’s shop this summer while laying the groundwork for our Phenom Penh Design Inspiration tours. One of the things I love about our Asian Antiques Diva Tours is #ItsNotJustAntiques – from helping you find a furniture factory to custom-make your designs, to art studio and gallery tours to giving you access our favorite local craftsmen whether that’s hardware for your furniture and doors or lantern and lighting makers or simply a fabulous tailor…. A stop in Romyda’s shop is fabulous for retail therapy for fashion hunters, but even if you’re not looking for clothing it is worthwhile for the design inspiration. (Plus she has a maison store next door).
For years – even before we started working together and were just friends – I’ve admired my colleague Angela Somwaiya’s wardrobe. Angela now heads up our Asia Antiques Diva Tours. She is statuesque, standing a good head above me. She’s gorgeous, very sultry and has a mysterious look and wears the most amazing dresses of anyone I know. Curvy, Vivacious and Va Va Va Voom.
I was thrilled when as we were heading to Phenom Penh as part of our groundwork for setting up our Antiques Diva Asia Tours Angela asked… “Toma, is it possible we can make time to shop at my favorite dress store?”
In South East Asia when you attend a social event the well-heeled who’s who will all be wearing Keth’s designs. But the amazing thing… not one of the women will be dressed the same. Keth only makes 1 dress in each size for every design. Created in her onsite factory, the designs are done in a gorgeous Khmer silk in a harmony of colors cut specifically to emphasize on women what differentiates them from men. From now on a trip to Asia is not complete without at least a 36-hour stopover to stock up on my fashion needs for the next season.
Romyda is Cambodian-born, was raised in Paris and studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts and at top fashion design school Esmod. She is one of the few Asian designers to have established a worldwide following; after the first Atelier Ambre opened in Cambodia in 1999, the brand has since expanded to Middle East, Africa, Australia and the rest of Asia. Her designs are all about COLOR and CURVES. Those are the key words that describe my fashion sense. Each item is custom tailored on site, fitted by Romyda. And for a luxury brand creating nearly one of a kind designs the prices are reasonable. I think my custom fitted dress and jacket combined were around $300. The dresses I purchased ran between $75 and 150 USD. For more information visit Romyda Keth.
Kheunh anak chab,
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®