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Diva-scovery: Bliss Farm Antiques

A Letter from an Antiques Diva Reader:
to 10px; WIDTH: 245px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />” target=”_blank”>Robert Frost’s Mail Box: Photo courtesy of America Foto Moments
Dear Antiques Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>You had given me advice and-much welcomed-encouragement for my trip to shop the flea markets of Paris. I thank you so much for your tips! The trip was wonderful! I went to the Place de la Bastille antiques show and to the Porte de Vanves flea market among other markets.

The Paris flea market I found most disappointing (I had read about it in a book – it wasn’t on your advice list) was Montreuil… Beggars lined the streets getting to the market (it was a very sad sight) and most of the market was new, junky stuff. Icky! To top it off, it’s a long metro ride. I think I spent more money giving handouts to the poor than at that particular market!

The Brocante at the Place de la Bastille was expensive, but what a site to behold! Gorgeous! I got great decorating ideas for my shop and a few trinkets. My fav Paris flea market was the Porte de Vanves where I got many good deals and the atmosphere was grand!

Thanks again for the information and encouragement, it was truly appreciated.

Jackie Lantry
Bliss Farm Antiques

PS. I’m happy to say I felt right at home in Paris! I was nervous before going that as a sensibly dressed American I wouldn’t fit it and that everyone would be wearing black!


Dear Jackie,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>What an absolute delight to receive feedback on your Paris antiques shopping trip! It sounds like you had a ball and it was so wonderful to tour the Paris flea markets thru your eyes! I agree with you regarding both Montreuil and Porte de Vanves. Indeed, Bastille can be expensive, but isn’t it oh-so swoon worthy! In addition to your great feedback on the markets, I was delighted to see pictures of your shop in Rehoboth, Massachusetts – it looks like you scored some delicious inventory for your clients!

Today on my blog I’d like to feature YOU – Jackie Lantry of Bliss Farm Antiques – as The Diva of The Day!!!

Sincerely Yours,

The Antiques Diva™

(this crown seen right is just for you!)

Diva-scovery: Bliss Farm Antiques:

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 53px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 339px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Bliss Farm Antiques has a beautiful inventory of antique, vintage and artisan finds. On a mission to sell only green and artisan made items, everything in their shop has been re-cycled, re-configured or up-cycle! In other words – nothing from Bliss Farm Antiques is factory made. Owner Jackie Lantry lives on “the farm,” a few acres of land in Southeastern Massachusetts, where she not only sells antiques and vintage treasures, but she grows peonies for wholesale! Last year she cut over 6,000 flowers in 10 days of harvest!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 280px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />While her shop also sells online at Etsy, if you visit the shop – it’s a sight to behold – you can walk a labyrinth built with “found” materials or sit in the garden and listen to the birds.

417 Tremont Street
Rehoboth, Massachusetts – USA

HOURS Thursday–Sunday open from 10am–6pm (and by appointment)

Make sure to visit The Bliss Farm Antiques Blog!

2010 Bliss Farm Antiques Show Schedule:

MARCH 2010
3/27/10 and 3/28/10 from 10am-4pm

MAY 2010
5/12/10 THRU 5/15/10/

JULY 2010
7/14/10 THRU 7/18/10

9/8/10 THRU 9/12/10

Fri-Sun, 12/3rd, 4th & 5th. Stop by for yummy treats, special sales, and a big GIVEAWAY. Register to win a custom wreath (value $75) or a surprise gift! 10AM-5PM

Think Outside the Decorating Box

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 213px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>You might remember a couple months ago I did a blog post on ton-usa-edition.html” target=”_blank”>The Urban Market’s November 8 antiques fair in Houston. On that post I included a picture of a darling wagon, calling it “the Find of the Day” and claiming it would make a sensational, eclectic coffee table for those who are interested in using fun finds in unique and interesting ways as home décor!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Just a few days after posting that picture I stumbled upon a picture in the July/August 2009 Elle Décor magazine featuring a similar wagon just as I described this one’s potential! Needless to say, I had to share it with you to help you visualize how one might turn a wagon into a coffee table!

The text on the feature photo reads:

to 10px; WIDTH: 312px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />“The living area of the barn turned guest cottage of Dan MacDonald and Gregg Kaminsky’s Long Island New York retreat, Cow Pond Farm, which was decorated by Kathleen Clements, has vintage photographs and subway sign displayed above a Chesterfield sofa from Mecox Gardens. The pillows are made from old grain sacks and an antique bellman’s car serves as a cocktail table. The rug is by Lauren, Ralph Lauren Home.”

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Recently, while at Antiek d’ Eglantier Amsterdam, I stumbled upon these charming potato sacks and think they would go perfect with the décor in the room above!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Meanwhile I might just use them for a “Do-It-Yourself-Diva” project to make footstools similar to this pair of footstools recovered with La Post bags which I found on my to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza!

Until next time, think outside the decorating box!

The Antiques Diva ™

Jewels Glitter at The Zeist Castle, The Netherlands

Netherlands-Based Diva Readers – Save the Date!

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Winterexpositie Het Juweel 2009

het Slot Zeist, Zeist
Friday 27 -Sunday 29 November 2009
11am – 7pm

Jewels Glitter at the Slot Zeist!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>From the 27-29 November 2009, the 17th C Zeist Castle near Utrecht will be aglow with jewelry, not on display in museum-like-fashion, but for you to try on and buy from the most prominent & trustworthy jewelers, antique dealers and noble blacksmiths of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Among those in residence on Winterexpositie days will be the charming David Aardewerk of Rocks and Clocks whose inventory is simply to die for!

On an Antiques Diva Tour in The Hague recently, David shared a glimpse into his collection and I was utterly smitten – his collection runs the gamut of items for the Mr. or the Mrs. from vintage & antique watches, to purse clocks, to beautiful baubles from the Art Deco period and beyond! I’ve got my eye on a pair of Van Cleef and Arples cufflinks for my husband as a Christmas cadeaux and would be delighted if I could convince the hubster that I desperately need that platinum, gold, diamond & emerald 1920’s Dutch Art Deco ring Rocks & Clocks has in inventory! If you’re looking for a special present for someone else (or better yet, yourself) you must visit Winterexpositie Het Juweel 2009 this November and if you can’t make these dates, never fear: Rocks & Clocks is at present updating their website with a sensational collection of “Must-Have Diva-Worthy Accessories” – so stay tuned for details on their website launch:

Where: Slot Zeist
Entrance Price: € 12.50 per person

Parking is free in the vicinity of the Slot Zeist. Don’t worry if you have to park “too far” away from the castle, simply wave down one of the free shuttle-service transporting passengers to the castle!

Until Next Time, Layer on those Jewels!

The Antiques Diva™

(seen right with an Irish friend modeling jewels for a charity auction last year at Amsterdam’s Grand Hotel)

One Minute Diva: Jolietrouvaille – Great Vendor at Chatou!

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Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In preparation for to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Diva Tours Fall French Flea Market Extravaganza, I wanted to highlight again one of my favorite vendors at tou/foire/jamb.htm” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon. This Paris-suburb flea-market in Chatou is in only a few weeks and the anticipation is driving me crazy – everyone is talking about it! I can almost smell the ham in the air! In this One Minute Diva, I wanted to encourage Diva Readers visiting Chatou this fall to stop by (and shop your heart out) at one of my favorite vendors – Blandine Bavoux’s quintessentially French stall located at 72 Allée Nouvelle.

top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;margin-left:10px;font-family: Arial,Helvetica,Georgia;font-size:22px;line-height:18px;color:grey;text-align: right;”>Armchair travelers don’t despair! shop online Jolietrouvaille

Armchair travelers, don’t despair! The good news is that you don’t have to go to The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham to benefit from Blandine’s cute French country kitchen collectibles and antiques. You can either stop by her stall at Chatou or buy online at Jolietrouvaille! Either way, make sure you tell her The Antiques Diva™ sent you! By the way, I happen to know she keeps a stash of cookies and warm tea on a shelf in her stall – it’s reserved for special guests but I’m certain if you linger long enough that she’d indulge you!

tou.jpg”>tou.jpg” border=”0″ />tou-brocante.html” target=”_blank”>The picture above is courtesy of fellow blogger Tara Bradford of Paris Parfait. Visit Tara’s divalicious site to see more gorgeous photos of Blandine’s stall and other Chatou pics! Tara intersperses gorgeous photos and musings of her life in France with witty political commentary!

Until Next time,

The Antiques Diva™

(picture at right taken in Blandine’s Booth at the March 2008 La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon )

P.S. A very special “thank you” to Blandine for supporting the Diva Tours at Chatou!

England’s Museum of Victorian Curiosities May 18-21, 2009 Auction

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Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One of my favorite blogs, Paris Hotel Boutique Journal, (a San Francisco-based antiques dealer who muses about the glitz and glamour of a bygone era) recently posted an incredible scoop, giving divalicious details on an upcoming auction.

to 10px; WIDTH: 275px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 194px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Paris Hotel Boutique advises:
The Shambles Museum in Gloucestershire England is closing its doors and thus this Museum of Victorian Curiosities is holding a 4 day auction this May 18-21, 2009. They’ll be auctioning off over 2000 sensational finds!

Lynn shares a few of her favorite finds and I fear she and I might start a bidding war between the two of us as I’ve got my eye on more than a few of the items she’s highlighted!!! To compliment her divalicious collection, I’ve added a few more selections below!

While non-UK based Diva Readers might be thinking, “Oh Diva, this is yet another place I’d love to go but can’t – that whole I don’t live in England thing gets in the way!” Never fear – you can join the bidding without leaving home!

Simon Chorley Art & Antiques is posting the catalog online and accepting internet, email, commission and telephone bids – and best of all, they will recommend a courier firm to deliver your purchase chez vous! For a small fee , they even pack your purchase safe & sound for delivery!

A few items in addition to PHB’s selections include:

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A 19th C sheep dip measure for Bigg’s Dipping Composition – Leicester House, London, 10cm/4” high
Estimate: £ 30 – 50

Lot 2070 – You can find replicas of these English pottery containers at Ballard Designs but I have to say the originals are much more charming and pack a wonderful GRAPHIC PUNCH when used in bathrooms or kitchens as functional décor! Should I “win” this bid, I’ll be packing it full of cotton balls, stashing q-tips in it or dropping my Blackberry charger inside!
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A turned beech framed shaving mirror with supports on each side fitted with a swing arm sconce for candles on circular base. 39.5 cm/15.5” high + 2 more shaving mirrors thrown in for the fun of it! A perfect present for my husband WG!
Estimate £ 40 – 60

to-beard-or-not-to-beard.html” target=”_blank”>Lot 1386 – An anniversary present for WG! He’s an “to-beard-or-not-to-beard.html” target=”_blank”>Art of Shaving” man and it just so happens while the sale is going on we’ll be in Florence Italy celebrating our 13th year wedding anniversary!

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Victorian walnut tilt top table, with oval top on a loped column supporting issuing four carved cabriole legs with shell feet on castors, bears label for TH Filmer & Sons, London 112cm/44” long.
Estimate £ 300-500

Lot 1395 – In fact, this one I’m only interested in for purely selfish reasons – I’ve this tables sister at home in the sitting area of my office! I bought it for a song (less than 200E) when an antique store in my village in Holland went out of business.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A brown glazed lavatory bowl, the interior transfer printed in blue & white, a Cheltenham Sanitary Closet and a white lavatory bowl.
Estimate: £ 40 – 60

Lot 2010 is something I know I want “someday” when we buy and renovate our 2nd home in Italy or France. The estimate on these lavatory bowls is SOOO sensational that I might buy this now and stick it in the basement until I need it! This is a great price (especially with the current exchange rate) if it goes for estimate!

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A tin hip bath (110cm/43.25) long and hot water can.
Estimated for 20-30£

Lot 1383a Remember La Reine’s post last summer when she turned her antique Hungarian bath tub into an herb garden?

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 266px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Sundry Beer Barrels
Estimate: £ 20 – 30

Lot 1842 – I’m certain Guest Blogger La Reine would think of something to do with these too in her garden!

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A large tole flour bin with D shaped hinged lid 61cm/24” high.
Estimate: £ 80 – 120

Lot 1811 – Wouldn’t this make an excellent extra trash can for the kitchen? Now that I’m a recycling queen I’m always in search of more “recycling” storage solutions! A little pricy for “poubelle” but sensational nonetheless!

to 10px; WIDTH: 251px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A Christy’s grey top hat made for Spence & Co Ltd Madras, plus 2 additional grey top hats and 2 bowler hats. Estimate: £ 30 – 40

Lot 248 – an instant hat collection!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 290px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A quantity of wooden and other hat display stands
Estimate: £ 20 – 30

Lot 280 – Of course, if you’re buying the hats you’d better get hat stands!

to 10px; WIDTH: 218px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A Harris & Sheldon Tailor’s dummy – the canvas covered torso sits on a turned wood adjustable pole, 107cm/42”
Estimate: £80-120

Lot 365 – Last but not least, I’ve been dying for one of these for years… again I love the lines and graphic punch a dress form makes in a bedroom, dressing room or master bath! It’s not just a charming bid to the past, but it’s also practical – you can drape necklaces or scarves putting the dummy to good use!

Additional Sale Details:
Auction viewing dates are 14- 17 May, 2009
Entry into the sale is by catalog only (which admits 2 people).

Bid Online Now!!!

Until next time, happy shopping!!!

The Antiques Diva™

Reader Question: Paris Flea Market Dates

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Dear Diva,

top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I love your blog! You have inspired me!! I am traveling to Paris on April 28 for 1 week and am hoping to go to Chatou. Do you know if the flea market is on-going? Perhaps during the weekend only?



Dearest Robin,

top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I hate to dash your dreams, but the Foire Nationale de la Brocante et Jambon won’t be going on when you’re in Paris next week! This fair, held in Chatou, is only twice a year and you just missed the March 6 – 15, 2009 dates and the next dates for this fair are not until Sept 25-Oct 4, 2009. 

to 10px; width: 240px; cursor: hand; height: 320px; text-align: center;” src=”” alt=”” border=”0″ />Paris Flea Market Dates

A good standby for flea marketing anytime when in Paris is the torique/Default.htm” target=”_blank”>Paris flea market at Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Puces de Saint-Ouen. This well-organized flea market has no stalls set up on blankets in the street – instead it has permanent structures housing millions of euro of inventory, complete with 13 districts, 2000 vendors & 7 miles of alleys! It’s on every weekend Friday – Monday. Friday is dealer day, Saturday and Sunday is shopping for mere mortals. Monday is a nice day to go as there are smaller crowds at this typically overcrowded market; however, many of the vendors are closed or close early in the spirit of TGIM! (Thank God It’s Monday).
Another regularly scheduled weekend flea market in Paris is the Porte de Vanves market. Not as big as Les Puces, this market in Paris’ 14eme arrondisment has more than 350 vendors open Saturday and Sunday from 7am-3pm all year. The smaller-sized makes it a more compact outing for a morning’s brocanting.
to 10px; width: 320px; cursor: hand; height: 100px; text-align: center;” src=”” alt=”” border=”0″ />If you’d like to wander off the tourist paths, then consider going to a traveling brocante. I did a wee bit of research for you and on 1-3rd May there will be a traveling brocante at the Brocante Square des Batignolles. BrocaBrac is a great site to discover what flea markets are happening when and where across France. To navigate the site, simply click on the map, check the area of France you will be visiting and a list of flea markets happening within the next month will appear, telling you the location of the markets. Click on the market and more information will appear including the number of vendors and the hours of market operation. Be sure to check out this secret diva source before your next trip to Paris… and speaking of Paris, I’m off myself to the city of light this next weekend, but more on that later!

Until then… à bientôt et bon voyage!

The Antiques Diva™

Last Minute Diva – TEFAF

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Don’t forget TEFAF starts today – Friday March 13 – and runs through next weekend March 22, 2009.

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>TEFAF is more than an arts and antiques show. It is THE EUROPEAN FINE ARTS FAIR – the most prestigious arts and antiques fair in the world. Dana Micucci writes in Veranda magazine (March/April 2006), “The Netherlands may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but when it comes to art and antiques it leaves a big foot print. This industrious nation of seafaring merchants gave the West some of its first art dealers, auctoneers and affluent collectors. It claims some of the world’s finest museums, and it was the birthplace of many illustrious artists – Vermeer, Rembrantdt and van Gogh – to name a few. It is also home to The European Fine Arts Fair – the prestigious art and antique fair that takes place in the small Dutch border town of Maastricht. Beyond The Netherland’s historical, cultural and commercial prowess lies a distinctive Dutch character – rooted in a subtle combination of the cozy and cosmopolitan, the intimate and urbane, which permeates its ancient cities, Old Master still lifes and genre paintes as well as it’s deocartive antiques such as Delftware, pewter and glass. There is no better place than TEFAF to find such a stunning array of treasures so clealy imbued with the Dutch spirit”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 214px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />I would add to Dana’s words that vendors and buyers alike come from the four corners of the world – 82% of the participants are non-Dutch with 220 art and antiques representative checking-in from 15 different countries. Museum curators and trustees from 25 countries visited TEFAF in 2008 including the major American institutions, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Shanghai Art Museum, the Tate Britain in London and both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
to 10px; WIDTH: 244px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Competition for a stall at the fair is fiercer than Olympic figure skating (and behind-the-scenes stories make Tonya Harding seem tame). For an antiques dealer, making the fair means they’ve made it! Only the best of the best are allowed to participate in the event. But this year TEFAF is doing something new. They recognize that it is difficult for new dealers to “make it’ into the show when competing against buisnesses which have been around longer than many nations. Thus, TEFAF has recently added The TEFAF Showcase for recently established vendors. These debutantes are allowed to participate in the Showcase strictly on a one-off basis, thereby giving young dealers the exposure of being part of a major international fine art event. TEFAF stall rentals typically run for rates equal to buying an ownership share in an NFL football team, but these debutantes are allowed to participle for peanuts. Their TEFAF costs aren’t as high as the big boys fees, thus their “needed profit margin” aren’t going to be as high. In my opinion, these are the dealers to watch. If you like their inventory, get their names and contact information and 6 months after the fair (once the post-TEFAF- euphoria wears off and their prices have floated back down to reality) give them a call about the item you’re interested in!

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As you walk about the carefully decorated stalls look around – not just at the items for sell, the great floral arrangments and the innovative décor, but at the other visitors to the fair. See that guy over there – he’s a private buyer who just flew in on his private jet. Of course, unless you are a polyglot, you might find eavesdropping on the rich and famous to be a bit difficult. You’re as likely to hear English spoken as you are Russian, Chinese, Aarbic, French, Portugese, German, Dutch or Italian. It’s as if you’ve taken the worlds wealthiest citizens, thrown them in a Baccarat martini shaker and added copious quantities of cologne, silk ascots, and mink. The cocktail comes out tasting a tad Fitzgeraldesque, but with price tags included.

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Photo above by tos/20375562@N02/sets/72157615400184536/” target=”_blank”>Max-Nathan Punter

It’s this latter reason that I send you to the show. When you go to a museum you can’t touch the art, you don’t get to see the reverse of the painting and you certainly don’t hear how much money a Monet costs. But at TEFAF, you can do all these things. Entrance for 2 into TEFAF costs more than I spent on the pair of brass turn-of-the-century-Polish candlesticks I bought at a flea market in Gdansk which grace my table, but the cost is worth it. At 55E per person (it does include the stupendous fair catalog – eye candy itself) you might be wondering why I’m sending you there. Unless your budget is a whole lot bigger than mine you most likely won’t be doing any buying at the fair. Consider it a day out window shopping. But, oh honey, the window shopping is good. Down right Divalicious.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 213px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />I always tell Diva Clients who are interested in learning about antiques to go to the museums. Study the art, study quality and then take that knowledge home with you and out to the flea market and apply it at prices that don’t rival the USA’s national deficit. This is why you go to TEFAF. You go to TEFAF to educate your eye so that you recognize quality (and while you’re there to try and hone in on a few free glasses of champagne). The worlds best antiques have been gathered in this one location (I cringe to think what insurance for the fair must cost). No where else (includng the world’s best museums – the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, th
e Uffizi or the Met) will you find a collection of art and antiques this good in one locale… that is, until next year. For the fair has been held every March since 1975, recession or no recession.
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Ben Janssens, Chairman of TEFAF’s Executive Committee, said: “There is no evidence that the jittery financial markets have discouraged art buyers and in fact the reverse seems to be true. Visitors said to me that they see no point in investing in stocks at the moment and prefer to put their money into art and antiques. What has also been encouraging is the increase in visitors from Asia including, for the first time, two groups totaling 20 people from mainland China.”

Dates for March 2010 are not yet available but typically TEFAF posts the next year’s dates within weeks following it’s current fair. This information, my friends, is key for you. It might be too late for you to catch a train or book a flight to this years TEFAF, but you will certainly want to add TEFAF to your 2010 calendar and while you’re at it go ahead and book the hotel. Hotels for 30 miles around book up a year in advance.

Just as TEFAF has vetting committees to guarantee the quality, authenticity and condition of the work (taking works of art that do not meet their high standards out of the dealers possession until the fair is over), I have a Diva Guarantee that will be the finest fine arts fair you’ll ever attend!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva ™

All photos except for the one indicated are property of Art – das Kunstmagazin

Upcoming Antiques Fairs from Paris to New York

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>You’ve heard La Reine wax poetically about Paris’ popular Salon D’Antiquites Brocante at the Place de la Bastille in prior posts. Needless to say as soon as Joel Garcia sent an email telling their upcoming dates I knew that inquiring minds needed the scoop – so mark your calendars shoppers! Over 400 antiquaires et brocanteurs will set up shop this May following this year’s theme “L’EVASION…LES VOYAGES…LE LOINTAIN”.

Salon D’Antiquites et Brocante
Place de Bastille – Paris
7 – 17 May, 2009
Hours: 11am – 7pm daily
Admission: 8 Euro

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Meanwhile, back on the other side of the pond, The Contessa has shared another diva-worthy tip: The Pier Show in New York City will be held this weekend for the last time until November 2009! You better come quick for this is a LAST MINUTE DIVA ANNOUNCEMENT!

The Pier Show – NYC
March 14 -15, 2009
New Hours: 10am – 6pm on BOTH DAYS
Admission – $15
Do Note: All exhibits will be held in ONE building – Pier 94, 12th Avenue @ 55th Street, NYC


Stella Show’s shares some excellent tips for shoppers new to The Pier Show:

If you can’t be there early Saturday, come later…your Saturday admission includes a courtesy pass to return on Sunday.

– Pick up a show guide or just bring a pen to note where you want to go back to – it’s a big show, you think you’ll remember but it’s hard.

– Bring a shopping bag – there’s shipping for the big stuff but there are TONS of fab smalls at great prices. I think you’ll find something.

– Park in one of the neighborhood lots or on the street on Sunday (when you don’t have to feed the meters) instead of on the roof of the Piers – it’s cheaper… or if you came by cab take The Pier’s free shuttle back to midtown (runs every hour till 3 and then every half hour till closing.)

– Bring your measurements and paint chips – the furniture, art and textiles are incredible. I’m still kicking myself over the pink, yes pink, kitchen table that sold while I was seeing if it would fit.

– There’s an ATM and many dealers take checks and credit cards but cash is still king with antiques dealers. (The ATM has been known to run out of cash).

– Bring a friend and pick a place to meet before you go in – there is not a PA for folks who lose each other.

– It’s fun to just look too. Each booth has a different style and dealers come in from all over. It’s like going to 500 shops as different as Tiffany is from Target.

Guest Blog – Paris Parfait Writes “The Art of the Deal”

As The Antiques Diva continues taking a “break from her blog” whilst settling into her new home in Berlin post-move, the Guest Blog Marathon continues with a highly esteemed visitor taking the helm in today’s muse.

Today’s Guest Blogger is Tara Bradford, American author of the “tres populaire” blog Paris Parfait, which seems to have a dash of everything from art, antiques, culture and poetry to photography and a liberal dose of political ponderings. In today’s special Antiques Diva post, you’ll see why The Diva fell in love with Paris Parfait’s writing style as Tara writes about a recent visit to a flea market as if she were recounting a romance tale.


Paris Parfait Guest Blog – The Art of the Deal

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 317px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>She spotted it right away, but pretended not to notice. In French, she asked him to show her Russian religious icons, one after the other. But she wasn’t interested in Russian icons; not today.

Before that afternoon at the brocante at Parc des Princes, she’d never been interested in daggers. But at first glance at the antique dealer’s table, she could see one was very special. Four ancient ceremonial daggers were lined up in a row, their scabbards gleaming; the handles studded with semi-precious stones. Casually, she asked to see the one she liked least. He detected an accent and began talking in English about his days at university in Scotland. He went on and on, caught up in happy memories, no longer paying any attention to trying to sell his antiques.

“I’m not English,” she said. He looked crestfallen. “But your accent?…”

“I’m American,” she responded. “Perhaps you think my accent sounds a bit English, because my husband is British.”

“Ah, that’s it,” he nodded, knowingly. And he kept talking about Scotland, about his English girlfriends at university; about the fierce winters that made him long for the desert.

She asked him to show her another dagger. It was beautiful, but not unusual. Finally, she asked to see the one that had made her inwardly catch her breath.

As he drew the dagger from its silver and bronze scabbard, she tried not to react at the rare sight of the hand-carved keyhole and hand-etched design. She brushed aside his talk of the ivory handle, inlaid with coral stones. She shrugged and said, “Yes, it’s nice. How much”?

“550 Euros,” he replied gravely. She laughed. “You might as well stab me in the heart with it then.”

“350 Euros,” he offered. “No, I don’t have that kind of cash with me, but thanks,” she said, shaking her head and turning to go.

Then she looked back at him and asked, in Arabic, “Do you speak Arabic?”

“Do I speak Arabic??!!” he exclaimed. And the words came tumbling out, one after the other, so fast she could barely keep up, as he told her his story. She listened, nodding and trying to make appropriate remarks in the flowery language she hadn’t attempted for ages. After a few minutes, she asked, in Arabic, his best price for the dagger.

“For you, 100 Euros!” he shouted, beaming. “Thank you,” she responded, smiling as she handed over the cash. And he, too was happy, even though he’d dramatically undersold a 200-year-old piece.

Photo of Tara, courtesy of Di Mackey Photographer, Woman Wandering


Paris Parfait Photography:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 France License.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 317px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: Antique Syrian dagger, which has not been cleaned in many, many years on top of a Lehnert & Landrock photograph.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 227px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: Close-up view of the silver and bronze dagger’s keyhole design.
to 10px; WIDTH: 277px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: A 19th-century Moroccan silver coin necklace purchased Sunday from another dealer at the brocante – no bargaining required. The coins rubbing together sound like little tinkling bells, as you walk. The mosque image is part of Tara’s collection of Lehnert & Landrock photographs

Guest Blog: Mantiques – The Professor Shops Chatou

Regular Diva Readers know how I adore the twice annual 10 day tou/foire/acc.htm” target=”_blank”>“National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham” held in the Paris suburb of L’ile de Chatou. You’ve heard me tou” target=”_blank”>wax poetically about this market on numerous occasions and in numerous publications and you’ve even read a guest blog from Lady Lotus on the subject. Now, Lady Lotus’ husband, The Professor, has taken time to add his 2 cents in this blog titled:

“Mantiques – The Professor Shops Chatou”


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When a man says something about getting wood, some minds may wander down more prurient paths. Clearly, these people have never been shopping for antique wooden furniture at Chatou, the grand antique bizarre to the West of Paris.

The real pleasure may not be shopping for some table made of an old worm-eaten bit of bark, but instead the ham. The very name of the event, Chatou Foire au Jambon (Chatou Ham Festival), tells the tale: the event is not merely for dainty antique-o-philes of stereotype. It is also – even primarily – a place to go for ham. Ham choices are various. They include a ham sandwich that is so piled with add-ons that it is a food grenade for anyone who dares try to eat it while wearing good clothes. There is usually some form of ham-and-cheese mixture in a hot pot, typically to be served with boiled potato slices. Roast ham is everywhere. So, too, is a selection of mostly white wines and beers. All this is central to the market, self-righteously occupying the central rows of the grounds.

The antique shopping itself is rather enjoyable, possibly because the goods for sale are not antiques by French standards. In France, an antique is old. The people in the paintings on sale at a real antique market died before your great-grandparents were born. At an antique shop, “second empire” is hardly old enough. There, a chair on sale might have last suffered an ass more than a hundred years ago.

The market at Chatou is a brocante, which might be something like a junk sale to the blasé French. “What, less than a hundred years old? Mon dieu, it’s still trash.” The objects for sale at Chatou, excepting the ham of course, tend to be anywhere from a few decades old to a few hundred. This garage-sale material from France may be mouthwatering to the shopper from the Western US, where some states themselves are not quite a hundred years old. At lunchtime, the merchants shamelessly sit on the very chair you might want to buy and spread their hams and drinks on the table you are eyeing. “Excusez-moi, but would you try not to get any condensation rings on the table I am buying?”

There are challenges of shopping at Chatou. First and foremost, there is the fine balance between eating and drinking too much and effective shopping. Clearly, every man must face this burden in his own way. My preference is to arrive in the morning, shop for a while, and end with a late lunch.

This sequence leads me to throw caution to the wind when choosing my heaps of ham and accompanying liquids as my shopping is finished. After that, I am useless for shopping and it’s time to nap my way back to Paris by train. The only interruption for the rest of the day is my own quiet belches – and my wife nudging me and telling me to stop belching, even quietly.

The second challenge is the shopping. This entails two steps: scouting and negotiating. I particularly enjoy the scouting part because I cheat. My wife, knowing that I am a lousy shopper, will have already scouted at the event with more patient friends earlier in the week. This may seem bizarre: why, this man wonders, would anyone go shopping twice? I’d go twice for the ham, but not for shopping. Perhaps it is a mystery of the universe not to be solved here, but why do women bother to identify the things they want to buy, but not buy them? Yet she claims to enjoy this method. I enjoy not scouting.

The negotiations can be a chore. It typically starts before you know it. By the time you have come within 10 meters (must be metric in France), the merchant will have sized you up and decided how much can be wrung from you. As a visitor from the US, you are stamped with the word “sucker” until you prove otherwise. This can be accomplished by showing a modicum of appreciation for the object in question, rather than a lackadaisical interest as might suggest itself when your wife’s fancy falls on some frilly whatever that you know will mock you from the wall beside your television until you accidentally break it while she is away. Speaking a bit of French is always welcome, even if the negotiations end up devolving into typed numbers on a calculator for want of any real foreign language abilities on either side.

The verbal negotiations are fraught. Just how much is the thing worth – taking into account the type of wood, the Louis-Philippe style, the crack on the side, the evidence of worm damage, the replacement of the handles, and so on – is irrelevant for most people. As we usually plan to keep it, the question is how much it is worth to the buyer and whether or not
we can get it cheaper. This requires seeing the prices on comparable pieces at the market and some pre-negotiation negotiating among the buying spouses.

Chatou negotiations tend to be good natured as far as such things go, particularly as compared to, say, the markets of Marrakesh or the rug merchants of Istanbul. But the vendor would probably be willing to let you pay much more than you should. Negotiations can often be complicated if you add in an object mid-way through. However, one will ideally have identified any “throw-in” beforehand lest, as in the case of one infamous shopping expedition, one’s wife identifies some trinket off-hand that leads the merchant’s eyes to widen as multi-digit price calculations race through his mind.

The third challenge of the shopping expedition is getting the object home. Even for ex-pats in Paris, this can be a bit of a chore, as anyone who has tried to arrange their day around a typical French delivery time knows. The statement that the delivery will be “sometime next Wednesday” often leads to boring days awaiting a delivery, rescheduling after they do not show up, and so on. For the international traveler, modern airline restrictions may constitute more than a mere nuisance. For example, I was quite concerned that the airline staff would not let me carry an old cane with a brass handle onto the plane. Fortunately, it passed the test: one staff person glanced at it, then rapped it against her own head before judging that it was safe. The challenge of getting the loot home would be amplified if one sought to buy some nice big armoire of walnut with mirrored front doors.

Chatou is a place to go for ham, drinks, and old stuff. It can be a cheap few hours or an immensely expensive expedition. In either case, this twice-a-year event is fun for all – or, at least, for me – and is to a worthwhile trip for anyone who may have already ate and drank too much in Paris during previous trips and is looking for a new location for such indulgences. The antique shopping, frankly, is pretty fun, too.

MARCH 6 – 15, 2009

Dealer’s Come Early – March 5, 2009

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