Wrapping Up 2014 with The Antiques Diva

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;”>As we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co.  We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides.   If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!

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We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off.   With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the tor-at-large-tv-paris-flea-market-tour” target=”_blank”>Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large.  Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests tors-page-januaryfebruary-2012-a-72280%20″ target=”_blank”>Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy (RSVP now for details to:toma@antiquesdiva.com”>toma@antiquesdiva.com! You’re invited!!)

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call, Mark Cutler, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Jon Call, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as tobifairley.com/” target=”_blank”>Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler!   Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera!   Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine.  This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!

Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business.  Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!

Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete.  Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around.  At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, San Francisco Cottage & Gardens, Joy Venturini,

Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor).  I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon tos/a.231403390383998.1073741831.175759922615012/231407023716968/” target=”_blank”>Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event!  What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, High Point Market, Antique & Design Center, Mad Cap Cottage

Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues.  Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Blog Tour Milan

But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni.   I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Spring Market, D&D Building, Antiques in the 21st Century,

May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first tours” target=”_blank”>Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Las Vegas Market, Antique Trend Forecast, Design Tastemaker,

July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on to-chicago/219911/” target=”_blank”>ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Anantara Elephant Camp, Golden Triangle,

August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants.  Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Steve Nobel, Nobelinks,

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In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.

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Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces.  Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the to.pdf” target=”_blank”>Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Olga Granda-Scott, The Highboy, Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Antiques, Jonathan Burden, Antiques in the 21st Century

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Holiday House New York, Justin Shaulis, Gallery Hopping in Miami, Louis Navarrete,

In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper!  I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!

All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR.  As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year  we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!!  Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season,  as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle.  You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing.  I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.

As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead!  This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me.  The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.

Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!

Happy New Year,

The Antiques Diva®


Battersea Decorative Fair Autumn 2014

Dear Diva Readers,

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

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;”>It seems like my travel schedule has been insane lately! Between taking private and trade clients on tours, international speaking engagements and press trips, it’s been a whirlwind! But one of the perks of my job is being able to attend some of the best antiques fairs in the world. This week I had the privilege of taking a journalist from America on an Antiques Diva & Co tour of London which was perfect because it was in conjunction with The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

The Fair opened on September 30 and we were privileged to get a handful of Press passes which allowed us to enter the fair before the public. Being able to meet with dealers and see the inventory before it flies out the door is always a thrill. And being one of the top antique fairs, there are trays of champagne being passed, which fits perfectly with the Antiques Diva experience! As people line up outside to enter the fair, they are also served glasses of champagne… now that’s the kind of line I wouldn’t mind  waiting in!

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

Of course there is so much to see at this fair— styles range from French and English antique furniture to tabletop to mid century modern. And what I love about the Battersea Decorative Fair is that not only is there something for everyone’s taste, there is also a range of price points. If you want serious antiques, you can find them. But you also can find very decorative pieces that won’t cost you a fortune and may even fit in your suitcase!

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

However, there are definitely serious shoppers at this renowned fair. Famous actors,  international socialites and philanthropists all frequent Battersea. In fact, just a few days after we were there, Oprah Winfrey dropped by to peruse the stalls. Nothing like bumping elbows with celebrities while sipping champagne and shopping for antiques!!!

The Decorative Fair, Battersea, Buying Antiques in England, The Antiques Diva, Mid-Century Modern, Battersea Decorative Fair, Antiques Buying Tours, European Antiques Fairs

All in all I’d say that this is certainly a “do not miss” event. More than just shopping, The Decorative Fair at Battersea Park is an experience. And my team at The Antiques Diva & Co feels so privileged to count several dealers at the 2014 fair as friends and favorite sources that our clients consistently have access to. Sometimes it’s surreal to think that we have the same sources as celebrities and royalty…but the truth is, we do!

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

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 40px; line-height: 20px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Mirror Mirror on the Wall… who’s the fairest of them all?  London’s Decorative Fair of course! Continuing our look at the Design Trends for 2014todays topic is antique mirrors.

Decorative Fair 2

If one mirror is good, 9 or 12 is even better!  Our favorite vendors across the board at Battersea Park where the Decorative Fair is held were clustering groups of antique and vintage mirrors for maximum effect.  The result is more that of a work of art when positioned this way than as just a tool to see yourself.

Keep the tones of the frame similar – gold with gold, silver with silver, but be bold in mixing shapes.  While all star bursts look great, don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit by adding an oblong mirror to a wall of circular mirrors.  And remember, sometimes it’s hip to be square.

Decorative Fair 3

Decorative Fair 4

Decorative Fair 5

Decorative Fair

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

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

What’s Trending in Antiques?

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;”>You’ll recall last week I posted about the Design Trends at Maison Objet in Paris.  This week I want to show you how those same trends are showing up in antique trends as seen at  The Decorative Fair in London. At Maison Objet, gone were the cream tones and pale shades of yesterday and in its place were picturesque pops of color.  This clear move away from the use of neutrals revived itself with vibrant bottled greens, ocean inspired blues, fat fuschias, over the top oranges, yummy yellows as well as navy, blacks and browns. At Battersea Park where The Decorative Fair is held these same colors were trending.

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Decorative Fair

Color me tickled pink… Color is Back!

The Antiques Diva®

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

White Ceramics at The Decorative Fair

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;”>Last week I wrote a blog sharing the trends in design at Maison Objet – the largest furniture fair in the world.  This week I want to highlight some of the trends in the antiques world as seen last week at the top source for decorative antiques in the world.  If you haven’t been to The Decorative Fair in London then you’re quite simply missing out – it’s the best choreographed collection of decorative antiques in the world!

Battersea Antiques Diva

If you missed it this January, have no fear  – The Decorative Fair is held 3 times a year.  The next dates are:
Spring Fair 2014: 29 April – 4 May 2014
Autumn Fair 2014: 30 September – 5 October 2014

Decorative Fair

One of the top deco trends in antiques we noticed at the January fair was the use of white ceramics in display.  With both translucent white porcelain and ironstone represented – this look is here to stay.

ANTIQUE TIP:  How Do You Tell The Difference Between Porcelain & Ironstone?
Ironstone is made from fired clay which contains china stone. It has a similar appearance and hardness to porcelain however unlike porcelain it is opaque not translucent.  Ironstone, named so because it contains the mineral feldspar, was first patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason of Staffordshire, England.

Decorative Fair Battersea

Battersea  - Antiques Diva

Battersea - Antiques Diva

Stay tuned for more Top Trends in Antiques as seen at our tor.html” target=”_blank”>favorite fair in Britain.

The Antiques Diva®

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

Shopping the Autumn Decorative Fair at Battersea Park in London

Dear Diva Readers,

The Antiques Diva® team is ALL over the place this month.  Gail, our UK Diva, joined Susan, our Italian Diva and me in Parma, Italy this past week for Mercanteinfiera meanwhile Lucretia, our Belgian and Dutch Diva was in London shopping the Autumn Decorative Fair at Battersea Park!

Lucretia writes reporting from the London Decorative Fair:

“By a stroke of luck, I happened to be in London during the Autumn Decorative Fair in Battersea Park, 1-6 October 2013. Curious and in possession of a free ticket, I had to go check it out.  Afterall, it’s important for me as the Dutch & Belgian Diva Guide to understand what’s happening around the world in the antique scene.   Interior decoration is kind of a passion for me. Where else than in cosmopolitan London can one get a better update on the latest trends?

Buying Antiques in England

Buying Antiques in England

The fair is relatively small and cozy, with 143 exhibitors each with a compact stand, allowing you to see the whole inventory without getting bored or exhausted. The atmosphere is relaxed, the vendors congenial, the prices affordable and negotiable.

There were a few dealers with traditional antiques, but the majority showed a mix of old furniture — mostly stripped down to the bare wood, sometimes whitewashed or with the original paint — and 20th century pieces. What really surprised me was the predominance of glass and metal furniture from the sixties and seventies. Coffee tables, nests of 3 tables, console tables, dinner tables, they have to be transparent, light, made of chrome or brass or painted black metal, with a glass top. Exactly the style we bought for our first home when we married in 1981 (you begin to feel really old when the fashion of your twenties makes a come-back)! Instead of storing it in the garage, I should bring it back to the living room and get rid of my mahogany!

Buying Antiques in England

The overall style was not moody like The Antiques Diva discovered at Maison Objet but rather delicate, with walls painted light grey or taupe, lots of mirrors, crystal chandeliers to catch the light. Symmetry is still going strong, you often see two identical console tables with huge mirrors next to each other, perfect doubles. Cheerfully bright upholstery (think pink, purple, turquoise) on vintage chairs and sofas was also a noticeable trend. On the other hand, the industrial design with its large proportions and rude surfaces is also still present, although not my personal favorite.

Buying Antiques in England

These antique and vintage dealers have to be inventive and original decorators nowadays, composing their stands using unusual objects in order to catch the attention of the visitors. Some did a great job, and they make a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park an uplifting experience!”

Your Belgian-Dutch Diva – Lucretia reporting Live from London!

PS – All this and don’t forget you can have a chance to meet our Swedish Divo in England this weekend at Esher Hall.

Buying Antiques in London

Buying Antiques in London

Buying Antiques in London

Antiques Diva

Antiques Diva England

Antiques Diva Tours

London Design

London Design  Antiques London

Buying Antiques in England

London Design

Josephine Ryan at The Decorative Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

I’m positively dreadful… I really shouldn’t do it, but yet… I always do. I can’t help myself. I pick favorites.

Josephine Ryan

While shopping at The Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair (one of my favorite fairs) last spring with one of my favorite clients (nicknamed P.) I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with one of my favorite décor book authors and favorite antique vendors.  Josephine Ryan is iconic in the French interiors world – penning a slew of books on topics including The French Home, Essentially French and (un-French) Essentially Irish.  Both my client, P, and I have spent ages pouring through her books and when meeting her recently at the fair we “fan-girled out” literally moving ourselves into her stall, monopolizing her time.

Josephine Ryan

Josephine Ryan

Josephine is as lovely as in person, as she is a writer, and as her inventory is online.  Simply Swoonworthy.

Her booth at the Decorative Antiques Fair is always amongst the prettiest and her inventory practically flies off the shelf, so when shopping with Josephine buy quickly or the person standing beside you so innocently might just take the lead!

Josephine Ryan and The Antiques Diva

Josephine Ryan and The Antiques Diva

Josephine Ryan and The Antiques Diva

While a visit to Josephine’s website is pure armchair antiques travel, you can meet the famous authoress and vendeusse next week at the Autumn Edition of The Decorative Antiques Fair, otherwise known as Battersea!!

When?  1-6 October 2013
Where? Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
Why? To shop til you drop, seeing the best in decorative trends in one stop.

Save the Date to Join us at the Spring Fair 29 April-4 May, 2014 or  Autumn Fair 30 September-5 October, 2014

And just like when shopping with Josephine, don’t delay – our multi-day tours during these periods sell out quickly!!  During this period we  not only shop the fair but we criss-cross England from the south coast through the Thames River Valley and all over London!

Email to:toma@antiquesdiva.com”>toma@antiquesdiva.com for details.

By the way…while Josephine’s online store is sensational and her stall at Battersea is going to knock your socks off, you have to know that she also has a fabulous shop in London!  If you miss the fair dates above, you simply must pop into her shop and see her – and of course tell her The Antiques Diva & Co sent you!

Josephine Ryan Antiques
17 Langton Street
SW10 0JL

But wait…there’s more!  Not only can you visit Josephine’s shop in London, you can ALSO visit her house in Provence, France!  Ok, visit may not be the right word…  Did you know she allows visitors to RENT HER HOME in Provence?  You can live like Josephine for a week or more, staying in her charming home in France.  See her website for more details or follow her on Twitter!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

Diva Does Decorative Fair at London Battersea

Dear Diva Readers,

As I write this post, it’s late at night – the night before The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 23-28 April 2013 Battersea Park, London SW11. My heart is pounding, I can’t sleep. All I can think about are ANTIQUES – tomorrow I’ll be arriving the pearly gates of great decorative antique pieces.  I’ll be bringing a VIP Aussie client with me to shop – but I must confess – I might have to break my cardinal rule not to shop on tour with this client.  The fair is just going to be that good! Bloody H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, my purchases just might break the bank.

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This fair will host more that 140 of the top decorative antiques trade.  Anyone who has watched tors” target=”_blank”>Million Dollar Decorators knows this fair is a 1st port of call for decorators worldwide –  I particularly loved the episode in season 1 when Kathryn Ireland went to the show to decorate an old flame’s English country house.  And Martin Lawrence Bullard is famous for haunting the affairs.  But it’s not just Big Names in Lights that shop here… many of the American trade buyers who have built a name for having the best inventory in stock come over specifically for the event three times a year to see wonderful objects, furniture and works of art of all periods to tempt every aficionado of fine interiors. Traditional accessories from kitchenalia to wine glasses, textiles and quirky decorations such as antique shoes alongside ‘Grand Tour’ intaglios displayed under domes and taxidermy also under glass domes on a grand scale. The fair is also a serious source for good antique furniture from early English oak to Georgian walnut and Regency mahogany with Arts and Crafts and Art Deco pieces appearing more and more frequently.

Antiques Diva

Anyone who has followed the  publicity surrounding Antiques Young Guns will have noticed that the main event will be hosted at this venue which is the ultimate source for discerning homemakers, designers and trade.  The event, still known in the trade inner circles as “the Decorators’ Fair” is indeed an event for the Young Guns of the trade to aspire to and thanks to the generosity of the organiser David Juran they will have a bird’s eye view of this storming event from the complimentary stand in the foyer where a very varied selection of contributions from The Young Guns will be on display and for sale. The chance to submit stock to be showcased at what is an elite event for the more experienced members of the trade – The Heavy Artillery – was a driving force behind so many entries in the competition.

Keil and Stuart, the Fontaine boys, are now in their sixth year at The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Spring Fair and they seem to be on a gilded path with one successful fair after another, not forgetting their debut at Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair last year which was a sell out.   Their prominent stand just inside the main arena at Battersea is always a buzzy hive of activity and a quick check on their web site this week confirms that they have been on yet another buying frenzy in France. The boys seem to have a policy of keeping the stock fresh at all times in the former town laundry which they have artfully transformed in Margate, Kent. They have regular sales of existing stock when prices really are slashed together with their annual boozy and lively “deballage” where they also showcase new stock, and then off they go to France to replenish it all with fresh delights. They have an extremely sharp eye for trifles and baubles you did not realize you simply could not live without but they are also very clever at structuring all of this with sleek usable furniture – each piece with an arresting little detail to give it that little flick.

Somebody who is heading along his own gilded path is Young Gun George Johnson, aged 35, who owns Lady Kentmores in Callander up the picturesque Trossachs region of Scotland. George has in a very short space of time made a name for himself in his role as one of the four hosts on Channel 4’s Secret Removers and since this appearance has been offered a new role in another nationwide show still under embargo! George writes regularly for my colleague Gail McLeod’s website Antiques News and Fairs and a number of other trade press and has recently been snapped up to write a column for Money Maker Magazine, giving tips on how to make a profit from collectibles. You might recall that I described his shop as “a cocktail stirred but not shaken!” – a confection of curios, collectibles and the macabre.

As a key member of the crack team of judges for Antiques Young Guns, George was not eligible to enter the awards but he is able to display some of his stock on the Young Guns stand at Battersea. He has chosen two of his favorite pieces of taxidermy which he acquired after a lengthy and circuitous journey to a remote castle in the North of Scotland where the Laird had invited him to come and buy a few pieces. George found the journey home a lot more enjoyable with some prize examples of pre-war taxidermy in tow!

SO… on Thursday of this week – April 25th,2013 – I’m lucky enough to be returning back to Battersea (after shopping the Cotswolds and Sussex) to attend the Antiques Young Gun Competition!!  The contenders for winning the award of brightest light shining in the trade – in the under 39 category include:

Profiles of the shortlisted entrants for the 2013 National Antiques Week Young Guns award:

Robbie Timms (30), Bedfordshire


S&S Timms Antiques from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, one of the founding members of the original #AntiquesYoungGuns. He brings a new outlook to the traditional furniture side of the trade. Robbie launched the world’s first antiques shop iPhone/iPad App. Joined the family antiques business aged 16, and has ‘upped the ante’ by exhibiting at the UK’s top fairs.

Natalie Smith (32), Woodbridge


Opened her own antique centre at only 26 years old and proves that antique centres are not just an old person’s game. Got the antiques bug while visiting car boot fairs with her dad, took a degree in Italian, worked for a jewellers in Venice but really got into dealing when she helped sell some of her father’s collections.

Keeley Harris (36), York


Runs Discover Vintage & Vintage Emporium, has been making waves from her shop in York and from the various fairs she runs throughout the country. Fell in love with a Victorian doll’s house aged eight, and spent her teens buying at car boots and charity shops to sell on at antiques fairs. Interim jobs in events have helped her create very interactive vintage shows.

Kieran Mathewson (26), Herefordshire


Dealer in tribal art, architectural reclamation and country furniture. Has carved out a career through determination and a love for objects. First struck aged eight by a pewter tankard in a South African antiques shop that looked like one he had seen in a pirate movie -“I remember my heart racing, wondering about its history. That feeling is a high I have been chasing ever since!”

Paul Jones (29), N. Wales& Chester


Runs Morgan Fairs in Wales and has his own shop in Cheshire specialising in Victorian pine and country furniture, and smaller items including books, folk art and kitchenalia. His parents are in the trade (specialist Welsh and vernacular furniture dealers).

Paul was a mechanic until he realised his heart was really in antiques. Dealt at fairs for two years before opening his own shop.

Timothy Medhurst (21), Chelmsford


Turned a childhood love of coins in to a career as an auctioneer specialising in the numismatic world. Determined to bring a youthful edge to a field sometimes seen as old and stuffy. The youngest of our short-list, Timothy aged 10 was first amazed by a Victorian crown coin shown him by his grandmother. That sparked a collecting craze he developed into an online dealing business whilst still at school.

Matthew Nunn (37), Reading


Runs Apsley Antiques Ltd & Fleaglass Ltd and has been bringing the scientific antiques market to a whole new generation.
Spent years working in engineering but was hooked on antiques as a child, and started dealing when eBay launched.

Adam Partridge (39), Macclesfield


Adam is still a young gun, but has achieved so much in auctioneering after some major early set-backs. Well known from TV (Flog It! et al). His first purchase: a small oil painting, bought with pocket money aged eight, which he still has. Read classics at Oxford but spent more time haunting fairs and auctions.

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Sam Loxton (33), London


Travels the world sourcing the finest jewellery for Lucas Rarities Ltd and has a love for the finest items. In his words: “I consider myself a champion of antique jewellery…” He adored old books and antiques; soon after school he was offered two jobs at once – with the National Art Library and with Christie’s as a porter in the jewellery department. He took the latter and has been utterly dedicated to jewels ever since.

Chris Oxley (36), Wiltshire


Another founding member of the #AntiquesYoungGuns, busy rejuvenating the timeless world of fine clocks. His parents established P.A.Oxley Antique Clocks, and Chris started going on buying trips with them from the age of 10. He joined the business after leaving school, and now runs it with his mother.

Alys Dobbie (29), Cornwall& E. Sussex


Owns two vintage shops under the Nana Dobbie brand, one in Brighton and one in Lostwithiel, Cornwall; causing a stir in the 20th century collectables and vintage worlds. Another who fell in love with ‘retro’ whilst car-booting with her dad. Tried art college but couldn’t resist temptation to deal. Studied in order to do her own modern furniture restoration, and says her business has only ever used recycled packaging!

James Gooch (30), Bedfordshire


Another founding member of the #AntiquesYoungGuns, runs Doe & Hope, a web-based antiques and curios shop that aims to bring a bit of fun and showmanship to the trade. Early obsession with antiques television programmes. With a BA in film & video, he first worked as a runner and researcher in TV production. A small legacy from his grandmother was what prompted him to set up shop.

For full exhibitor list and times see The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair website!   In the meantime – I cannot wait to see you in London!!!

Let the shopping commence!
The Antiques Diva®



Please visit National Antiques Week Main Events feature with images and full details of all events and promotions.

We are delighted to report on the main events for National Antiques Week which in addition to the Antiques Young Guns campaign culminating in a sparkling evening to celebrate National Antiques Week with an awards ceremony followed by a party at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair.

London’s Calling…

Antiques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

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The Autumn Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair will be held from 2-7 October 2012 in the purpose-built marquee in Battersea Park, London SW, affectionately known as “Battersea” or “the Decorators’ Fair”. Perhaps the reason I love this fair so much is that it is aimed at a knowing audience decorating either their own home or that of a client and looking for a certain eclectic style from metropolitan chic to classic country house English and Continental furniture, period mirrors and lighting, works of art from all periods to the contemporary. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!! All this and more, including a tempting selection of one-off, individual accessories with an enviable choice for the collector, from tribal works to pictures, treen, ceramics and glass will be holding up the walls in marquee this autumn.

Why don’t you pop over to my locally based England Diva Agent’s website Antique News and Fairs and read what more she has to say about it!


You can also get more information by visiting the Decorative Fair website.

Now with all this information on the upcoming fair you might be downright disappointed that with late notice you can’t pop across the pond to attend the fair! Have no fear – the Decorative Fair will be back again – see details below.

Winter Fair: 22-27 January, 2013

Spring Fair: 23-28 April, 2013

Autumn Fair: 1-6 October, 2013

Planning your Antiques Diva England Tour to coincide with the plan would be brilliant! If you’re interested in either a Girls Getaway or a To The Trade Antique Shopping Tour in England, you could start your tour by attending the fair shopping like a world famous interior designer – using sources those same designers would rather you not know about. And then the next thing you know we would bebop you around Britain hitting more decorators sources in Britain. Whether you’re looking for cerebral or academic antiques, the old school decorative look beloved of England’s Country Houses or the quirky brave look of the modern dealer, booking an Antiques Diva Tour to coincide with the Decorative Fair would guarantee you saw the Best of Britain! Go Team GB!!

Diva Bags

Stay tuned for my Facebook and Twitter pics coming Live From The Fair!! This year I will be touring with fair with a group of London Design Bloggers on a special behind the scenes tour. Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone but I’ve already had these bloggers custom-made Antiques Diva shopping totes prepared for their tour! Aren’t they gorgeous? These bags are for our VIP tours – when you book your tour make sure you ask about how you can qualify to be a VIP – no, make that VID – Very Important Diva!!

Last but not least before I close and go catch my plane to Parma to attend Mercanteinfiera , I want to tell you about one more special offer. While our tours run year-round and can always be catered to your travel dates, we are starting to offer special tours on set dates available exclusively to our trade clients. We’ve got some trade dates available this fall – email me me toma@antiquesdiva.com to find out more and join us in England for special trade tours between October 15 and 22 and again in November 7 til the 14.

The Antiques Diva®

Toma Clark Haines

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Battersea – Roderic Haugh

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>A few days ago I mentioned that Becca Gauldie was going to be at the tor.html” target=”_blank”>Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair in London’s Battersea Park and today I want to introduce you to another sensational dealer – Roderic Haugh who trades regularly at Core One Antiques. In addition to selling in this Fulham antiques collective, Roderic also takes clients by appointment in London or Norwich where he has his workshops. In addition to selling art and antiques, he offers a restoration service for all types of antique furniture.

Today I want to share with you a few fun finds on the Roderic Haugh Antiques website (his site is chocked full of interesting finds) to whet your appetite before you attend next week’s London Fair!  Get ready to shop til you drop because I promise you Battersea is going to be good this Fall!

tor.html” target=”_blank”>September 27 – October 2nd – Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair – Battersea Park

This 1920’s Still Life is a Bargain at £590 – I’m utterly smitten by the colors and composition!

Anything Chinoserie is swoon-worthy in my mind and this George I Chinoserie Chest on a Stand for £3,600 is no exception.   Propping this in your living room says DIVA! 

This French Country Refectory Table (circa 1870) £2,600 is exceptionally wide and would make a great dining table for a casual country kitchen.  I’ve been looking for something similar for years… and the price on this one is just right.

Rats!  I was too slow in pulling my buying trigger – this Pair of Italian Giltwood Consol Tables is SOLD!  Tant pis pour moi!

What a gorgeous collection for great decorative appeal – 4 Bottles for £690

This collection of vintage Horticultural trays, priced each at £18, could be positively darling decorating a a sunroom or enclosed back porch

These are just a few of Roderic Haugh Antiques fun finds!   A decorative dealer since 1963 dealing in 18th, 19th and 20th Century furniture and objects with a difference, Roderic Haugh is one of the dazzling dealers at London’s famous Core One  (one of my favorite stops in London).  This antiques collective has 9 dealers, each with their own unique style, selling beautiful furniture and objects available to both private clients and trade!  This year at Battersea Core One Antiques will have a good showing of dealers exhibiting at Battersea! In addition to Roderic Haugh, you’ll find  Annabella Rothery and topheedwards.com/” target=”_blank”>Christophe Edwards.

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Don’t forget to visit Roderic Haugh at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea this September 27 to October 2, 2011.

Happy Shopping,
The Antiques Diva®