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Calendar Alert for Amsterdam – Kunst & Antiekbeurs Verzamelen In Stijl

to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The Kunst & Antiekbeurs Verzamelen in Stijl is back in town for 2 days only – Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18, 2009.

to 10px; WIDTH: 250px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 150px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Entry is FREE this year and this dazzling art and antiques fair specializing in Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil will take place in one of A’dams most centrally located hotels – Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on Dam Square. Stay for lunch in their gorgeous Brasserie Reflet, with its Belle Epoque interior dating back to the 1880’s.

About forty exhibitors will show their collections in this wonderful, large, monumental glasshouse building which was built in 1880. The exhibitors will share tidbits about their products and passions, expounding upon the various style periods and more!

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Dam 9,
1012 JS Amsterdam

A must shop antiques event in Amsterdam! Hope to see you there!

The Antiques Diva™

Amsterdam – Secret Sale Days

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Long-term Diva Readers have heard me time and again divulge details on Amsterdam’s best kept secrets: The Open Door Days of Annette Brederode and Johan de Feijter.

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Mark your calendars for a sensational weekend of Antiques Shopping in Amsterdam!

June 5, 6 and 7, 2009
11am to 6pm.

To read more about past sales, click on the names of each vendor and get all the diva-licious details and pics!

Annette Brederode
Lijnbaansgracht #56D

The sale takes place on the 3rd floor in an inconspicuous building.. ring the buzzer and climb the stairs for shopping paradise!

Then pop a few blocks over for another Secret Sale!

Johan de Feijter
Bloemgracht 58

As always, Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

P.S. The photo at right was taken the night of our good friend Harry’s 50th birthday dinner at De Jonge Dikkert (a restaraunt just outside of Amsterdam in the city of Amstelveen). The restaurant is among our favorite Dutch treats, partially due to the historic ambiance inside a Dutch windmill built in 1672 and also owing to the sensational modern French Mediterranean cuisine done with a Dutch touch!

It’s Queen’s Day Darling…

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dearest Diva’s,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It’s Queen’s Day Darling – the most important holiday of the year in The Netherlands! And at times like these I regret that I’m not back in Holland dressed head-to-toe in Orange celebrating my favorite Queen’s birthday in Amsterdam! While most countries prefer a more staid pomp and circumstance when it comes to their royal’s special days, the Dutch, in typical Dutch fashion, break the mold in coming up with bizarre party ideas to help their Queen celebrate growing another year older. Shannon McAllister of Amsterdam’s Travel Blog writes, “New Orleans has Mardi Gras. Munich serves up Oktoberfest. Pamplona parties with bulls. When it comes to the world’s best parties, Amsterdam holds its own special spot with Queen’s Day.”

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 282px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 186px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Queens Day, known as Koninginnedag in Dutch, is a national Dutch holiday celebrating the birthday of the Queen. But here’s the catch – it’s not celebrating the current Queen Beatrix’s special day but rather that of her mother, Juliana. When Queen Bea took over from Juliana in 1980, she decided that rather than having the national holiday changed to her actual birthdate of Jan 31, she’d instead bow to tradition and celebrate on her mum’s birthday as well. Perhaps she made this decision because January’s in Holland are bleak bleak bleak and known as the “dark days of winter” when the sun barely shines, the rain never stop and clouds loom ominously. Given that the Queens Day celebrations take place outdoors, a January Queens Day Celebration would have been a disaster.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />But “How does the Dutch Queen and her nation celebrate Beatrix’ jarig?” you ask… by throwing a country-wide yard sale of course! Well, that and drinking copious quantities of Dutch beer, and covering their tos/ig/Photos–Queen-s-Day/” target=”_blank”>body head to toe in Orange in honor of the Dutch royal house of Orange. Given that I’m a flea marketing queen, it’s the country-wide yard sale element that catches my attention. Expatica explains: “This is the one day a year that ordinary folk are allowed to set up shop on the sidewalk without a trading licence. Traditionally in the days running up to Queen’s Day, strange boxes are sectioned off on pavements around the country and marked with the word ‘Bezet’, or occupied. To the uninitiated, these markings in chalk or tape may appear to be some kind of bizarre crop circles. They are not, they are just an example of the assertiveness of the Dutch – if you want to sell items on Queen’s Day you have to mark out your territory well in advance.” Of course, as Expatica continues to say, The Dutch are “not so interested in tidying up afterwards, so that the ‘Bezet’ markings tend to linger on long after Queen’s Day and for months after that.”

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Similar to Lille’s Grand Braderie (a town wide garage sale in France held the first weekend in Sept) but sadly not as stylish, residents empty the contents of their zolders (attics) and dump both trash and treasures. Though as an antiquer I’ll be the first to say that, like the Amsterdam flea markets, this special Queens Day sale is heavy on the fleas. Used toys and forgotten VCR tapes of your favorite movies and TV shows are piled judiciously next to old running shoes, sandals with broken clasps and ties with stains. Shopping on Queens Day is sort of like shopping at the Goodwill would be if they didn’t have someone sorting through the crap in advance. That said, amidst the rubble there is almost always a jewel. I’ve bought cds of my favorite 80 bands, a myriad of faux delft to crush up and use in a mosaic project, and cut-glass serving platters galore. It’s the latter kitchen goods and entertaining table ware that are the true bargain du jour – picking up a Wedgewood plate for 1E or a 1960’s glass “Lazy Susan” for 1.50E have been my big catches.

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Truth be told, I don’t do Queens Day for the sales. I do Queens Day for the excitement of raising my hands over my head, singing national anthems and humming along to Johnny Jordaan – for taking part in the party and dancing in the street with strangers. I do Queens Day as an excuse to drape myself head to toe in Orange (a color in my personal color wheel but am often ridiculed for wearing). And I do Queens Day to celebrate my surrogate Queen… moving to Holland for me 4 years ago was a treat – I finally had a Queen to call my own!

Long Live The Queen!

The Antiques Diva ™

(Seen right with dear friend Cindy T – Cindy was my first friend in Paris and has known me since the day I wore denim overalls in Paris –– and she loved me anyway. Now that, dear diva readers, is a friend!)

Bringing the Luxury Hotel to Your Home

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I’ve been intending to write about the trend of hotels selling their linens and more ever since last summer when on my Med Cruise I noticed that Holland America was selling everything from their bedding to their beach chairs. You could order the chairs online (or while lounging in the sun) from the boat and they’d be shipped (no pun intended) and waiting for you at home when you returned. Recently, The Informed Traveler put a good spin on this trend, claiming that in this bad economy, even if you can’t go to the hotel, you could at least bring the hotel to you.

The Informed Traveler writes:
“… You’ve cut back on travel and don’t foresee a stay at the” target=”_blank”>Ritz-Carlton anytime soon. Now you can bring the luxurious comforts of the Ritz-Carlton home with you, and replicate the experience chez vous with hundreds of exclusive items now made available at the online retail store. Recently launched,” target=”_blank”>The Shops at Ritz-Carlton features sumptuous sleepwear, spa products and toiletries, bathrobes, and even a mattress with the Ritz-Carlton Sleep Experience.”

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Hotel chains are branching out into the retail sector and I love it, for the sheets at the Marriot in Paris are divine and I loved my bedspread when staying at the Budapest Intercontinental. For years I’ve been taking pictures of bathrooms in 5 star hotels hoping to someday emulate “the look” at home should I ever “do over” a bathroom in one of my abodes. The artwork at the Swissotel Berlin (my temporary transition home when I moved from Amsterdam to Berlin) totally inspired me and I’ve just the place to hang the modern art. I for one am glad that hotels are branching out and trying to capture a bit more market share!

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Art for Sale at the Swissotel Berlin

The Hotel Adlon here in Berlin has even opened a “Lifestyle Shop” near the back entrance of the hotel and produces an accompanying high-quality glossy catalog offering everything from the Adlon’s beds to crystal wine decanters, silver candle sticks, books detailing the history of the famous hotel’s history to the silk pillow shams gracing reading chairs and lamps in their lobby!
Now, if only I could bring the cabin steward home with me to make towel monkeys to leave on my bed each night… of course, who needs a pretend monkey when you’ve got the real thing waiting for you at home already??

Until next time, Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

Photo right: The Diva’s Real Life Monkey – WG!

Dutch Calendar Alert: Amsterdam Traditional Textile Fair

Mark Your Calendar A’damers for The Amsterdam Traditional Textiles Fair – Sunday, May 24th, 2009

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Kerk De Duif
Prinsengracht 756

10am – 6pm

Entry 7 Euros

A diversity of textiles will be presented and sold including batik, embroidery, indigo, ikat, plangi and quilts; weavings from all over the world such as African textiles of the Ashanti, Bambara, Ewe, Fanti, Haussa, Kuba, Kente, Nupe, Shoowa, Woodabe, Yoruba. Also textiles from Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Chinese minorities, Philippines, India, Pakistan, India, Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador; antique textiles from Europe for example cashmere shawls, lace and linen kitchen towels.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 226px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />For more information, click here.

A Special Thank-You!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 213px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ /> top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>A special Thank You to La Reine & The Contessa who have taken the helm this week while The Antiques Diva™ has been called away from her desk for a special speaking engagement in Amsterdam!

For more information on booking The Antiques Diva™ for speaking engagements, email”> for details.

Guest Blog – The Cashmere Touch

Dear Diva Readers,

Have you ever been curious what makes cashmere so special and so expensive? Or what the difference is between pashmina and cashmere? Or why one shawl marked “pashmina” is labeled 5 euros and another marked several hundred euros?

Following you’ll find a Guest Blog from Isabelle Caifinger, the gorgeous French founder of the Amsterdam-based “open by appointment only” store The Cashmere Touch. Isabelle answers all your cashmere questions and then some in this Antiques Diva Exclusive – The Cashmere Queen Tells All!

While pashminas are a fashion passion of mine (see me at right wearing a pashmina at an Amsterdam charity auction last year), they’ve also become a diva decorating staple! I recently recommended to an Antiques Diva Decorating Client that she buy one of Isabelle’s gorgeous shawls to frame and hang on her wall as art work! I’m not the only one who has had this idea…” target=”_blank”>Residence magazine, the premier Dutch decorating magazine, has featured Isabelle’s work as well as Elle Decoration! And by the way, one last secret before I say Ta Ta from Me and Bonjour from The Cashmere Queen – Isabelle’s secret supplier is also supplying another high-end store that you might recognize by its little orange box!

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So, Ta Ta from me, The Antiques Diva and Bonjour from Isabelle – The Cashmere Queen!


The Cashmere Touch

Have you ever wondered where cashmere comes from, how it gets its softness and why it is threatened as a natural fiber?

As you know, there are different qualities of cashmere offered in the market, mostly from Nepal. Most are blended with regular wool or silk and yet it is called “pashmina or cashmere”. However just the weight and feel of the material you have in your hands will tell you about the quality. When a shawl is hanging somewhere and it says “Pashmina – Only 5 Euros” you know automatically that you are being lied to! If it’s priced 5 Euros, then clearly it’s not really Pashmina!

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Few people know that “Pashmina” and “Cashmere” are the same!Pashmina is the thin undercoat of a Himalayan goat known as the « Changra goat », which grazes the arid plateaus of Ladakh, Tibet, and Mongolia at an altitude of 13,500 feet (4,500 meters). In response to freezing winters, the goat develops very soft and thick wool, which is carefully combed out during the summer. The tougher the winter, the thinner, the warmer and the more beautiful the under hair: this is why a Pashmina shawl floats on the shoulders, while being as warm as a coat. The precious animals are raised in herds and coddled by their nomadic goat keepers: the Pashmina wool should not be mistaken with the banned and controversial «Shatoosh», which comes from a wild Tibetan antelope which needs to be killed to get its fur and has therefore become a dying species.

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Few people know that Pashmina & Cashmere are the same!

Kashmir’s history is closely associated with the Pashmina fiber. The valley of Kashmir and its lake city of Srinagar are set in the splendid Himalayan range and the shawl industry sustains thousands of rural families who live in sheer isolation. Since Mughal times, the Kashmiris have developed unique spinning and weaving skills. The wool is acquired from neighboring Ladakh (still 14 hours away from the Kashmir valley) and spun into a gossamer yarn by women, at home.

The fiber is so fine it can only be spun by HAND: its diameter ranges from 12 to 14 microns (the average diameter of a human hair is about 70 microns). It then takes about two months to mount the yarn on the loom and about a month to weave a shawl, a manual work exclusively done by men.In the 1990’s Nepal invaded the world with pale imitations, often mixed fibers with artificial or natural silk, nothing comparable with pashmina or true cashmere. However everything was called “pashmina” which became synonymous with wool. Other countries tried to raise the “Cashmere” goat at a lower altitude and in a different environment: the harvested wool often proved thicker and coarser. Knowing and acknowledging the true value of a Pashmina shawl from Kashmir contributes to the struggle of local artisans -men and women- to retain their exclusive skills, to maintain the reputation of a unique industry and to keep intact the fame of the amazing Changra goat.

Cashmere is threatened by that fact that the new generation is not interested in this manual and intensive labor and chooses to go live in cities. Yet the demand for this quality of cashmere is increasing rapidly, therefore prices are climbing. It is not possible to trademark the word “Pashmina”; people are tempted to call anything and everything “Pashmina”, to capitalize on this demand. This is a reason why one should be careful when buying a cashmere item. If it were possible to trade-mark the word “Pashmina”, it should take into consideration the animal species used, the way it grazes and at which altitude (the same species grazing at a lower altitude develops a much grosser, less refined fiber), the fleece quality and that of the underneath under hair layer. It should also take into consideration the process of the wool transformation meaning the artisanal techniques used and the craftsmen dexterity working and weaving the Pashmina. Indian Cashmere has the most gifted craftsmen with the most experience, who have through centuries given the Pashm
ina an incomparable texture and softness.

The New Cashmere Throw:
Working with our exclusive craftsmen in Kashmir for the past few years, we at The Cashmere Touch have now developed new products such as luxurious cashmere throws, blankets and ponchos. It is the first time that craftsmen from Srinagar, capital of Indian Kashmir weave something else than a shawl in this particular quality. There is nothing comparable in quality in the market today, other cashmere throws come from Nepal or China have been standardized and have a different feel and warmth.

Best regards,
Isabelle Cajfinger” target=”_blank”>The Cashmere Touch

Contact Us!

For Appointments at this exclusive shop, email and your message will be forwarded to The Cashmere Queen at her private email address!!!

Amsterdam – Sotheby’s European Royal & Noble Family Sale

Dearest Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>If you’re like me and think that you might have accidentally been switched at birth and are actually a Princess rather than a Pauper, this is the Sotheby’s Sale for you! You can now decorate your home with paintings and works of art consigned by European Royal and Noble families!

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2008 at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam you’ll find the sale of the century! Paintings, furniture, tapestries, works of art, ceramics, carpets, glass, silver, clocks, objects of vertu, photographs and coaches – all of which were originally made for, or owned by European Royal and Noble families – will be sold at Sotheby’s Amsterdam. Monumental paintings by Hendrik van Minderhout will be sold alongside the ermine cape of Queen Maria Therese of Bavaria, the ermine muff of Empress Sisi’s younger sister (together estimated €1.500-2.500) and a group of large size photographs of members of the Royal Houses of England, Russia, Denmark and several former German kingdoms (€2.000-3.000).

A number of works from the private collection of the Van Loon family, including furniture, services and sculpture, will be offered to create funds for the Museum van Loon in Amsterdam. The Museum van Loon has the opportunity to acquire the 17th century coach house and to reunite it with the Museum. The Museum Van Loon is one of the most attractive museums of Amsterdam. Based in an authentic, double-sized canal house, it offers a fascinating insight into the lives of its former inhabitants, the prominent Amsterdam family Van Loon whose history is closely intertwined with that of Amsterdam.

The viewing days for this sale are: Friday 12, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December, daily from 10am to 17pm,
Sotheby’s Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 30
1083 HJ Amsterdam

Phone: 020 5502200

Visit Dolf D Van Omme at PAN AMSTERDAM

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Long-term readers have heard me sing the praises of Dolf D. Van Omme – a specialist in 19th-21st C European Fine Art. If you haven’t visited their Amsterdam gallery at Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 19, now is the perfect time to mark your calendar to visit their stall (#146) at the upcoming PAN Amsterdam to get a tiny taste of what’s in store before you walk in their gallery door!

This year at PAN, as always, Dolf D. Van Omme will have some excellent artists on display! I can’t wait to lay my eyes upon one particular piece of their collection premiering at PAN Amsterdam – a pastel by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) titled Paris la Nuit. Of particular interest as well is the work of artist Jan Sluijters (1881-1957). Dolf D Van Omme will be displaying 5 of his modern water colors from the Esser collection.

I received Dolf D Van Omme’s invite to the Nov 22nd opening day of PAN Amsterdam and was devastated to discover I’m out of town for this sensational first day event. Alas, I’ll be returning that evening from a house hunting trip to Berlin and fear that I won’t make it before the doors close at 9pm. Nevertheless, a day later I’ll be joining the masses when the fair opens to the public! Needless to say, stall # 146 Dolf D Van Omme will be first on my list of stalls to stop and visit!

Mark your calendar for PAN Amsterdam!

23 – 30 November 2008Amsterdam RAI-Parkhal
Daily from 11 am-7 pm
Thursday 27 and Sunday 30 November11 am-6 pm

Until Next Time,
The Antiques Diva™

Last Minute Diva – The Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The Galerie Bianca Landgraaf sent me a wonderful invitation in the mail! Unfortunately for you, I was a little late opening the letter that sat on my desk for a week amid a pile of other “to do’s”! Better late than never, I thought I’d write a quick blog encouraging A’dam-based Diva Readers to drop what they’re doing this weekend and dash to The Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam. The fair started on Oct 30 and there is only 1 day left to get to the fair – the last day of the fair is tomorrow Nov 2, 2008!

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Held in Gashouder, Westergasfabriek in downtown Amsterdam, 85 galleries set up shop selling art at affordable prices (anywhere from 100E to 5,000E). In addition to Galerie Bianca Landgraaf (who you’ll remember from my raving review of them at AFSH fair last April), other vendors on hand will be Zebra Gallery, Jan Roelof’s Contemporary Art, Jaski Art Gallery and Morgan Boyce Gallery!

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Last Minute Shoppers head to the Westgasfabriek for a sensational outing!
Sunday, Nov 2 – 11am – 6pm
Entry: 13E at the door, 11E if pre-purchased on the website.

Book a Tour

The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

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