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Flemish Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

Though it is a tiny country, Belgium is bursting with antiques from all over. In fact I sometimes wonder what the per capita antique dealer is when compared with the total population of residents? We are constantly taking clients on Antiques Diva tours throughout Belgium and also offering Antiques Diva Buying Services through many of our sources there. And while French finds and gorgeous Swedish pieces are found in abundance in Belgium – alongside a slew of bric-a-brac – one type of furniture original to the area is the dark, heavy oak 17th C Flemish antiques. Often seen as stuffy when paired in matchy-matchy sets, these pieces are making a massive comeback when paired with modern interiors, clean spaces and abstract art.

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

With a checkered history The Low Countries – what is today both Belgium and The Netherlands – were once part of Spain, France and Austria.  Today when we talk about Flanders it’s the Dutch-speaking, mostly northern portion of Belgium. Incidentally, do you know what French-speaking Belgium is called?  10 points if you get this one!  Give up? It’s Wallonia!!  Now Belgium with its varied historical past was influenced by the whole of Europe in its furniture design –  the region had a reputation for tolerance which meant refugees fleeing religious persecution settled here, bringing with them their own crafts and customs.  Which means if you want Spanish Colonial Antiques? Well… 17th C Flemish Antiques can fit that bill as many of the craftsmen making furniture in Belgium at that time were Spanish refugees and the craftsmanship is quite similar.

During the 17th century, Flemish furniture had its hey-day. It was exported to England where you will still today find country houses heaving with Flemish pieces. They’re typically made of oak and have a rather heavy appearance. However a distinguishing feature of Flemish furniture is a plethora of elaborate carvings. The juxtaposition of the heaviness of the pieces and the intricate carvings makes Flemish furniture quite unique. A great way to introduce this into your home with out adding too much weight is with a mirror such as this one found on 1st dibs!  The carving is positively architectural – it’s a great example of what the Flemish were doing in the 17th C.

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Or what about this trunk from Online Galleries?  Imagine it paired with a clean linen covered sofa – wouldn’t the inlay and carving pop – if paired with something simple to counter balance it?

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Another prominent feature of the Flemish style is the Flemish scroll, an S or C curved ornamental form in which a scroll is broken by an angle. You may also find what is called a Flemish foot which is a scroll-like ending to an S or C curved leg. This Flemish scroll was not only used in Flemish Renaissance furniture, but also can be found in the English Charles I & II and William and Mary styles.

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Flip through the pages of any shelter magazine and you are bound to see Flemish antiques or, at the very least, their influence.  Here lately, in both Architectural Digest and Veranda, I’ve spotted a few! This 17th C Flemish Table up for sale at Christie’s recently has Axel Vervoordt written all over it.  Can’t you see this pair with some luscious Belgian linen covered chairs and religious candelabras? By the way – ever wonder WHY there were often balls midway up on the legs of antique tables? To keep the mice from running up them!

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish chairs often with leather seats look wonderful flanking a console table.

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish style sideboards and cabinets make fantastic bars in today’s homes and offer hidden storage behind their intricately carved paneled doors. Even small Flemish boxes have become popular again as decorative objects.

Whether you fill a room in a historic home or simply use one piece of heavy Flemish furniture to ground a more modern space, the Flemish style definitely adds character and interest with its various carvings and its unique attributes. If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva tour or wish to inquire about our Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva®  

P.S. Here’s a few period examples of museum quality pieces to help educate your eye! Photos from: http://museumfurniture.net/flemish/

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Flemish Antiques, Belgian Antiques, Antiques Diva Tours, Sourcing Antiques in Europe, Spanish Colonial Antiques, Flanders Antiques, Flemish Style

Italian Roof Tiles

Dear Diva Readers,

Whenever a potential client inquires about taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, one of the first things I do is ask them what they are looking for. One of the most common responses I get is, “Architectural salvage.” Whether people want to resell it, use it in their own home or source it for client projects, architectural salvage remains one of the hottest categories on people’s lists.

Italian Roof Tiles, Sourcing Italian tiles, Antiques Diva Tours, Tuscan Tiles, Architectural Salvage, Reclaimed Materials, Italian Architecture, Terracotta Roof Tiles, Coppi, Tegole, Buying Antiques in Italy

Italian Roof Tiles, Sourcing Italian tiles, Antiques Diva Tours, Tuscan Tiles, Architectural Salvage, Reclaimed Materials, Italian Architecture, Terracotta Roof Tiles, Coppi, Tegole, Buying Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines, Diva Guide Susan

After taking an Antiques Diva Tour in Italy, a design client wanted more information on Italian roof tiles she’d seen while shopping under the Tuscan sun. Our Diva Guide in Tuscany, Susan, definitely knows her stuff when it comes to reclaimed rural Italian architecture. Susan’s experience with antiques as well as rehabbing Italian homes and buildings makes her our go-to gal when clients have questions about architectural salvage. This particular client wanted to use antique Italian roof tiles for a building project in America. Her main concern was whether they would be able to withstand the freezing colder climates.  She also wanted to know if there was only one style of tile or if she had options from which to choose.

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Italian Roof Tiles, Sourcing Italian tiles, Antiques Diva Tours, Tuscan Tiles, Architectural Salvage, Reclaimed Materials, Italian Architecture, Terracotta Roof Tiles, Coppi, Tegole, Buying Antiques in Italy

Susan explained that the antique tiles our client had seen on tour were the curved terra-cotta ROOF tiles, which are referred to as “coppi”. However tiles can be found in various sizes.  The traditional Tuscan ones are smaller, made of a more compact clay and are paired with a wider lipped flat tile known as “Tegole” to cover the roof.

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The larger curved tiles which cup each other are MORE COMMONLY used in warmer areas of Italy and are made of more porous clay, which means they probably won’t stand up to extremely cold temperatures. In some regions of Italy smaller curved tiles are laid on flat tiles. There is also another tile similar in appearance… but a litter wider which means here are two different sizes of the curved tiles which are used in different parts of the roof. The larger tiles go on the ridges of the roof – though sometimes the flat tegole are used.

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Each region, just as in its cuisine, has a slightly different method of laying tiles and therefore uses slightly different sizes of tile as well. It all depends upon the style of architecture in that region and the gradient of the roof changes, which is often dictated by the climate of that particular area. Another thing to take into account is the color of the tiles which varies depending on the earth elements in the region in which they were made.

Italian Roof Tiles, Sourcing Italian tiles, Antiques Diva Tours, Tuscan Tiles, Architectural Salvage, Reclaimed Materials, Italian Architecture, Terracotta Roof Tiles, Coppi, Tegole, Buying Antiques in Italy

Who knew there were so many elements to Italian roof tiles?! While style and color are important factors, it’s even more crucial to know whether they will hold up in certain climates. It’s also just as important to hire the right contractors who will use the proper materials and installation methods to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you source antiques for your projects large and small!

The Antiques Diva® & Co – Thanks La Dolce Diva Susan for sharing your knowledge!

Swedish Cupboards

Dear Diva Readers,

While my Diva Guides and I love taking clients on antiques buying tours throughout Europe, did you know we also offer buying services? Whether a client doesn’t have time to take a trip to Europe or if they simply want to source a few pieces for a project, we act as the “man—or woman—on the ground” to help find exactly what our client needs. And like most shopaholics, we love a challenge. We recently had a client who is an interior designer in New York email us with a request. He was looking to source an antique Swedish cabinet for a project. His client had seen one she liked on an antiques website, but didn’t want to pay the exorbitant price. What attracted both of them to the cabinet was the patina and style. While they wanted something authentic that would retain its value, they also knew that they’d be utilizing the cabinet and would most likely need to adjust the interior.

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

As soon as I received this request, I knew that our Swedish Antiques Divo Guide Daniel would be the person to contact. Of course Daniel quickly responded with this email:

“Authentic examples of antique Swedish cupboards like this with original paintwork have become increasingly rare. Much of the Swedish furniture currently available on the “antique” market has been comprehensively rebuilt and restored,  often repainted in popular pale colours and sadly some of these created or “style” pieces are sold as period.

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But we are in luck! I think i have found the perfect cabinet by reading your requests. I have found a fantastic Gustavian cabinet in excellent condition retaining it’s original paint (gray/blue). This piece has never been over painted and scraped which ads to its desirability, rarity and value. The Gustavian expressions are evident in the small tapered feet, restrained carved details and well-balanced proportions. The price is 1/4 of the cabinet your client first saw.  This piece is a very good investment in my opinion as the market prizes original paintwork when talking about Swedish painted furniture.”

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

While I often say that the power of the internet is amazing and makes our job so efficient, you have to remember that computers are not people. Simply typing in a product that you want may pull up an item on your screen, but how can you be sure that you’re getting the best value or price? That’s where we come in time and time again by acting as our clients’ man on the ground and putting the word out to all our sources. Within no time, in this instance, we were able to find exactly what the client wanted at a quarter of the price (that’s including our commission, by the way). With the right people, the internet can truly be a great tool!

Swedish Antiques, Gustavian Furniture, Swedish Cupboards, Original Paint, Antiques Diva Tours, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Buying antiques in Europe

If you are interested in more information on our Antiques Diva Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

The Antiques Diva® 

Les Puces en Lumier

Dear Diva Readers,

One of our most popular tours is Les Puces, the Paris Flea Market. And why wouldn’t it be? The magic of Paris combined with antiques of every style, mouth-watering food and an energy that you can only find in this city make for an unforgettable experience. However, this month it’s about to become even more magical. Friday, September 18 from 7:00 PM to midnight, Paul Bert Serpette—our favorite market at Les Puces— will be illuminated with thousands of lights for Les Puces en Lumiere. Imagine shopping for antiques and enjoying a fabulous party under the moonlight! Sign me up!

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On this enchanting evening, the many vendors of Paul Bert Serpette will transform the market into a scene straight out of the cinema, using thousands of tiny lights to create a surreal atmosphere. As the sun goes down, shoppers will be able to browse through stand after stand, filled with the world’s finest and most unique antiques. And this party will be in true French fashion, with live music and several vendors offering nibbles and libations. Imagine sipping champagne and enjoying delectable pâté while discussing an 18th century painting with fellow antique enthusiasts—all under the moonlight!

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Paul Bert Serpette, The City of Light, Antiques Tour of Paris, Antiques Diva Tours, Les Puces en Lumiere, Buying French Antiques

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Paul Bert Serpette, The City of Light, Antiques Tour of Paris, Antiques Diva Tours, Les Puces en Lumiere, Buying French Antiques

If this sounds like your ideal evening in Paris, be sure to register here as this festive evening is by invitation only. The rest of the weekend will have plenty of events at Les Puces as well. On Saturday and Sunday, the general public will be able to shop the markets and enjoy this exciting time of year in Paris.

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Paul Bert Serpette, The City of Light, Antiques Tour of Paris, Antiques Diva Tours, Les Puces en Lumiere, Buying French Antiques

As always, if you’re interested in taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, email us for more information at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to custom plan a private tour for you!

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Paul Bert Serpette, The City of Light, Antiques Tour of Paris, Antiques Diva Tours, Les Puces en Lumiere, Buying French Antiques

Au revoir,

The Antiques Diva®   

Maison et Objet

Dear Diva Readers,

I’ve just finished a fantastic Antiques Diva Tour in Paris! While there, we attended Maison et Objet which is a summit for all things design. I was there with Lori Lassen of At Home Berlin who sells high-end real estate for private clients and investors in Berlin often with complete fitouts and interiors. I was also accompanied by Christian Lemke and Justyna Walzcak of Re-Vamp.de  which provides interior design solutions working with developers, owners and investors. Before leaving Berlin, I gave them all a few tips on making our arrival at Maison seamless. I think it would be helpful for anyone attending this show for the first time so I thought I’d share my tips on the blog!

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

First things first, be sure to buy your passes for Maison Objet before attending the fair. If you print your badges at home and bring them with you, you can avoid the long lines at the fair! You can find all necessary information at Maison Objet.

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Upon landing in Paris, there is a free shuttle that goes to Villepinte (Maison Objet) from all 3 terminals at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport every 30 minutes from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Once you arrive at Maison, you can leave your luggage at the Salon in the cloakroom for about 3 or 4 Euro a piece—well worth it! Then all you need to do is shop shop shop! From Maison Objet there are free buses that run to Porte Maillot Direct. A taxi will cost about 50 Euro so the free shuttle service provided by the fair is a good option.

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Try not to be overwhelmed when shopping the fair. “What Disneyland is to kids, Maison Objet is to interior designers,” says Christian Lemke of Re-vamp.de. “Whenever you thought you’ve seen it all, Maison Objet guarantees to prove you wrong. There are always new amazing brands, designs, and ideas to discover,” echoes Justyna Walczak of Re-vamp.de.

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,   Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

After attending day 1 of the fair, Lori says, “I’ve traveled and shopped the world and seen design around the globe, but here at Maison Objet it was as if the world came to me. The frustration of global shopping is ‘how do I get it home?’ but with The Antiques Diva & Co I found the solution.” And in fact, these three have some tips to offer first time attendees.

TIPS from  Lori, Toma, Jusytna and Christian:

  1.   Do wear comfortable shoes.
  2.   Don’t let your senses get overloaded. FOCUS & be determined.
  3.   Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.  This is France, have a glass of champagne and sit down and enjoy…. BUT save the wine for last or you
    won’t last very long at Maison Objet.
  4.   Do Hydrate. Water. Water. Water.
  5.   Don’t forget your business cards!

Maison Objet, Top Design Fairs, Lori Lassen, At Home Berlin, Christian Lemke, Justyna Walzcak, Re-Vamp.de, Tips for Maison Objet, How to get to Maison Objet, Toma Clark Haines, Antiques Diva Tours,

Any time you attend a design show or center, it should be fun. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a lot of work! By keeping everything in balance and remembering a few key tips about being prepared, you are on the right path to having a successful shopping trip! See you at Maison Objet this coming January!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®   

Sweet Alabama Takes a Shine to Provence

Dear Diva Readers,

Our locally-based Provence Antiques Diva Guide recently led a tour for some lovely American clients and they had such a wonderful time on this dream-like adventure, treasure hunting and soaking up the scenery of Provence that Diva Guide Caren had to write to share with our readers their adventure!

Caren writes:

Provence is especially seductive in May and June. Not too hot, nor too cold. And so alive with the colour and sounds of spring. The hillsides are covered with carpets of wild-flowers, the greens on the trees are still young and fresh, and the radiant blues of the skies are kept clear by the fresh winds of the mistral. It’s as if the wind is blowing away the final cob-webs of winter and opening the gates towards summer.

Antiquing in Provence, Alabama Interior Designers, Caren Trafford, Shopping in Provence, Flea Markets of France, Antiques Diva Tours

But this time, the beauty of Provence was enhanced by the unbridled enthusiasm and joyfulness of the two interior designers that hailed for an Antiques Diva tour, from their home-town in Alabama. Their gusto for this corner of the world was infectious and their appreciation and wonder of all things French made their three day antiquing foray into the south a delight for everyone. Vendors and clients alike! 

I am always a little nervous when visitors come on buying tours to Provence, given the relaxed way of life here. It is the smaller, simpler things that matter. People here, in general, are not interested in the trappings of wealth. They are far more interested in what they will be having for lunch, which wine will be a good accompaniment, what their neighbours are up to and their dogs.

Antiquing in Provence, Alabama Interior Designers, Caren Trafford, Shopping in Provence, Flea Markets of France, Antiques Diva Tours

And so with antiquing, my concerns cover areas like, will the clients understand, for example, that the French have a two hour break for lunch, come what may, or if another client happens to be in front of us, we will be completely ignored until it is our turn to shop, after all in France, everything is at its own time.

But these ladies took to the French way of life like ducks to water.

When was the last time they actually stopped for lunch back home, I asked them? They couldn’t remember. Sometime before the children were born, one of them thought.

We spent three days exploring Provence.

Antiquing in Provence, Alabama Interior Designers, Caren Trafford, Shopping in Provence, Flea Markets of France, Antiques Diva Tours

We found antique doors that had once adorned the very fashionable and chic Royal Hotel in Vichy before the 2nd World War. The door-seller still had 68 of them left. His father had bought every door in the hotel.  My clients bought 24 of them. This door-stop is like a museum. We found a door from the 1600s that was once a cell door in the prison in Draguignan. The door was so heavy, and had been located so deep in the dungeon, that it took 2 men and a great deal of rope to bring it up to the surface.

Don’t be fooled. Although the majority of antiques here hail from Provence, the sellers scour the French country-side as far as Normandy and Brittany as well as the neighbouring countries of Italy and Spain, so there is a wonderful choice of items to be had here. Everything from the typical provincial furniture, with wonderful patinas, to fountains and chimney places. And the brocante markets offer a wealth of smaller treasures.

Antiquing in Provence, Alabama Interior Designers, Caren Trafford, Shopping in Provence, Flea Markets of France, Antiques Diva Tours

Really, antiquing is the nicest possible way to spend the day in Provence if you are lucky enough to to come here. The vistas, the food and the choice of antiques cannot be surpassed anywhere else.

Just ask my clients.

By the end of the tour, their lives were changed. As one of them so aptly put it.  ‘I’m spending all my summers here from now one. Where can the kids go to take French classes? How easy is it to rent a house for the summer? Should we rent by the beach or in the hills? My husband doesn’t know it yet….but it won’t be long before we’re back’.

Antiquing in Provence, Alabama Interior Designers, Caren Trafford, Shopping in Provence, Flea Markets of France, Antiques Diva Tours

Caren Trafford is our Antique Diva guide for Provence. She also writes children’s books (www.planetkids.biz) and lives with her two dogs and husband in a mas covered with bougainvillea over-looking the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Bisous,

Diva Guide Caren & The Antiques Diva® & Co

How to Find the Paris Flea Market

Dear Diva Readers,

One of our most popular antique buying tours is our Paris Flea Market Tour!  While  most people have heard of this magical wonderland… you’d be surprised at the number of people who have TRIED to visit this famous flea market Les Puce de Paris but couldn’t actually find their way! I receive emails from blog readers saying… “I went to the Paris Flea Market… But all I saw was a shabby little market with t-shirt vendors, and suitcases, stolen watches and designer fakes!! What did I do wrong? Where is the Paris Flea Market of my dreams?! The one you see in all the magazines!!”

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large,

Photo Courtesy of Nest Nest Nest

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large, Antique gilted picture frames

It is always difficult trying to navigate a foreign city, but Les Puces can be tricky to find.

As the only official tour guides of Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette, here are The Antiques Diva’s tips on how to find the Paris Flea Market.

How to Find the Paris Flea Market

First off – the area surrounding the Puce is always a surprise! It’s located in what I call “the armpit of Paris”—the northernmost area of the city near the Porte de Clignancourt.  This is the type of neighborhood that makes you want to watch your wallet and hold your purse close! It’s a pick-pocket’s haven so BE CAUTIOUS. My go-to technique when meandering in an area is to wear dark shades and avoid eye contact with the humanity. Oh and yes, when I pop out of the flea market the first thing I always think is… “Oh the Humanity!”   Don’t let this dissuade you – you just need to push past the populous.

Paris Metro, Line 4, How to get to Paris Flea Market, Puce, Clignancourt

Paris Metro, Line 4, How to get to Paris Flea Market, Puce, Clignancourt

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Paris Flea Market, Jennifer Meditash, Marche aux Puces

To get to the flea market, take the metro line 4 from anywhere in the city to the end of the line and get off at the stop Porte de Clignancourt. There will be signs that point to Puces de Paris in the metro station so go ahead and follow those. When you come up to the street exit, you’ll see on the opposite side of the road a small market set up—the kind that sells sunglasses, fake designer bags, t-shirts and even stolen cell phones. Don’t be fooled—this is NOT Les Puces! Most people go wrong at this point and give up, thinking that the Paris flea market of their dreams doesn’t exist.

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large,

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large,

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large,

What you need to do at this point is walk down Avenue Michelet and go past the overpass which is the highway periferique (it circles Paris). Turn left when you see Rue des Rosiers. Once you’ve arrived at the corner of these two streets. you’ve officially made it to the Paris Flea Market! When you get there, you’ll find 15 miles of antique filled alleyways, so it can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you go? What sections specialize in what styles? How do you get your purchases home? That’s where we come in. Our Diva Guides will take you to the best spots in this vast flea market, all the while translating and negotiating on your behalf. They’ll even help liaise you with your preferred shipper.

Paris Flea Market, Les Puces, Antiques Diva Tours, Paris Flea Market Tours, Marche Paul Bert, Marche Vernaison, Marche Serpette, Clignancourt, Buying Antiques in Paris, Editor at Large,

If you happen to be going on your own, however, I’ll give you my three favorite areas of Les Puces. The first is Marche Vernaison which will be on the right as you enter Les Puces. This market has smalls and perfectly packables which are attractively priced. You can find good jewelry, small paintings, hotel silver, porcelain, and other tabletop items.  The second area I love is Marche Paul Bert which is best described as the Paris flea market you’ve always dreamed of shopping!   It’s what you see in photos when you google Les Puces and it is where the magic happens. A mix of furniture, decorative antiques, industrial items and much more is all set up in proper shops rather than tents. It’s styled and romantic—just what you imagine Paris to be.  Lastly, be sure to visit Marche Serpette which is connected to Paul Bert as the covered section of the market  and perfect should a rainy day make you need to run inside for shelter!

Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Paris Party Maison Object, IFDA

At my famous annual party in Paris during Maison Objet with a team from IFDA

So there you have it! Don’t get detoured when trying to find the Paris Flea Market. Use this guide and if you want a seamless experience, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com to book a tour of this world famous treasure!  While you can always shop the market on your own… we save you time and money by shopping with us! You tell us what you want and we plan your day to get you directly to the areas of the market where you’re most likely to find what you’re looking for!  And then we negotiate – getting way bigger discounts as locals who are seen shopping the market every weekend of the year – than you as a tourist would get. And then we liaise you with an international shipper to help you get your goods home sweet home across the pond!!

Want more of the Paris Flea Market!?? Watch me on Editor at Large TV here (part 1) and (part 2) here.

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

Monet’s House in Giverny

Dear Diva Readers,

While most of our clients come on buying tours with serious agendas—they often want to fill a container with European antiques in a matter of days — some people also choose to add on time at the end of their tour for more of a vacation since they’re already over in Europe! And believe me, after power shopping with an Antiques Diva Guide, a little R&R is necessary (hmmm… perhaps we should start including massages at the end of each tour)!  Often times while on tour, our Diva Guides will point out interesting places along the way—after all, our guides are all locally based so they know the surrounding areas very well!

Design inspiration, Inspiration tours, Antiques Diva Tours, French antiques, Buying French antiques in Normandy, Claude Monet, Monet’s house in Giverny

Recently one of our Diva Guides in France, Katie, was taking clients on a buying tour in Normandy, which is a great place to source antiques at discount prices from Paris prices. Along the way, Katie passed right by the Monet house with clients and they decided to stop en route to sneak in a little design inspiration visiting his famous house in Giverny. With warm weather just beginning, Spring time is a perfect time to take in the gardens and the scenery in this charming part of France.

Design inspiration, Inspiration tours, Antiques Diva Tours, French antiques, Buying French antiques in Normandy, Claude Monet, Monet’s house in Giverny

Claude Monet lived in the house for forty-three years (1883-1926) and as you can imagine, like any artist would, he made many alterations to the original structure over that time. Originally the house was called House of the Cider-Press as an apple-press was located on the nearby square. It was a small home compared to the long, spread out place it is today. As his family and career grew, Monet had the house enlarged on either side, resulting in the structure we see today. The barn next to the house became his studio and above that is an apartment he used while he worked.

Design inspiration, Inspiration tours, Antiques Diva Tours, French antiques, Buying French antiques in Normandy, Claude Monet, Monet’s house in Giverny

The distinct color palate (pink and green) of the exterior of the house was chosen by Monet. Rather than go with the traditional grey shutter of that time, Monet opted for green and planted Virginia creeper on the facade of the house so it would blend in with the surrounding landscape—almost like a Monet painting! From his bed he had beautiful views of the garden which he loved.

Design inspiration, Inspiration tours, Antiques Diva Tours, French antiques, Buying French antiques in Normandy, Claude Monet, Monet’s house in Giverny

The property is divided into flower beds where flowers of different heights create depth and volume. Ornamental and fruit tress are mixed in as well to add to the character of the garden. A mix of rare flowers as well as common ones such as daisies and poppies populate the beds. The central path is covered by iron arches that support climbing roses. However Monet’s gardens are not structured. He preferred to pair flowers according to color and then let them grow rather freely.

Design inspiration, Inspiration tours, Antiques Diva Tours, French antiques, Buying French antiques in Normandy, Claude Monet, Monet’s house in Giverny

But the garden isn’t only about plants. The water garden was cultivated ten years after he moved to Giverny. A small brook runs through the property and Monet had a little pond dug, which was later enlarged. Inspired by the Japanese gardens Monet had the Japanese Bridge built by a local craftsman and then planted it with wisterias. For more than twenty years he found inspiration for paintings from this very garden.

After Monet’s death in 1926 the house passed through various family member’s care until 1977 when his son bequeathed the estate to Academie des Beaux-Arts. After much neglect, it took almost ten years to restore the property to what we see today. With a crumbling staircase, trees growing in the studio, and much of the garden grown over, it took many donations, mostly from Americans, to bring the place back to its former glory. And since September 1980, the house has been opened for visitors.

Just like Monet was inspired by the gardens and home he created, our clients were inspired after their visit too! Whenever you’re traveling it’s so important to take in the historic and cultural places that you come across. You never know what you might learn and what ideas you may have after touring a historic property. That’s why I love our Diva Guides—they know this all too well and always go above and beyond for our clients.

If you’d like information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour in any of our 8 tour countries, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva® 

Save Save Save on Paris Puces du Design Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

Attention, attention! We’ve got a last minute special happening in Paris! Book a SPECIAL TOUR of the Puces du Design in conjunction with the Puces de Paris and save 100 EURO!!! The Puces du Design is the only event of this size and quality to be open to the public. With over 100 dealers, our Diva Guides can help you navigate the booths, translate with dealers, and negotiate on your behalf.

Paris Flea Market, Puces du Design, Antiques Diva Tours, Mid-Century Modern, Tours of Paris

When the fair was first founded in 1999, it was absolutely audacious to propose in Paris a market with dealers specialized in Post War 20th century design.  Who would buy it, the French wondered….  But the bet of fair founder Fabien Bonillo paid off and his Puces du Design has been going strong for 15 years!  The Puces du Design is the only design event of this size and quality (100 exhibitors among which 40% of non French gallerists ).

Paris Flea Market, Puces du Design, Antiques Diva Tours, Mid-Century Modern, Tours of Paris

Among the hundred of antique dealers and gallerists coming from all over Europe you’ll find some of the most famous designers of the period – Eames, Panton, Saarinen, Matégot, Prouvé.  And did I mention they also do fashion at the fair…

Paris Flea Market, Puces du Design, Antiques Diva Tours, Mid-Century Modern, Tours of Paris

Paris Flea Market, Puces du Design, Antiques Diva Tours, Mid-Century Modern, Tours of Paris.

Get bit by the fleas. Book a tour now and save as the Puces du Design runs May 28-31. Email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

The Antiques Diva®  

Euro at 12 Year Low!

Dear Diva Readers,

Have you been thinking about booking an Antiques Diva Tour?? Now is the time to do it the EURO is at a 12 year low!!! Which means you get more for your money when you convert your dollar to Euro – this saves you money on the COST OF YOUR TOUR and on EVERYTHING YOU BUY!!!

EUROS

The last time the US DOLLAR was this strong against the Euro was 2003!!!!  All this to say… It’s time to SHOP– Antiques Diva Style!!

The Antiques Diva®

Book a Tour

1:1 custom antique buying tours in 8 European, 6 Asian countries and America, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

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.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette




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