I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you meet the nicest people on the internet. Last year when I began tweeting, one of my first twitter connections was @TopBrokerOC, a charming man named Robert Watson who lives in California and shares my passion for antiques and European Travel. Needless to say, we were fast friends! When I found out that Robert’s company Transantlantique would have a booth at the Marburger Farms Antique Fair in Round Top, Texas I knew I had to tell you about him and Kathy Klingaman, his wife and life partner!
As you can see, their inventory is simply Diva Worthy!
Born in Paris, Robert spent a good part of his life living overseas and collecting his own treasures. He lived in London and Wiesbaden, trolling the local markets for antiques and learning quickly that some of the best pieces are found at the source; boot sales in England as well as braderrie and removal sales on the continent. He’d pick up the latest copy of “Aladin” or “Troddler” magazines and hit the road for his next shopping adventure. One of his and Kathy’s favorite places to shop is Arezzo with the small brocantes all over the place. It wasn’t hard to decorate a home with some great finds and some very inexpensive prices.
Flash forward a few years – he moved to the USA to a large home on the East Coast and then later to a 2- bedroom condominium in California. Needless to say, with down-sizing properties he and Kathy had an excess of antiques that either needed to be stored or sold! And the rest is history, or rather, that was only the beginning of the beginning of Transatlantique Antiques over a decade ago.
(seen right with my cowboy boots in honor of Round Top, Texas!)
Dear Diva Readers,
In the annals of famous French men, Eugène Poubelle gets a seriously bum rap, having been all but forgotten by the sands of time. The innovative, forward-thinking of one man led to the clean-up of the city of light, and in today’s Antiques Diva Podcast I’ll tell you how inadvertently – thanks to he and his amies efforts – “les puce de Paris”, the famed French flea markets, were born.
Eugène Poubelle is the Poubelle of poubelle fame and trash containers wouldn’t be called poubelle in French if it weren’t for his contribution. This is the man who introduced the dust bin to Paris, and inadvertently, thanks to his efforts, les puces de Paris—the famed French flea markets—were born… the chiffoniers had began to see the benefit of the Parisians sorting their trash and instead of openly working during daylight hours they stole through the city by moonlight, picking the best of the bundles. The next day they would return to their post at the Porte de Clignancourt and the Porte de Vanves and Montreuil where they set up shop in makeshift shanty towns, selling the bric-a-brac they had found the night before.
While the goods for sale were intriguing, there was one flaw to the plan: often the goods for sale were infested with fleas, leading the Parisians to call an outing to the markets at the edge of town as going to “the fleas,” hence les puces de Paris.” Thanks to Monsieur Poubelle et ses amis the Marché aux Puces de Paris/St-Ouen flea market was born and today each weekend you still find flea markets at these same city gates. The rest is history. Rumor has it, the Paris Flea Market now boasts more visitors per year than the Eiffel Tower.
To read the entire article on the origins of the Paris Flea Market as published in the Bonjour Paris Newsletter, read “From Poubelle to Puce”.
Until next time,
The Antiques Diva™
Antique shopping in Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier is a destination in itself. Its streets are lined with gabled houses that are home to art galleries, antiques shops and cafés. Popping inside one of the stores in this neighborhood, you might discover a canal house converted into an antique shop or atelier with the front door facing the Spiegelstraat and the back door leading to a quiet oasis, where on sunny Dutch days you’ll find the shopkeeper reading in the garden.
Walking into these antique shops in the Spiegelkwartier you are given a glimpse of what lies beyond the doors of some of the private residences and canal houses. You can imagine Empire porcelain sets clinking as Grand Dames serve afternoon tea on long wooden oak tables. And you can picture how life used to be lived with Dutch style in the days of yore.
If you’ve only one day to dedicate to antique shopping while in Amsterdam – this is it.
The Spiegelkwartier houses over 100 specialized art and antique dealers whose wide variety of objects for sale range from archeological finds to 17th century furniture, glass and Dutch Delftware, from oriental art to Art Nouveau, from tribal art to contemporary art, from old medical instruments and clocks to jewelry and, last but not least, icons, paintings and old master prints.
This is my favorite place to spend any day in Amsterdam – the best days to go are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays when you’ll find the greatest numbers of shops are open! Mark your agenda’s for the Spiegelkwartier’s Open House this September 25 – 26 and consider booking an Antiques Diva Tour of Amsterdam to find your way into hidden courtyards, past countless canals and to antique shops spotting both the Spiegelkwartier and further afield in Jordaan and Old South!
Before I dash, I have 3 last words of travel advice before you go:
Firstly, remember that in Holland cash is king. Normally when you hear me utter this word of advice it’s because cash allows for better negotiation, but in the Spiegelkwartier where not many of the vendors will bargain significantly, that’s not my primary reason for warning you of this. In Holland, due to the high transaction fees for credit cards, not many small shops and vendors accept credit cards. Though an annoyance, you can do bank transfers should you find something you can’t live without. And by the way, even though you shouldn’t expect a major discount on Dutch antique negotiations, it is always worth asking for one! In general, in Holland, you can expect a courtesy 10% discount, but not much more.
Secondly, watch out for the bicycles. The small road width of the Spiegelstraat with its charming brick lane feel can lull you into thinking this is a pedestrian street – but it’s not! It is a main thoroughfare with bicyclists peddling past you. Crossing the streets always reminds me of playing Frogger as a child!
And lastly, don’t wear kitten heels. Amsterdam streets are killer on my shoes and a day out antiquing inevitably results in a trip to the shoe cobbler if I forget to wear my loafers. Of course, maybe I’m going a little “too far” with the comfortable shoe option in the picture on the right?
Until next time, Happy Shopping.
The Antiques Diva™
(photo credit right: The English Rose)
Dear Diva Readers,
Each month I write a column for Bonjour Paris Newsletter titled “Ask The Antiques Diva™”. In this month’s column a Parisian party planner takes time off from the hectic world of weddings to plan her own vacation in the Paris of the East. I dish out advice, giving her best bets for buying antiques in Budapest. From the Ecseri Flea Market to Falk Miksa utca, I explain why I think Budapest is called the Paris of the East!
Read the Article about Flea Marketing in the Paris of the East!
Until next time, Happy Reading!
The Antiques Diva™
Get ready, get set, mark your calendars – some of my favorite Dutch antique dealers are opening their doors for special fetes this June and you’re invited to shop your heart out diva-style all around Amsterdam!
June 4 – 6 June and 11-13 June from 12-8pm
Join Johan de Feijter for his special theme “Viva La France” at his shop Chambre des Amies! While I’ve written frequently about de Feijters sensational shop, I recently discovered that he’s also been in Travel+Leisure magazine and I simply have to share what T+L had to say about Chambre des Amies:
Owner Johan de Feijter founded Chambre d’Amis by accident. “I used to fill my house with things I’d find at flea and Belgium,” he says. “A few years ago there was an art fair in my neighborhood, and someone asked if she could show her paintings in my house. As they walked through, people kept asking to buy my things, and I thought, Maybe I should go into business.” These days, in his front room, kitchen, and courtyard garden, you’ll find all the flea-market treasures you’ve been too impatient to hunt for — vintage mercury-glass bowls ($190) and candlesticks ($125), creamy ceramic French, Belgian, and Dutch tableware from the 1800’s, turn-of-the-century photographs. Since the exquisitely edited store is a sideline for de Feijter (he’s a sexologist), he keeps eccentric hours — usually Thursday through Saturday, noon to six.
By appt +31-20 623 6204.
Next up, is another all-time Amsterdam favorite – Brederode Kunst & Antiek – ran by the effervescent Annette Brederode in her own home! When you arrive at the address Lijnbaansgracht 56 D in Amsterdam’s Jordaan you might think I’ve lead you astray for you’ll find yourself standing in front of an apartment building rather than a typical antique shop. Never fear, ring the buzzer marked Brederode and mount the stairs to step into a typical French brocante! You must click around my blog to read more about this sensational shop and to see more pics of the type of inventory Brederode specializes in! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Brederode Kunst Antiek
By appt + 31 20 6236 236
June 12-13, 19-20 from 11am-19:00
Robert Schreduer Antiquair
By Appt + 31 6 2428 9550
The Antiques Diva
In my “Ask The Antiques Diva™” column from this month’s Bonjour Paris Newsletter, a reader writes in to ask about “Antiquing in Provence”. I discuss my favorite flea markets in Provence and recommend an essential book for travelers in France. Plus, I share tips on why you should and why you should not shop in l’Isle sur la Sorgue!
Until Next Time,
P.S. Email me at email@example.com to find out how you can get a FREE Bonjour Paris Premium Membership (a $39 value)!
Angelica Arbulu Photography
When: Monday, April 5 2010
Where: Place d’Aligre near Metro: Ledru-Rollin
What: 100 vendors selling antiques, collectibles and bric-a-brac
The Antiques Diva™ is going Double-Diva on you… not only will you find me writing here on The Antiques Diva™ blog as normal, but twice a month you can also read my column as the In-House Antiques Expert in the Bonjour Paris newsletter – the definitive guide to Paris! I’ll be writing about everything from my favorite flea market towns in France to giving tips on how to bargain in France, what to buy and where and when to buy it.
To find out where the best brocantes are in Paris this March, April, and May see the Spring Parisian Flea Market Calendar in the Bonjour Paris newsletter!
Make sure to subscribe for free to the Bonjour Paris newsletter by clicking here!
Dear Diva Readers –
STOP THE PRESS!!!
La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou start’s today – March 12th!
Come! Come now to this suburb just outside Paris, France!! You’ll find the absolute best assortment of French antiques plus some wonderful food all in one locale – what more could a person ask for??
Friday, March 12 to Sunday March 21*
Daily from 10am – 7pm.
*Dealers shop early on March 11 with invitation for entrance.
the Parisian suburb of ile de Chatou
Europe’s best twice annual flea market with over 800 vendors !
How to Get There :
Take RER A Direction Saint Germain en Laye to stop Chatou
Don’t forget to book an Antiques Diva Tour to visit the famed flea market on the arm of a seasoned shopper !
The Antiques Diva™
It’s time to go to Bath – but please, darlings, don’t pronounce this town as if it were a hygene term. Try as you might to drawl a proper vowel in the centre of the word to give this world heritage city the proper homage! Oprah voted Bath to be on her “top 10 list of must see places in the world”… so what better time to go than during the 21st annual Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair going on March 4, 5 & 6th, 2010. Of course, if this late notice means you can’t make the fair, no worries, for a visit to Bath is good anytime of year – I consider it a staple in my list of Diva-Must Do (and Repeat) Places on Earth!
Here are a few pictures from my most recent visit to Bath!
The Roman Baths
The Royal Crescent
Robin Coleman, founder of the Fair and exhibitor of folk art and country and painted furniture and decorative accessories will host the launch of the West of England Antique Dealers’ Association’s new Guide to Buying Antiques 2010/11 on the opening night of the Fair and the Chairman of the Association, Patrick Macintosh will be one of the regular exhibitors showing his range of Country House furniture.
A visit to the Fair may also be easy on the pocket – exhibitors donate £25 to the Fair’s chosen charity, Rowdeford School for Children with Special Needs, and as a non-profit making event prices are kept to a friendly level to encourage trade and public alike to visit the splendid Georgian city of Bath each year.
All told it promises to be an exciting event, retaining its position as a premier Fair in the antiques calendar.
BATH DECORATIVE & ANTIQUES FAIR
North Parade Road
Bath BA2 4EU
* Planning restrictions in the World Heritage City of Bath prevent road signs, so please follow signs for the Sports Centre
Following you’ll find a sneak peek at some of the inventory on offer!
The Antiques Diva™
(seen right dipping my toe in the famed Roman baths)