Antiquing is Match-Making

Dear Diva Readers,

Today our Antiques Diva Guide in Provence is sharing her thoughts on what her job leading buying tours really means.  Enjoy!

Caren writes:
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;”>Antiquing is a noble profession, a bit like match-making. For what could be nobler than to introduce two entities that were made for each other? I’m talking about match-making the past with the future: the bringing together long-forgotten treasures belonging to a past era with the hosts of special people, that set out every weekend to hunt for antiques- crazy for the vintage charm of pre-loved objects of art from another age. These people are exceptional. They can appreciate the value and history of pre-loved treasures. Their thumbs start twitching and they get excited when they see items with gilded patinas and irregular scratches. And in turn, the pieces from eras gone by are waiting, anticipating…sometimes restored but always lonely and forgotten.

Antiques Diva Provence Tours, Sourcing antiques in Provence, Diva Guide Caren, French Antiques, L’isle sir la Sorgue, Flea markets in Provence

For these items, there is now the hope for a new life. And it comes in the form of the recycling treasure-lovers. These are the people, the connoisseurs, who admire distressed furniture, rusty light-fittings, old paint buckets and rutted cutting boards. They can see the value of the history of a piece of furniture; they appreciate the significance and will treasure these objects, proud to have them in their care.

For many, the hunt is the fun, and where better to start than in the village of L’isle sir la Sorgue, a small town lying on the Sorgue River, between Avignon and Apt in Provence, France.

Antiques Diva Provence Tours, Sourcing antiques in Provence, Diva Guide Caren, French Antiques, L’isle sir la Sorgue, Flea markets in Provence

In the 12th century, L’isle sur la Sorgue was a small fishing village where the houses were built on stilts above a marsh. Later, in the 18th century, huge water wheels churned the water on the canals, creating power for the silk and paper industries. Today, the waters flow down two main channels in town, and many shops have their back-doors opening over the water, creating shady and pleasant nooks and crannies to explore.

Known also as the Venice of Provence, the town is a delightful destination for anyone interested in antiquing, decorative arts, brocante markets or gastronomy. It is here that you will find more than 300 antique outlets and flea markets in the old mills and weaving factories: a huge selection of antiques and decorative arts and sellers who cater to all tastes.

Antiques Diva Provence Tours, Sourcing antiques in Provence, Diva Guide Caren, French Antiques, L’isle sir la Sorgue, Flea markets in Provence

A wander through the village will uncover an astonishing range of antiques, suitable for all budgets. This is the perfect spot to find a treasure for your home. It’s like being in a museum but better, as you are allowed to touch and handle all of the art pieces on show.Whether you are looking for something small to display on a side-board or considering remodeling your entire house, this is the place to be.

Choose a perfect 18th century iron gate, formerly part of a French chateau, or a stone chimney piece. Or perhaps you’d prefer a grand marble stair case or a 19th century mirror that once adorned the entrance foyer of an art deco theatre, reflecting the images of opera-goers as they added their finishing touches.

If these items are too large, why not hunt for something smaller? Like kids on a treasure hunt, it’s a joy to rummage through the layers of history, looking for the piece that says, “Take me home!” From egg baskets to light-fixtures and antique iron watering cans, L’isle sur la Sorgue has it all.

Antiques Diva Provence Tours, Sourcing antiques in Provence, Diva Guide Caren, French Antiques, L’isle sir la Sorgue, Flea markets in Provence

During the week, the antique dealers comb the country-side, often driving huge distances to estate sales on the other side of the country. House clearances are holy grails for dealers. If successful, they return to their workshops where they may spend many painstaking hours reupholstering a chair, repairing a door or examining various points of workmanship on their newly acquired items, so that when the markets open again for business the following weekend, there will be a whole new selection of artifacts to offer, available for eager buyers and collectors.

No divining rod needed. Introducing a beautiful vintage antique to an antique lover can be a match made in heaven. It means that fine pieces of our history will once again find a home. What could be more perfect? Old pieces, recycled by those who appreciate the craftsmanship and at the same time, indulge their passion for the old and beautiful. What better profession is there than to be an antique guide in this paradise?

Antiques Diva Provence Tours, Sourcing antiques in Provence, Diva Guide Caren, French Antiques, L’isle sir la Sorgue, Flea markets in Provence
Diva Guide Caren Shopping in Provence with a Friend

Provence Diva Guide Caren – Filling in For The Antiques Diva®




The Antiques Express to Provence

Dear Diva Readers

Looking to book an tours” target=”_blank”>Antiques Diva Provence Tour?  Then now’s the time to go South with The Antiques Diva® & Co and OuiGo – pronounced “We Go”.

Antiques Diva Provence Tours

This a new, low-cost TGV train taking you from the Paris suburb of Marne La Vallée (think Disney Paris) to Marseille, Montpellier, Lyon, Avignon, Nîmes, Aix-en-Provence and Valence.  With destinations such as these, I call OuiGo The Antiques Express!!  The trains are even decorated in hot pink and baby blue to add to the diva experience!!

The new service starts on April 1st, offering promotional fares starting at €10 and saving you more money to spend shopping for antiques!!  Make sure to prepay your luggage as prepaid luggage costs €5 per bag while showing up at the train with luggage runs €40!

Should you need some on board reading while taking the train down yonder to the South of France, I’ve got just the thing for you! Belle Inspiration has just done a fabulous interview with Antiques Diva Tour Guide Melanie about our antique buying tours in Provence!!  Click on the picture below to discover Provence done Diva Style!

Bon Voyage,
The Antiques Diva®

Marseilles European Culture Capital

Dear Diva Readers,

This year is an exciting year for the South of France….  Marseilles has been chosen as the European Culture Capital for 2013!  I’ve interviewed Antiques Diva Tour Provence Guide Melanie, asking her why Diva Clients traveling to France should visit Marseilles.

Antiques Diva:
Why choose Marseilles ?

Provence Tour Guide:  Melanie
Tourists often think of Marseilles as being the second largest city of France but it is really made up of several villages.  It doesn’t look or feel like you are in a big city . You can easily walk and enjoy la dolce vita in Marseilles!  It’s a small big town!

Antiques Diva:
Tell me about the vibe in Marseilles.

Provence Tour Guide: Melanie
You’re right Diva, it has a certain vibe…. Marseilles is the gate between Europe and the ” Orient”.  For centuries  it has been a multicultural city.  As an Antique Shopping Tour Guide in Provence you know I love antiques and that isn’t just limited to art and furniture, it’s architecture as well.  Marseilles is a real life antique city where you can plan a perfect day….

Antiques Diva:
And what is that perfect day?

Provence Tour Guide: Melanie
Start the day by visiting Roman ruins then take a boat to visit the castle of Monte Christo in the Alexandre Dumas’ story and finish your day by admiring the architecture of the Famous Le Corbusier.

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Antiques Diva:  
Before you were an antiques dealer and Antiques Diva Provence Tour Guide you were an art auctioneer… does Marsailles have art?

Provence Tour Guide: Melanie
Does Marseilles have Art!?!? Is the Pope Catholic??  Marseilles is one of the keys of the birth of Modern paintings (Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism) with its harbour of L’estaque : Cézanne and Braque came there but also Dufy, Renoir, Derain and much more!

Antiques Diva:
How would you finish a perfect day in Marseilles?

Provence Tour Guide: Melanie
After a long day, it’s obligatory to sit in one of the cafés on the beachfront  to enjoy the sunset, drinking a “pastis” – a local drink – and then eat one of the many famous Provencal dishes such as ” Bouillabaisse” ( fish soup).

Antiques Diva:   
Anything else you want to add?

Provence Tour Guide: Melanie
Don’t forget that not only has Marseilles been chosen as this year’s European Capital of Culture, but Marseilles has also been chosen as the 2nd best place to go in 2013 ( just right after Rio) by the to-go.html . Travel + Leisure″ target=”_blank”>New York Times – even calling Marseilles one of the world’s sexiest, most affordable destinations!

You will love Marseilles for its history, for its beauty, for its culinary culture, for its pluriculturalism… All this and we haven’t even talked antiques.  You’ll have to have me show you my favorite antique trade warehouses another time.   Marseilles is the perfect place to enjoy your stay in Provence and its wines and its country side.

To inquire about our Provence Antique Shopping Tours Email”>

Avignon Antiques Fairs Trade Exclusive

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva Provence Tours

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Shopping these trade fairs is NOT for the faint of heart.  You need to queue before the fair opens and the doors open for the event at 8am on the nose!  Elbows fly as dealers push and shove to get first dibs on buying antiques in Provence.  It’s a mad house and one that I personally don’t brave without French reinforcements – but it is some of the most exciting antiquing in France!   Don’t worry about getting the goods home, we’ll liaise you with international shippers ready to pack and carry!

Antiques Diva Provence

Antiques Diva Provence Tours

But I’m sooo sorry – if you’re a mere shopping mortal and not an antiques dealer or interior designer this fair is not the fair for you!! It’s reserved only for professional traders on presentation of your pre-approved trade card.

We’ve got the dates on tap for 2013 so you can start planning your travels this year!  Join us in Avignon for these Special Trade Fairs:

Monday, 18 February 2013

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013

No Way Jose, May’s Out – No Planned Fair

Monday, 3 June 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sorry Charlie – No August Dates, it’s too hot to shop anyway!

Wednesday,  18 September, 2013

No dates in October – those vendors have got to stock their stalls sometime

Monday, 4 November, 2013

Monday, 9 December 2013

Want to learn more about how you shop like the pros?  Email

The Antiques Diva ®