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Antiques Diva™ Tours

Antiques Roadshow Moment on Antiques Diva Tours

Dear Diva Readers,

The number one rule of advice I give clients on our antique buying tours is to buy what you love.

Buy What You Love, Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Diva Tours, Susan Cohan Gardens, Mucha, Art Nouveau print, LANGAGE DES FLEURS, projet de teinture, Flea Market Finds, Toma Clark Haines

Recently Susan Cohan, principal of Susan Cohan Gardens, a boutique design studio which specializes in residential landscape design, booked a 10 day long Antiques Diva Gardens and Ornaments tour in France & Belgium to shop the flea markets, warehouses and architectural salvage stores, bringing a group of her friends with her to shop abroad with diva style.

susan cohan gardens and ornaments group antiques diva tour, Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Diva Tours, Susan Cohan Gardens, Mucha, Art Nouveau print, LANGAGE DES FLEURS, projet de teinture, Flea Market Finds, Toma Clark Haines

While we were in Belgium her son was rummaging through a flea market and fell in love with a gorgeous Art Nouveau Mucha print which he bought for 12 Euro.  Bringing it back to New York he and his mother dropped the print off at the framers.  As they were unmatting it they discovered that this “print” was in fact “the real deal.”

Mucha, Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Diva Tours, Susan Cohan Gardens, Mucha, Art Nouveau print, LANGAGE DES FLEURS, projet de teinture, Flea Market Finds, Toma Clark Haines

LANGAGE DES FLEURS.
Plate 35 from Album de la Decoration.

10 3/8×14 1/4 inches. F. Champenois, Paris.
Condition A.
A brunette with flowing hair is caught in the midst of a fantastic swirl of Art Nouveau flowers in red, blue, green and yellow. A “projet de teinture” (“a study for fabric”) , Rennert/Weill refers to the finalized cloth version (printed on “satin or velveteen and possibly on silk” p. 396) and pictures two images clearly from the same series. Rennert/Weill A.11 (var).

It had been auctioned off at the Swann Galleries in 2002 for more than $2,000.

Susan’s son had his treasure framed behind UV glass with an acid free backing and matt and smiled all the way home – delighted with his Antiques Diva Antiques Roadshow moment.

The moral of this story according to Susan Cohan, “Buy art that you love and you will never be a loser!  And, sometimes, you will be a really big winner!”

With Susan Cohan Shopping the Paris Flea Market, Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Diva Tours, Susan Cohan Gardens, Mucha, Art Nouveau print, LANGAGE DES FLEURS, projet de teinture, Flea Market Finds, Toma Clark Haines

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®
(seen above with Susan Cohan while shopping The Paris Flea Market)

Antiques in the New Year

Dear Diva Readers,

This was supposed to be my inaugural blog post for 2015… but life has a way of sometimes interfering with blogging.  But to kick off 2015 I want to share a bit about why I love antiques – and why I think antiques are relevant in today’s lifestyle.  It’s important to be informed by the past but not let ourselves be ruled by it. I believe there can be a happy medium between living in the present and living with antiques because that is precisely what I do every day!

Antiques Diva Tours, Decorating with Antiques, Live a life less ordinary, Toma Clark Haines apartment in Berlin, Family Heirlooms,

Many people ask how I got involved in the antiques world and what initially drew me to it. My first answer is moving to Paris nearly 15 years ago opened my eyes to the world of antiques through exploring the Paris Flea Markets.  But it goes back further than that.  I’m American.  But my mother was a third generation American. Her grandparents moved over from England and my whole life I grew up hearing stories of far-away places and long-ago times.  The past was always a part of my present.  As a child on special occasions my family ate with silver my grandparents carried over on the boat when they moved to America.

Antiques Diva Tours, Decorating with Antiques, Live a life less ordinary, Toma Clark Haines apartment in Berlin, Anantara Elephant Camp Golden Triangle

If I think about it in my life history, antiques and travel were always intertwined in my mind.  I’ve always been a traveller – I’ve traveled in more than 45 countries – and to me antiques are another way of traveling.  They transport you.  Pieces with a past tell a story – of other times, other places and other lives. They take you on adventure to someplace less ordinary.  My love for antiques began with a desire to live a life less ordinary.

Antiques Diva Tours, Decorating with Antiques, Live a life less ordinary, Toma Clark Haines apartment in Berlin, Family Heirlooms,

Antiques Diva Tours, Decorating with Antiques, Live a life less ordinary, Toma Clark Haines apartment in Berlin, Family Heirlooms,

In this post-modern era we live in there is an aesthetic value of literally “living with history” by incorporating antiques into our own homes whether that be through family heirlooms – such as my great grandparents silver which today I dine daily on in my home in Berlin – or through pieces purchased on your travels.

Antiques Diva Tours, Decorating with Antiques, Live a life less ordinary, Toma Clark Haines apartment in Berlin, Family Heirlooms,

My goal for 2015 is to stop using my good china ONLY for special occasions and to bring it out and use it EVERY DAY.  After all, isn’t every day a special occasion?  My goal for 2015 as a company is to help you use your antiques every day. Stop treating antiques like they should go in a museum and begin living with them! When dealing with period pieces remember they were built much better than things are today.  It’s ok to mix Ikea in with your antiques – mix whatever you want with your antiques!! This year on the blog you’ll find a lot of focus on incorporating modern convenience alongside antique craftsmanship.   So many antiques are ageless—they have just as much appeal today as they did centuries ago.

So my goal this year is to help shed more light on the livability of antiques. After all, these pieces were built to be used, to be loved and to be around for a long time. One tour at a time, we are giving a fresh life to each piece our clients purchase. If you’d like more information on taking an Antiques Diva Tour in one of our 8 tour countries— France, Italy, Sweden, England, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands or Denmark— email us at info@antiquesdiva.com and we’d be happy to discuss custom planning a buying tour for you!

Happy New Year,

The Antiques Diva®

Christmas Trees From Around the World

Dear Diva Readers,

Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we are constantly expanding to more and more countries across Europe. In fact, in 2015 we’ll be adding even more tour countries and cities to our roster so stay tuned! In the mean time, myself and my local Diva Guides are always traveling for work and pleasure (and most of the time work is pleasure!). So in honor of the holidays and our ever expanding travel schedule, I wanted to share some famous Christmas trees from around the world to inspire you to see new places, cultures and traditions—even if it’s simply from your computer screen!

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

Let’s start with one of our newest tour locations, Venice. Murano Island is famous for its superb glass-work. At Christmastime, you can see the tallest glass tree in the world on this small island. It’s fascinating that this ancient place plays host to a modern looking tree, all the while using ancient glass making techniques.

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

In London’s Trafalgar Square, there is a Christmas tree that has been an annual gift to Great Britain since 1947.  In gratitude for its help during World War II, Norway’s people gifted the tree as a token of appreciation. Isn’t that a lovely reminder of goodwill?

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

After perusing the Christmas market—otherwise known as the Wehnachtsmarkt– in Frankfurt, many people admire the towering traditional Christmas tree that holds court in front of city hall. The scene transports you to Christmas past.

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

In Rome, passersby can’t miss the larger-than-life Christmas tree which stands in St. Peter’s Square in front of the Vatican. There is also traditionally a nativity scene just in front of the large obelisk which causes one to stop and take in the Christmas spirit.

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

Of course a very large and very stylish tree can be found at Galleries Lafayette in Paris. This time of year, tourists and locals alike flock to the 10 story domed building to shop and admire the beautiful Parisian Christmas tree.

gubbiochristmastree, Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

In Italy’s Umbria region, the largest representation of a Christmas tree rises on the slopes of Monte Ingino, just outside of Gubbio. It is composed of about 500 lights which are connected by 40,000 feet of wire. What a way to bring Christmas to this ancient city!

Christmas Trees, Murano Christmas Tree, Christmas in Venice, Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London Christmas, Frankfurt Christmas Market, St Peter’s Square Christmas Tree, Galleries Lafayette Paris Christmas Tree, Monte Ingino, Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Antiques Diva Tours

And just for fun, since I am an American, I have to add the Capitol Christmas tree in Washington D.C. to this list. With 3,000 ornaments that are handcrafted by American school children, this tree is truly remarkable and a symbol of working together.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Christmas trees from around the world. Whether you simply enjoy them from your computer screen or in person as you travel, learning about far off places is inspirational! And remember, if you are traveling in 2015 and want to source antiques in Europe, we’d love to custom plan a tour for you. Email us at info@antiquesdiva.com for more information.

Happy Holidays,

The Antiques Diva® 

Avignon Antiques Fairs Trade Exclusive

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva Provence Tours

Extra, extra read all about it… If you’re an Antiques Dealer wanting to start buying antiques abroad in France this secret, To The Trade Only Antiques Fairs in Provence happens to be one of the best addresses to do so!  On the arm of your Diva Guide, a native-speaking French antiques courier,  you’ll gain access to a slew of bottom dollar, er make that euro,  priced French antiques, vintage, and more whilst rubbing shoulders with some of the top dealers around the world.  I must confess I like the fair for the people watching as much as I do for the shopping as it’s a veritable who’s who of antiquing.

Antiques Diva Provence tours

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.

This is the tour for antique dealers who want to source antiques abroad stocking their store with the best French antiques and vintage finds. Our Guide picks you up at your hotel and takes you to this trade only fair where you’ll buy wholesale antiques in Europe, giving you access to the best priced French antiques, vintage and more. This trade fair is for serious buyers and is available only through pre-registration. Plan on queuing early before the fair opens. Let your Antiques Guide clear the way as she translates and negotiates on your behalf. This is a fast and furious antiques fair and can be overwhelming. As always, we’ll liaise you with a preferred shipper.

Below are the 2015 dates for the Avignon Trade Fair:

Monday 9 Feb, 2015
Monday 9 March, 2015
Monday 20 April 2015
Monday 18 May 2015
Monday 29 June 2015
NO TRADE FAIR IN JULY OR AUGUST
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Monday 26 October 2015
Monday 30 November 2015

Want to learn more about how you shop like the pros?  Email info@antiquesdiva.com

The Antiques Diva ®

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques?

Dear Diva Readers,

While we don’t do international shipping ourselves here at The Antiques Diva & Co we do liaise our clients on antique buying tours with international shippers to help them get their purchases home sweet home across the pond.  As such we get asked A LOT of questions about how it works to ship antiques internationally.  In general when queries come my way I direct them to the experts – making introductions to shippers we know and trust and have worked with long-term.

Perhaps the most popular questions after “Which international shippers do you recommend?” and “How much does it cost to ship a container?” is “How much does it cost to fill a container full of antiques?”  The answer to this question lies in the answer to the question, “How many antiques fit in a shipping container?”

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques, Filling a container, Shipping antiques from Europe, Antiques Diva Tours, Antiques Diva Buying Services, 20 ft container

If you visualize a 20 foot container…it can hold approximately 40 medium size pieces of furniture.  Then to determine the cost of filling a shipping container with antiques you need to determine how much you are going to spend on average per item.  Chest of drawers could range anywhere from 100 Euro to 10,000 Euro depending on the age, quality, provencance, etc of the items you’re buying.  Buying 1950’s pieces cost a lot less that pieces from the 1750’s!

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques, Filling a container, Shipping antiques from Europe, Antiques Diva Tours, Antiques Diva Buying Services,

If you determine an amount that you feel comfortable with as an average item of purchase and multiply that number times 40 you’ll have a rough ball park figure on “How much it costs to fill a shipping container with antiques?”  Obviously you’re not going to be buying 40 chest of drawers so this isn’t an exact science but it leads you down the path to determining what your budget should be for buying overseas.

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques, Filling a container, Shipping antiques from Europe, Antiques Diva Tours, Antiques Diva Buying Services, Export Antiques,

Clients come to me with budgets ranging from 20,000 Euros to 100,000 Euros, saying this is the amount they have to fill their 20 foot container.  On average, serious buyers – Antique Dealers – seeking to fill their container with decorative vintage and antique pieces – the type that you see in all the magazines, chic and stylish, with a degree of age on them but not necessarily uber high-end – come to me with a budget of approx. 40,000 Euro knowing they may spend less or they may spend more depending upon the price point of the items they fall in love with.  The client I was just with found a slew of cocktail tables at 50 Euro each – this brought her average purchase down exponentially and she managed to save a significant amount of money off her anticipated budget.  However…cocktail tables weren’t on her buying list.  Sometimes in order to get the best deal you have to be open to what’s on the market when you’re seeking to buy.  The client will be able to retail those cocktail tables for about $600 USD each – so she is getting a heck of a profit on them!

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques, Filling a container, Shipping antiques from Europe, Antiques Diva Tours, Antiques Diva Buying Services,

When shipping remember it’s better to overbuy and overfill your container than underbuy – the less you buy the more it costs per item in the container.  The best way to save money shipping is to squeeze as many items into the container as possible! And remember – shippers use every square inch! If you have a chest of drawers you can easily pack those drawers full of smalls so there is no wasted space!

Net, net – there is no easy answer on how much it costs to fill a container – but if you use this as a guideline for shipping antiques you’ll have a starting point in determining your budget for buying antiques overseas.

Happy Shipping,
The Antiques Diva®
(Hmmm…. today perhaps you might want to call me The Shipping Diva!)

Portobello Market

Dear Diva Readers,

The Portobello Market is one of the most famous markets in the world. It is actually many markets combined into one giant market selling bric-a-brac, second hand goods, vintage clothing & accessories, antiques as well as new items mixed in with fruits and vegetables.  Perhaps the crown jewel of the Portobello Market is the antiques section which is squeezed into a half mile of the Portobello Road near the Notting Hill Tube station. It may not sound like much, but believe me, there are enough shops and stands crammed into this vibrant section of the market to make one dizzy! The area is heaving with crowds on the weekend and it’s easy to get washed away with the tide of people working their way down the street and to miss the fabulous antiques galleries that line the road.

Portobello Market, Buying Antiques in London, Vintage shopping in London, Portobello Flea Market Tours, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie

And while today it’s like Grand Central Station, Portobello Road was once just a country path leading from the Kensington Gravel Pits in what is now known as Notting Hill Gate, up to Kensal Green in the north.  In 1740, Portobello Farm was built nearby. The farm got its name from a town in Panama called Puerto Bello, because during the War of Jenkins’ Ear, Admiral Edward Vernon captured this town. Prior to 1850, the path near Portobello Farm was surrounded by nothing more than fields and orchards. But in the second half of the nineteenth century, Portobello Road began to take shape.  Shops and food markets started popping up to serve the wealthy dwellers of the crescents. As it developed over the next hundred years, other items were offered along this stretch of road and by the mid-twentieth century, antiques shops and stalls became the main-stay.

Portobello Market, Buying Antiques in London, Vintage shopping in London, Portobello Flea Market Tours, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie

Today, every Saturday morning hundreds of dealers open their shops and set up their stands to reveal a diverse display of vintage treasures. While it’s best to arrive at some markets just after dawn, Portobello is a bit different.  There’s no need to beat the sunrise because many dealers won’t be set up that early. Get there around 8:30 a.m. and most vendors will be ready. You’ll want to get your bearings and hit the stalls you know you want to shop first thing to avoid shoulder-to-shoulder crowds which tend to begin forming around 11:30 a.m. One thing is for sure— you don’t want to arrive too late because the market starts to close down at 4:00 p.m.

Portobello Market, Buying Antiques in London, Vintage shopping in London, Portobello Flea Market Tours, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie

While there are dealers that offer furniture and other large items, Portobello Market is the ideal place to search for smalls, tabletop pieces, and what I like to call “perfectly packables” — little treasures that fit nicely in your suitcase. From glass & crystal to silver and brass, there are certainly deals to be had. This market is also a great place to pick up antique books, lighting, small statues, and linens. Second hand and vintage clothing also abound. Shoes, handbags, jewelry and vintage garments line the walls of several shops, allowing you to purchase a piece of the past.

Portobello Market, Buying Antiques in London, Vintage shopping in London, Portobello Flea Market Tours, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie

It certainly can help to have someone who knows the lay of the land and can ask for trade discounts. That’s where we come in!  Our Antiques Diva Guide Alys Dobbie loves taking clients through this jam-packed market, helping them find the perfect pieces.

If you would like to book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London, email info@antiquesdiva.com.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

 

Announcing our new Antiques Diva Portobello Market Tours!

Dear Diva Readers,

Portobello Market London Vintage

I‘m so excited to announce that The Antiques Diva & Co will now be offering tours of the Portobello Flea Market in London!  We’ve just finished mapping out our tour with new Diva Guide Alys Dobbie (watch this space for an upcoming blog all about Alys).  Alys has been in the antique industry for over 11 years and brings her knowledge of the London markets to lucky Antiques Diva & Co clients, taking them hand in white glove hand through London’s most popular flea market.

Portobello Market London

The Portobello Road Market calls itself “the world’s largest antiques market” with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of vintage and collectible item imaginable.   It’s a bustling street in Notting Hill full of shoppers hunting for the perfect treasure.  Composed of street vendors and shops, there is a wide variety of items available.

Portobello Market London

At The AD&Co we love the market for the vintage clothing options as well as purses and shoes.  From Versace to lesser known designers, there are many pieces to choose from.  And speaking of fashion, the jewelry options are amazing at Portobello!  If I’ve found one piece of jewelry I’ve wanted I’ve found a thousand!

Portobello Market London Vintage clothes

Portobello Market London

On Portobello Road there is definitely a “thrill of the hunt” feel when scouring through cabinet after cabinet, looking for just the right piece.  You’ll find a wide range of silver, silver plate, pewter, and brass merchandise available.  Antique china and tea cups are in abundance and the prices are phenomenal!

Portobello is the place to find a deal on vintage finds.  While the occasional high brow antiques mix in with the bric-a-brac this is a market to come to if you’re looking for unique small pieces for your home.  Here you’ll find those perfectly packables that fit in your suitcase, commemorating your trip abroad.

Portobello Market London

We believe antiques and vintage finds should be used in every room in your house and when you buy antiques while traveling abroad these pieces replace the proverbial t-shirt as your travel souvenirs.  One of our recent Portobello finds is this onyx lidded jar.   It’s going home with our client to hold cotton balls in the powder room or to be used as a stamp container on their desk.  Priced at 18GBP it’s a great example of these perfectly packable travel souvenirs found at Portobello that allow you to take a piece of London home.  Each time you see it you’ll remember that day you spent shopping with The Antiques Diva & Co in London’s most beloved market.

Portobello Market London

Our Diva Guide Alys knows what different vendors specialize in, so before arriving the market you tell her what makes you tick and she’ll custom plan a route that guides you through the hoards of people (the crowds are unbelievable) to find just what you’re looking for! Having someone who knows the lay of the land really does help it seem not so overwhelming when navigating these crowds!  Moreover – because Alys is a member of the antiques trade – she’ll ask for a trade discount to help you score better prices than you could on your own.

Portobello Market London

While Portobello Road is known as a tourist’s haven there are some true gems to be found hidden in the halls if you know where to go to avoid the reproductions and tourist tack.  Not only does Alys know these secret sources she also knows where to get away from the crowds to shop nearby areas off the tourist path.  And when your bellies start rumbling she can whiz you away from the crowds to get a quintessentially English meal at a nearby pub.  Steak and ale pie?  It’s just what this diva needed to refuel after my last Portobello Road shopping trip!

Portobello Market London Pub food

To book a Portobello Flea Market Tour in London, email info@antiquesdiva.com.

Best day to book a Portobello Road tour is Saturday!  Though we also offer special vintage fashion tours in London Wednesday through Friday!

Let the shopping commence!

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva ®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email info@antiquesdiva.com

Paris Flea Market Tour with The Antiques Diva and Editor at Large

Here it lately it feels I’ve been living an “Oh la la” Life…  a life where everything is seen through rose colored glasses.  Of course that could be because I’m sleep deprived from an incredibly busy schedule and my eyes are just a bit blurry – but life has been lived with a gorgeous glow these days!

Paris Flea Market Tour
with The Antiques Diva and Editor at Large

I was delighted when Editor at Large TV chose to cover my Paris Flea Market Fête If you’re not already familiar with this essential design industry website the best way to describe it is as “the CNN of the design world”.  With Editor TV they take their design industry news coverage a bit further by offering a sneak peek into the lives of the people at the heart of the interior design and home furnishings industry.

After filming our Paris Flea Market Party, I took Editor at Large TV on a Paris Flea Market Tour with The Antiques Diva: we’re joined by two of my favorite international interior designers – David Dalton and Jennifer Mehditash.

editor at large tour. Paris Flea Market

Caption:  Caught in a candid moment!

These jet-set designers do properties around the globe and their client lists read like a who’s who list.  They were the perfect people to plunder the Marché aux Puces de Paris with for our Editor at Large TV Tour.  But don’t take my word for it – you can watch the tour unfold, diva style.

Apologies should email subscribers have a problem watching this video – embeddable video can malfunction for email blog subscribers – if you’re unable to watch the videos here on my own blog – go to Editor at Large TV to watch our Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market tour Part II and Part III.

So pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!
Toma, The Antiques Diva®

 

Gala Magazine

Dear Diva Readers,

The Antiques Diva

When Gala Magazine  – the French equivalent of People magazine – wanted to take a Shopping Tour of the Paris Flea Market –  who did they call?   That’s right! The Antiques Diva® & Co.

Diva Guide Extraordinaire Danielle Pelletier took their journalists and photographers by the hand and led them on our insider’s tour of the famous Paris flea market, showing them 7 miles of antique-filled alleyways, 13 flea market districts and telling them how on our antiques buying tours we help clients by translating, negotiating and liaising clients with shippers for international shipping.

We were thrilled when the issue came out this November 2013 – and we were  listed as the best tour company at the Paris Flea Market! 

While we’ve been really fortunate to get some brilliant press over the years, I’ve got to say… this press simply tickled me pink!

Paris Flea Market Antiques Diva

Paris Antiques Flea Market Tour
Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

P.S.  To book your Paris Flea Market Tour contact info@antiquesdiva.com

Client Feedback French Garden House

Dear Diva Readers,

God has been smiling on me a lot here lately and His most recent smile came in the form of Lidy Baars, proprietress of French Garden House, a blooming business selling European vintage and antique pieces.  After discovering her shop in 2008 and reading about her in a zillion magazine articles featuring her business, over time we formed an online friendship as I followed her blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Lidy is European by birth but lives in America  – she has the reverse experience to me as an American by birth who lives in Europe. Our lives seemed opposite sides of the same coin.

French Garden House logo

When she emailed recently to  inquire about taking a tour I jumped on the opportunity to take her to my secret sources in Belgium, helping her stock her gorgeous online store.    We shopped until Lidy’s poor husband dropped.  He’d come along for the ride and meeting him was as much a pleasure as meeting her…   This man adores this woman.  He spoke with such pride about the amazing business she’d created and it was brilliant to watch Lidy’s process as a buyer.  She knew exactly what she wanted, exactly what worked for her clients and she was always aware of choosing budget-sensible pieces so she could pass her savings along to her clients. She shopped well so her clients could shop well as well!  But it wasn’t just the shopping that was good – Lidy was good.  I adored her.  We laughed until tears ran down our faces, bonded over shared beliefs and views and in general had such a good time I forgot I was working.   I love it when that happens with a client and doing what I do I am so fortunate to meet people like Lidy!

French Antiques

I asked Lidy after her tour if she’d be willing to share her experiences on tour with our Antiques Diva  readers…. And here’s what she had to say about Antiquing in Europe with The Antiques Diva & Co:

The Antiques Diva: 
What did you like about your Antiques Diva Trade Tour?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
Being able to shop Europe’s secret sources with an expert who has finessed the art of finding all the best dealers and places. You truly selected places for me to shop with my business in mind, brought me to see unusual, hard-to-find treasures that it would have taken me years to seek out.  In three days you packed our schedule full of “to the trade only” resources, dealers that are seen “by appointment only” whom I would have never have found myself , and special shopping experiences it would take me years and years of “on the ground” research to ferret out.  Not to mention that you are beyond organized, treated me like royalty and took care of all the details, allowing me to focus on what mattered most: selecting antiques that are perfect for my clients.

Aside from shopping for antique treasures in Belgium, my Diva Guide was the true GEM. Irreplaceable, worth more than anything else on the tour.  Personal, professional, kind and caring, a true treat.  Like shopping Europe with your best friend, but a best friend who knows everything and everyone in the antiques business.

Buing Antiques in Europe

Buying French Antiques

The Antiques Diva:
In addition to taking our European Tour you have some European Sources of your own!  Would you be willing to share a Secret Source in Europe?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
That would be CAATJE ANTIEK& BROCANTE DE VERANDA.  My husband John and I loved doing this tour of dealers in Limburg, close to the Belgian border, and the most charming shops and little towns!

Buying Antiques in Europe

Buying antiques in Europe

The Antiques Diva:
If you were to plan on attending another Antiques Diva Tour where would you go next after Belgium or what would you do?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
I want to go to each country you have a tour in.  My next tour might be England.  There is just no way to shop in Europe without you and the tour, you have all the best sources and contacts and take such good care of your clients, it’s like having a personal concierge every step of the way.

Antiques Diva

French Garden House

To book your Antiques Diva Tour email info@antiquesdiva.com

The Antiques Diva®

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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 

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider - Seal


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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