One of my favorite antiques fairs opened October 3: I’ve shared many Antiques Diva® tours and buying trips with you on the blog. I always count Battersea as a do not miss antiques event. More than just shopping, The Decorative Fair at London’s Battersea Park is an experience. And my team at The Antiques Diva & Co feels privileged to count several dealers at the fair as friends and favorite sources that our clients have special access to. Held 3 times annually, the fair’s reputation is well-known: interior designers from around the globe attend The Decorative Fair, often shopping with their clients, and many American dealers attend to stock their store – but private customers are welcome to attend also! Designers and stylists attend the Fair to search out original and unusual furniture, art and accessories to give their projects an individual touch. (Spotted: The Fair was recently visited by David and Victoria Beckham… they shopped with their decorator Rose Uniacke, and one of the UK’s hottest interior designers at present!)
Styles at The Decorative Fair range from French and English antique furniture to tabletop to mid-century modern. And what I love about the Battersea Decorative Fair is that not only is there something for everyone’s taste, there is also a range of price points. If you are seeking high-end antiques, you will find them; but The Fair also has smalls and decorative pieces that won’t cost a fortune – and may even fit in your suitcase!
Today’s guest blog is by Pippa Roberts, Specialist at The Decorative Fair, on the current trends in antiques and decor seen at London’s Autumn 2017 Decorative Fair – open now through October 8.
The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair – Battersea Park, London
Decorated ‘brown’ furniture
There has been a marked interest recently in fine, late 18th and early 19th-century furniture, with good embellishment and in richly coloured woods, such as Italian or French fruitwood or walnut commodes with ormolu/metal mounts or decoration. For international buyers pressed for time, there is no better one-stop-shop for European furniture than the Decorative Fair.
Classic country house style / maximalism
The country house look is definitely back in, and the Decorative Fair is the home of classic English country house furnishings: Persian rugs on floors, a mix of polished and painted wood furniture and nicely upholstered Regency sofas, elaborate mirrors, traditional portrait and landscape paintings, tapestries, etc. Chintz is back in, big time, in terms of textiles and pattern. Layering different periods of furniture and accessories adds instant ‘family history’ and an established, ‘been there forever’ look to a room. You can decorate an entire country house from top to bottom at the Decorative Fair! It’s the only fair you can sensibly achieve this at.
White ceramics have been a big thing for the past year or two, and look set to retain their chic; groups of white German modernist vases, large Regency-style French tureens and jugs, and more ornately decorated pieces for impactful tablescapes and cabinet displays.
Decorated folk furniture / art
Traditional pieces that have a homespun air: decorated furniture, either painted, or découpaged, or decorated with more unusual materials such as seeds, i.e. truly unique pieces.
Art Deco glamour
Art Deco design is selling well, especially glass – colourful, and looks great on the cocktail shelf/bar cart. You can see Deco style in many of the leading designer contemporary brands at present.
Bamboo and rattan furniture is still having a strong ‘moment’. As are bar carts of every style and era!
Indigo blue / blue and white
This colour, and blue & white china, has been having a renaissance; classic blue and white Delftware pots or English china plates are being used once again by decorators, even using gilded sconces to mount them around fireplaces (as per the C17th habit) or in dining rooms. Indigo blue is a big interiors colour at the moment, so we don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.
Velvet upholstery and trimmings
Top of the list in terms of luxe upholstery trends right now! The Decorative Fair presented a passementerie foyer display a couple of years ago, and since then, tassels, trimmings, and fringes have been back with a vengeance in high-end interiors. Antique passementerie, metallic threadwork and haberdashery items are offered by many of the textile dealers (and others) at the fair.
The Battersea Decorative Antiques & Textiles Details
- October 3-8 2017
- Battersea Evolution
London SW11 4NJ
Vehicle Entry via Chelsea Bridge Gate ONLY
- Tuesday 3rd October: 12 noon – 8pm
Wednesday 4th October: 11am – 8pm
Thursday 5th October : 11am – 8pm
Friday 6th October: 11am – 7pm
Saturday 7th October: 11am – 7pm
Sunday 8th October: 11am – 6pm
- £10 on the door including catalogue which allows free re-entry
Tickets can only be purchased with cash
Vendors at The Decorative Fair are carefully selected specialists in antique and 20th-century design from Britain and Europe with an unrivalled selection of stock.
October is the last date for The Decorative Fair in 2017; if you’d like a private antique buying tour in 2018 (January 23-28, April 17-22, and Autumn 2018) to Battersea’s design extravaganza – plus our other London and English countryside custom antique buying tours.
Cheers! Hope to see you in London!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!t seems like my travel schedule has been insane lately! Between taking private and trade clients on tours, international speaking engagements and press trips, it’s been a whirlwind! But one of the perks of my job is being able to attend some of the best antiques fairs in the world. This week I had the privilege of taking a journalist from America on an Antiques Diva & Co tour of London which was perfect because it was in conjunction with
The Fair opened on September 30 and we were privileged to get a handful of Press passes which allowed us to enter the fair before the public. Being able to meet with dealers and see the inventory before it flies out the door is always a thrill. And being one of the top antique fairs, there are trays of champagne being passed, which fits perfectly with the Antiques Diva experience! As people line up outside to enter the fair, they are also served glasses of champagne… now that’s the kind of line I wouldn’t mind waiting in!
Of course there is so much to see at this fair— styles range from French and English antique furniture to tabletop to mid century modern. And what I love about the Battersea Decorative Fair is that not only is there something for everyone’s taste, there is also a range of price points. If you want serious antiques, you can find them. But you also can find very decorative pieces that won’t cost you a fortune and may even fit in your suitcase!
However, there are definitely serious shoppers at this renowned fair. Famous actors, international socialites and philanthropists all frequent Battersea. In fact, just a few days after we were there, Oprah Winfrey dropped by to peruse the stalls. Nothing like bumping elbows with celebrities while sipping champagne and shopping for antiques!!!
All in all I’d say that this is certainly a “do not miss” event. More than just shopping, The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park is an experience. And my team at The Antiques Diva & Co feels so privileged to count several dealers at the 2014 fair as friends and favorite sources that our clients consistently have access to. Sometimes it’s surreal to think that we have the same sources as celebrities and royalty…but the truth is, we do!
If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in any of our 8 tour countries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
The Antiques Diva® team is ALL over the place this month. Gail, our UK Diva, joined Susan, our Italian Diva and me in Parma, Italy this past week for Mercanteinfiera meanwhile Lucretia, our Belgian and Dutch Diva was in London shopping the Autumn Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!
Lucretia writes reporting from the London Decorative Fair:
“By a stroke of luck, I happened to be in London during the Autumn Decorative Fair in Battersea Park, 1-6 October 2013. Curious and in possession of a free ticket, I had to go check it out. Afterall, it’s important for me as the Dutch & Belgian Diva Guide to understand what’s happening around the world in the antique scene. Interior decoration is kind of a passion for me. Where else than in cosmopolitan London can one get a better update on the latest trends?
The fair is relatively small and cozy, with 143 exhibitors each with a compact stand, allowing you to see the whole inventory without getting bored or exhausted. The atmosphere is relaxed, the vendors congenial, the prices affordable and negotiable.
There were a few dealers with traditional antiques, but the majority showed a mix of old furniture — mostly stripped down to the bare wood, sometimes whitewashed or with the original paint — and 20th century pieces. What really surprised me was the predominance of glass and metal furniture from the sixties and seventies. Coffee tables, nests of 3 tables, console tables, dinner tables, they have to be transparent, light, made of chrome or brass or painted black metal, with a glass top. Exactly the style we bought for our first home when we married in 1981 (you begin to feel really old when the fashion of your twenties makes a come-back)! Instead of storing it in the garage, I should bring it back to the living room and get rid of my mahogany!
The overall style was not moody like The Antiques Diva discovered at Maison Objet but rather delicate, with walls painted light grey or taupe, lots of mirrors, crystal chandeliers to catch the light. Symmetry is still going strong, you often see two identical console tables with huge mirrors next to each other, perfect doubles. Cheerfully bright upholstery (think pink, purple, turquoise) on vintage chairs and sofas was also a noticeable trend. On the other hand, the industrial design with its large proportions and rude surfaces is also still present, although not my personal favorite.
These antique and vintage dealers have to be inventive and original decorators nowadays, composing their stands using unusual objects in order to catch the attention of the visitors. Some did a great job, and they make a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park an uplifting experience!”
Your Belgian-Dutch Diva – Lucretia reporting Live from London!
PS – All this and don’t forget you can have a chance to meet our Swedish Divo in England this weekend at Esher Hall.
Dear Diva Readers,
As I write this post, it’s late at night – the night before The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 23-28 April 2013 Battersea Park, London SW11. My heart is pounding, I can’t sleep. All I can think about are ANTIQUES – tomorrow I’ll be arriving the pearly gates of great decorative antique pieces. I’ll be bringing a VIP Aussie client with me to shop – but I must confess – I might have to break my cardinal rule not to shop on tour with this client. The fair is just going to be that good! Bloody H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, my purchases just might break the bank.
This fair will host more that 140 of the top decorative antiques trade. Anyone who has watched Million Dollar Decorators knows this fair is a 1st port of call for decorators worldwide – I particularly loved the episode in season 1 when Kathryn Ireland went to the show to decorate an old flame’s English country house. And Martin Lawrence Bullard is famous for haunting the affairs. But it’s not just Big Names in Lights that shop here… many of the American trade buyers who have built a name for having the best inventory in stock come over specifically for the event three times a year to see wonderful objects, furniture and works of art of all periods to tempt every aficionado of fine interiors. Traditional accessories from kitchenalia to wine glasses, textiles and quirky decorations such as antique shoes alongside ‘Grand Tour’ intaglios displayed under domes and taxidermy also under glass domes on a grand scale. The fair is also a serious source for good antique furniture from early English oak to Georgian walnut and Regency mahogany with Arts and Crafts and Art Deco pieces appearing more and more frequently.
Anyone who has followed the publicity surrounding Antiques Young Guns will have noticed that the main event will be hosted at this venue which is the ultimate source for discerning homemakers, designers and trade. The event, still known in the trade inner circles as “the Decorators’ Fair” is indeed an event for the Young Guns of the trade to aspire to and thanks to the generosity of the organiser David Juran they will have a bird’s eye view of this storming event from the complimentary stand in the foyer where a very varied selection of contributions from The Young Guns will be on display and for sale. The chance to submit stock to be showcased at what is an elite event for the more experienced members of the trade – The Heavy Artillery – was a driving force behind so many entries in the competition.
Keil and Stuart, the Fontaine boys, are now in their sixth year at The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Spring Fair and they seem to be on a gilded path with one successful fair after another, not forgetting their debut at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair last year which was a sell out. Their prominent stand just inside the main arena at Battersea is always a buzzy hive of activity and a quick check on their web site this week confirms that they have been on yet another buying frenzy in France. The boys seem to have a policy of keeping the stock fresh at all times in the former town laundry which they have artfully transformed in Margate, Kent. They have regular sales of existing stock when prices really are slashed together with their annual boozy and lively “deballage” where they also showcase new stock, and then off they go to France to replenish it all with fresh delights. They have an extremely sharp eye for trifles and baubles you did not realize you simply could not live without but they are also very clever at structuring all of this with sleek usable furniture – each piece with an arresting little detail to give it that little flick.
Somebody who is heading along his own gilded path is Young Gun George Johnson, aged 35, who owns Lady Kentmores in Callander up the picturesque Trossachs region of Scotland. George has in a very short space of time made a name for himself in his role as one of the four hosts on Channel 4’s Secret Removers and since this appearance has been offered a new role in another nationwide show still under embargo! George writes regularly for my colleague Gail McLeod’s website Antiques News and Fairs and a number of other trade press and has recently been snapped up to write a column for Money Maker Magazine, giving tips on how to make a profit from collectibles. You might recall that I described his shop as “a cocktail stirred but not shaken!” – a confection of curios, collectibles and the macabre.
As a key member of the crack team of judges for Antiques Young Guns, George was not eligible to enter the awards but he is able to display some of his stock on the Young Guns stand at Battersea. He has chosen two of his favorite pieces of taxidermy which he acquired after a lengthy and circuitous journey to a remote castle in the North of Scotland where the Laird had invited him to come and buy a few pieces. George found the journey home a lot more enjoyable with some prize examples of pre-war taxidermy in tow!
SO… on Thursday of this week – April 25th,2013 – I’m lucky enough to be returning back to Battersea (after shopping the Cotswolds and Sussex) to attend the Antiques Young Gun Competition!! The contenders for winning the award of brightest light shining in the trade – in the under 39 category include:
Profiles of the shortlisted entrants for the 2013 National Antiques Week Young Guns award:
Robbie Timms (30), Bedfordshire
S&S Timms Antiques from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, one of the founding members of the original #AntiquesYoungGuns. He brings a new outlook to the traditional furniture side of the trade. Robbie launched the world’s first antiques shop iPhone/iPad App. Joined the family antiques business aged 16, and has ‘upped the ante’ by exhibiting at the UK’s top fairs.
Natalie Smith (32), Woodbridge
Opened her own antique centre at only 26 years old and proves that antique centres are not just an old person’s game. Got the antiques bug while visiting car boot fairs with her dad, took a degree in Italian, worked for a jewellers in Venice but really got into dealing when she helped sell some of her father’s collections.
Keeley Harris (36), York
Runs Discover Vintage & Vintage Emporium, has been making waves from her shop in York and from the various fairs she runs throughout the country. Fell in love with a Victorian doll’s house aged eight, and spent her teens buying at car boots and charity shops to sell on at antiques fairs. Interim jobs in events have helped her create very interactive vintage shows.
Kieran Mathewson (26), Herefordshire
Dealer in tribal art, architectural reclamation and country furniture. Has carved out a career through determination and a love for objects. First struck aged eight by a pewter tankard in a South African antiques shop that looked like one he had seen in a pirate movie -“I remember my heart racing, wondering about its history. That feeling is a high I have been chasing ever since!”
Paul Jones (29), N. Wales& Chester
Runs Morgan Fairs in Wales and has his own shop in Cheshire specialising in Victorian pine and country furniture, and smaller items including books, folk art and kitchenalia. His parents are in the trade (specialist Welsh and vernacular furniture dealers).
Paul was a mechanic until he realised his heart was really in antiques. Dealt at fairs for two years before opening his own shop.
Timothy Medhurst (21), Chelmsford
Turned a childhood love of coins in to a career as an auctioneer specialising in the numismatic world. Determined to bring a youthful edge to a field sometimes seen as old and stuffy. The youngest of our short-list, Timothy aged 10 was first amazed by a Victorian crown coin shown him by his grandmother. That sparked a collecting craze he developed into an online dealing business whilst still at school.
Matthew Nunn (37), Reading
Runs Apsley Antiques Ltd & Fleaglass Ltd and has been bringing the scientific antiques market to a whole new generation.
Spent years working in engineering but was hooked on antiques as a child, and started dealing when eBay launched.
Adam Partridge (39), Macclesfield
Adam is still a young gun, but has achieved so much in auctioneering after some major early set-backs. Well known from TV (Flog It! et al). His first purchase: a small oil painting, bought with pocket money aged eight, which he still has. Read classics at Oxford but spent more time haunting fairs and auctions.
Sam Loxton (33), London
Travels the world sourcing the finest jewellery for Lucas Rarities Ltd and has a love for the finest items. In his words: “I consider myself a champion of antique jewellery…” He adored old books and antiques; soon after school he was offered two jobs at once – with the National Art Library and with Christie’s as a porter in the jewellery department. He took the latter and has been utterly dedicated to jewels ever since.
Chris Oxley (36), Wiltshire
Another founding member of the #AntiquesYoungGuns, busy rejuvenating the timeless world of fine clocks. His parents established P.A.Oxley Antique Clocks, and Chris started going on buying trips with them from the age of 10. He joined the business after leaving school, and now runs it with his mother.
Alys Dobbie (29), Cornwall& E. Sussex
Owns two vintage shops under the Nana Dobbie brand, one in Brighton and one in Lostwithiel, Cornwall; causing a stir in the 20th century collectables and vintage worlds. Another who fell in love with ‘retro’ whilst car-booting with her dad. Tried art college but couldn’t resist temptation to deal. Studied in order to do her own modern furniture restoration, and says her business has only ever used recycled packaging!
James Gooch (30), Bedfordshire
Another founding member of the #AntiquesYoungGuns, runs Doe & Hope, a web-based antiques and curios shop that aims to bring a bit of fun and showmanship to the trade. Early obsession with antiques television programmes. With a BA in film & video, he first worked as a runner and researcher in TV production. A small legacy from his grandmother was what prompted him to set up shop.
For full exhibitor list and times see The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair website! In the meantime – I cannot wait to see you in London!!!
Let the shopping commence!
The Antiques Diva®
NATIONAL ANTIQUES WEEK – THE MAIN EVENTS!
Please visit National Antiques Week Main Events feature with images and full details of all events and promotions.
We are delighted to report on the main events for National Antiques Week which in addition to the Antiques Young Guns campaign culminating in a sparkling evening to celebrate National Antiques Week with an awards ceremony followed by a party at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair.
Dear Diva Readers,
Becca Gauldie was going to be at the Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair in London’s Battersea Park and today I want to introduce you to another sensational dealer – Roderic Haugh who trades regularly at Core One Antiques. In addition to selling in this Fulham antiques collective, Roderic also takes clients by appointment in London or Norwich where he has his workshops. In addition to selling art and antiques, he offers a restoration service for all types of antique furniture.few days ago I mentioned that
Today I want to share with you a few fun finds on the Roderic Haugh Antiques website (his site is chocked full of interesting finds) to whet your appetite before you attend next week’s London Fair! Get ready to shop til you drop because I promise you Battersea is going to be good this Fall!
This 1920’s Still Life is a Bargain at £590 – I’m utterly smitten by the colors and composition!
Anything Chinoserie is swoon-worthy in my mind and this George I Chinoserie Chest on a Stand for £3,600 is no exception. Propping this in your living room says DIVA!
This French Country Refectory Table (circa 1870) £2,600 is exceptionally wide and would make a great dining table for a casual country kitchen. I’ve been looking for something similar for years… and the price on this one is just right.
Rats! I was too slow in pulling my buying trigger – this Pair of Italian Giltwood Consol Tables is SOLD! Tant pis pour moi!
What a gorgeous collection for great decorative appeal – 4 Bottles for £690
This collection of vintage Horticultural trays, priced each at £18, could be positively darling decorating a a sunroom or enclosed back porch
These are just a few of Roderic Haugh Antiques fun finds! A decorative dealer since 1963 dealing in 18th, 19th and 20th Century furniture and objects with a difference, Roderic Haugh is one of the dazzling dealers at London’s famous Core One (one of my favorite stops in London). This antiques collective has 9 dealers, each with their own unique style, selling beautiful furniture and objects available to both private clients and trade! This year at Battersea Core One Antiques will have a good showing of dealers exhibiting at Battersea! In addition to Roderic Haugh, you’ll find Annabella Rothery and Christophe Edwards.
Don’t forget to visit Roderic Haugh at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea this September 27 to October 2, 2011.
The Antiques Diva®
Brexit has had an impact on buying antiques in the UK. In short, England has gone on sale for American buyers! Now is the best time to buy antiques in England. If you’re only going to shop one place, I would say shop in England. England is one-stop shopping – the best of France is already there. For hundreds of years, the Brits have been scouring the world collecting antiques. Our English Antiques Diva® Buying Agent Gail McLeod just might be the most connected woman in the world of antiques. She is owner of Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website Antiques News & Fairs, Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website, vice-chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association and co-founder of Antiques Young Guns.Today Gail is sharing the top UK antique trends last year and the 1st two months of 2018. You can shop these trends at the 30th annual Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in March, as well as other UK antique fairs, on an Antiques Diva England antiques buying tour.
Antique Trends in UK 2017
Here in England, we are blessed with a complete melting pot of inventory which has arrived on our shores from the Colonies and there has never been an occasion when I have been stumped by a request from a Diva client! Spanish Colonial period pieces for a Hollywood mansion? Step this way! A collection of gravestones and a church spire for a luxury theme park? No problem!
2017 saw some new trends following a few years of nonstop ghostly Nordic furniture and large-scale reclamation quests, with a thirst for more grown-up pieces including oak and mahogany. At the recent Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair at Battersea there was a complete stampede on the opening day on a stand selling what we call in England American export goods – writing boxes, tea caddies, oak framed mirrors, library accessories, oak framed botanical and sporting prints, barometers, brass and copper accessories.
The return to what was sold by the container load in the 80s and 90s is seen elsewhere in the decorative trade, French marble top confectioners’ tables, brass and iron bakers racks, faux bamboo armoires and chests of drawers, heavily carved fruitwood armoires, painted English chests of drawers and confit pots all selling like hot cakes.
Two recent Antiques Diva tours have been almost exclusively oak and mahogany small-scale furniture – joint stools, lamp tables, luggage stands, corner display cupboards, long sets of dining chairs, all available at such buyable prices – for now! When the market demands these piece will start to rise again.
Downton Abbey and The Crown tv shows have influenced overseas private buyers who want a piece of Merry Old England that looks like it is going to last for years – and it probably will! The shipwrecked look still has its appeal to Millennials but the solid pieces are appealing more to the Baby Boomers although a recent NY based Millennial furnishing a house here in Notting Hill chose almost exclusively William IV mahogany and C19th Chinoiserie pieces for their drawing room. Another client from CO chose an outstanding Italian bureau plat with brass ormolu, very formal and imposing and she had been looking online and in the US for 4 years but found the perfect piece on our first call!
Many of our clients are trade buyers who are servicing the buying requests for both Millennials and Baby Boomers so these private tours give us a bird’s eye view of what is hot – or not. We have very few inquiries in the UK for Mid Century and Industrial pieces but architectural reclamation is a staple here. The British architectural reclamation trade is a vibrant and successful part of the business and we have helped with some interesting projects in 2017 supplying beautiful linenfold paneling from the library of a known estate, wellheads, mill wheels, stone roof tiles, stone flooring, chimney stacks and gargoyles. This trend is a constant rather than fashion led.
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair March 8-11 has many examples of what’s trending in the UK, Muddy Stillettos forecasts what will be available at the fair in Retro rehab: Mid-century Scandi, folk art, architectural reclamation, garden antiques – and the resurgence of our old friend ‘brown’ furniture (photos courtesy Muddy Stillettos).
DO YOU WANT TO SHOP FOR ANTIQUES IN ENGLAND?
BOOK AN ANTIQUES AND DESIGN TRIP WITH THE ANTIQUES DIVA
Toma, The Antiques Diva
Dear Diva Readers,
Quintessence Blog. From art and architecture, interiors and design, fashion and jewelry to books and movies, food and wine, travel and more, Quintessence has become a trusted source for well-researched, original content in the online world. I love that she takes us behind the scenes to some of the world’s most gorgeous properties and gives us a peek into some of the very best shops all over the globe. We get to tag along as she attends exclusive events, meets design icons and tastemakers and connects the dots to bring you the story behind the style. In addition to blogging, Stacey was revolutionary in the blogosphere when she teamed up with Susanna Salk to produce and edit one of the best design video series.s an antiques & design blogger myself I’m often asked what design blogs I read… and one of my favorite is Stacey Bewkes’
Imagine my excitement when these two dynamic women confirmed that they wanted to take an Antiques Diva Tour of Mercanteinfiera with me! I couldn’t wait to get these ladies to Italy and show them the ropes of navigating Italy’s largest antiques fair which takes place twice a year in Parma. With over one thousand vendors and several buildings, it can be tricky to weave your way through the thousands of international shoppers – but don’t worry, we know the fair and its vendors like the back of our hand!
Once we started shopping, I could see why these two women are known as international tastemakers. Their eyes are trained and I watched as they gravitated toward piece after gorgeous piece! Some of their favorite finds were a large mirror, a stately lion statue, a rustic armoire, architectural ornaments, and a pair of oversized urns. They also pointed out that attending fairs like Mercanteinfiera is a great way to get styling ideas as the exhibitors create interesting displays. I couldn’t agree more!
In a blog they wrote about their Antiques Diva experience, they write, “In our two days at the Parma antiques fair, we effortlessly wove through the multiple massive buildings, following Toma and Susan (our charming and knowledgeable Italian Diva) to meet special friends and dealers, from Toma’s favorite purveyor of Murano glass to the creative couple from Florence who fashion chic new treasures by blending antiques with modern artistry,to her dealer friend Maurizio from Sicily (now located in Florence).”
Read the entire blog and watch the fun video they shot in the video series Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk.
Thanks ladies for coming over and living La Dolce Diva for a few days! We certainly had a blast giving you just a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis all across Europe. When you’re ready for round two, why don’t we hit Les Puces in Paris… or The Decorative Fair at Battersea in London… or hop in the car and let us introduce you to our secret sources in the Belgian countryside… So many options, so little time!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
s we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co. We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides. If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!
We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off. With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large. Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy. (RSVP now for details email@example.com! You’re invited!!)
In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler! Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera! Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine. This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!
Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business. Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!
Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete. Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around. At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!
Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor). I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event! What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!
Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues. Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).
But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni. I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.
May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.
July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!
August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants. Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!
In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.
Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces. Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!
In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper! I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!
All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR. As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!! Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.
And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season, as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle. You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing. I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.
As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead! This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me. The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.
Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!
Happy New Year,
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
renowned antiques dealer Spencer Swaffer played host to a group of Designers on an an Antiques Diva / Nobelinks Design Tour in the UK.ecently on an Antiques Diva Tour,
The role of host is a well-known role for Spencer and his wife Freya. Spencer continues his hospitality hosting this month a pop-up shop as part of a mentoring program offered through Antiques Young Guns.
As part of the Antiques Young Guns awards earlier this year a young Welsh dealer named Paul Alexander Jones won a coveted spot to open a small pop-up shop within Swaffer’s store for the next ten days (cleverly in conjunction with Battersea Decorative Fair which is less than a two hour drive from Swaffer’s store).
Much of the stock offered by Jones does not appear online so venturing to the pop-up gives would-be clients a glimpse into an exclusive inventory of antiques. Hailing from a very rural North Wales town, Jones offers ‘country’ style pieces– think richly glazed potter, beautifully figured timbers and charming, naive folk art. Paul confided he’s bringing some warm Welsh tapestry blankets to sell—perfect timing if you ask me, as Autumn is upon us!
As I’m constantly combing over Europe for the best antiques dealers, whether that be quality of pieces or best prices, I’m always thrilled when new talent developed in the antiques field. Having opened his shop in July 2012, Paul Jones is sure to learn a lot about the antiques trade while being mentored by sage Spencer Swaffer. I’m excited to hear more from Paul and see how networking with other established dealers enhances his business!
If you’ll be in the Arundel area over the next week, stop by and say hello to Paul and Spencer. Tell them The Antiques Diva sent you!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
If one mirror is good, 9 or 12 is even better! Our favorite vendors across the board at Battersea Park where the Decorative Fair is held were clustering groups of antique and vintage mirrors for maximum effect. The result is more that of a work of art when positioned this way than as just a tool to see yourself.
Keep the tones of the frame similar – gold with gold, silver with silver, but be bold in mixing shapes. While all star bursts look great, don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit by adding an oblong mirror to a wall of circular mirrors. And remember, sometimes it’s hip to be square.
The Antiques Diva®
PS: To book an Antiques Diva England Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email firstname.lastname@example.org