Dear Diva Readers,
ippity Hop Hop! Hippity Hop Hop! Easters on its way!! It’s hard to believe that it’s already officially spring time! That means that Easter is almost upon us and that’s got me thinking about Easter baskets. You know what I think stinks? Is that as adults we no longer wake up to an Easter basket. This year I might just have to buy myself my own basket!!!! And of course not only would I fill it full of chocolate and candy but I’d also add in some antique Belgian chocolate molds so the gift just keeps on giving throughout the year. Incidentally Brussels’ Place de Grand Sablon Flea Market is THE PLACE to find these molds. In fact the largest vendors of antique chocolate molds in the entire world has a stand right there at the antiques market!
Antique chocolate molds were traditionally in the shapes of butterflies, bunnies, and eggs along with various other shapes which developed over time. As with many utilitarian items, these molds became more and more decorative as time went on. The detail and craftsmanship has improved over many years, yet their original purpose is still served—to create yummy and gorgeous chocolates! They come as single molds, which are usually larger, or tray-like moulds which allow you to make several of the same shape at once.
Another fantastic thing about antique molds is that they make beautiful decorative accents. With many of them being made of metal, which takes on such a wonderful patina, they can be hung in mass on a kitchen wall to create an interesting focal point. You can also use them on a plate shelf as objects of interest. From copper to tin, these molds have been around in grand kitchens as well as humble abodes throughout Europe.
Of course if you’re a serious collector, you’ll want to look for a maker’s mark (stamp) and definitely take into consideration the condition of the molds you find. Another factor that plays into the value of each mold is the rarity of its shape. Most antique molds were made in France and Germany, then exported all over Europe. From the early 18th century through modern times, chocolate molds have evolved and reflected the style of each era. For instance, earlier molds were very detailed in Victorian times while during the Art Deco era they became more streamlined with an air of fantasy.
If you’d like information on taking one of our Antique Buying Tours in Belgium or any of our 8 European tour countries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
You’re cordially invited to the launch of my new Online Brocante:
When I launched The Antiques Diva™ blog I had no idea where it would take me. Since its creation the entire concept has exploded and The Antiques Diva Tours was born! Last year The Antiques Diva™ Tours landed on the pages of Travel+Leisure and Marie Claire and this summer we’ll appear in the Delta Airlines in-flight publication as well as Victoria magazine! Needless to say, it’s been very exciting to see The Antiques Diva™ blog grow up and turn into a business. But hold onto your hats, we’re expanding yet again! This time we’re dipping our toe into the world of online retail, bringing the European Flea Markets home to you which means that even when you are in-between trips around “the continent” you can still keep shopping “les puce” with the click of your mouse, regardless of locale!
You might have noticed the use of the word “we”…. Just as I work with locally based divas to help with my Antiques Diva Tours in Holland, Belgium, France and Germany, I’m not doing this new venture alone – I’ve got a partner! Enter stage right Jane Snyder, a retired bank executive voted as one of the most powerful women in banking turned full-time shopping goddess. Jane is a diva in motion and she’s devoting herself to juggling high-powered auctions, private estate sales and all our favorite brocantes from Paris to Amsterdam, London, Brussels and beyond! Hey, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!
At our Online Brocante you’ll find the type of inventory you’d find in a European market with the precious displayed precariously next to the pop. I’ve always been a fan of the old English Country house style of décor where decades are layered upon the centuries, achieving an irreverence in décor only possible in the old world. With “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ we’re bringing the old world to the new one. You’re as likely to find a Delft plate that’s been around longer than America has been a nation as you are to find a vintage Moët et Chandon champagne bucket perfect for plunking a bottle of bubbly at a picnic. From vintage Chanel bracelets and belts to antique copper tea kettles and sterling silver cutlery, our inventory consists of everything from antiques and art to vintage items with a few decor items and objects of curiosity thrown in for good measure!
To keep things simple all our pricing is inclusive of ALL shipping fees – in other words, the price listed at our online store is the total price you pay! And should you happen to be traveling in Holland, feel free to make an appointment to visit our private atelier. The entire collection of “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ is open ONLY BY APPOINTMENT in the charming Dutch village of Wassenaar just outside The Hague.
We invite you to join us at our new site “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™. And while you’re there, why don’t you subscribe to receive updates via email? We’ll be adding inventory each week with special offers especially with you in mind. And should you be looking for something specific, do let us know. We’re happy to shop with you in mind!
Click here to shop my new online brocante: “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™.
The Antiques Diva™
Style & Design Best of the Web
The Decorating Diva happens to be the premier online magazine for coverage on the latest trends in home design, green design, color, home decor and healthy home living. Plus, they give great reviews of a variety of home decorating products!
The Decorating Diva was founded by Carmen Natschke, the award-winning designer and co-founder of Room In A Kit LLC. In 2002 the parent company decided to spin off a sister company of Room In A Kit LLC by launching The Decorating Divas workshops where students learned everything from how to faux paint to how to accessorize like a professional decorator. At each workshop, dozens of students asked about online decorating and buying resources and The Decorating Diva online magazine was born from those requests!
Each week The Decorating Diva draws attention “to the very best and most fabulous design, decorating, entertaining and style sites on the Internet”. Their criteria is simple: They look for value to the reader, engaging content, originality and creativity. They select the most outstanding sites that they find (or that are submitted to them for review). Do you know someone who fits this description? Then recommend them! Recommend your favorite design and style blog by sending nominations to email@example.com and give another blogger a chance to be delighted!
Want to read what The Decorating Diva had to say about The Antiques Diva™?
Decorating Diva writes:
“The Antiques Diva is written by the fabulous Toma Haines, an American expat living in Berlin, Germany with an extraordinary eye for luxe European antiques, vintage jewelry, and art. Toma has taken her love of antiques shopping and made it a career – lucky for antiques lovers (and travel lovers, too) the world over! Toma offers European antiques and decor shopping tours in Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, Antwerp and Berlin. To keep up with Toma’s latest antique finds, follow The Antiques Diva on Twitter.”
Thanks Decorating Diva – Though we both know you’re a diva every day, we’re giving you “The Diva of the Day” award here at The Antiques Diva™ site as a small way to say Merci Beaucoup!
The Antiques Diva™
Whichever side of the pond you live on (and whatever pond that might be), add The Affordable Art Fair to your list of upcoming outings. With opportunities to buy art from leading, carefully selected vendors at prices as low as 50E ($100) moving upwards to 5,000E – ($10,000), top quality, contemporary art is available at prices that make it possible to pursue your passion for becoming an art collector!
The Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam
29 Oct – 1 Nov, 2009
Gashouder & Transformatorhuis, Westergasfabriek-terrein
The Affordable Art Fair London
22-25 Oct, 2009
The Affordable Art Fair New York
(Sadly 2009 dates have passed – so stay tuned for May 6-9, 2010)
7 West New York
The Affordable Art Fair Sydney
22-25 Oct, 2009
Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park
The Affordable Art Fair Melbourne
(Sadly 2009 dates passed, stay tuned for April 2010)
The Affordable Art Fair Paris
(Sadly 2009 dates passed, stay tuned for June 2010)
The Affordable Art Fair Brussels
Feb 5-8, 2010
Tour et Taxis, Shed 1
Until Next Time,
The Antiques Diva™
otherwise known as The Art Diva!
Are you familiar with iReport? In a stunning example of how society is evolving and embracing technology and connectivity, CNN launched a user-driven content initiative two years ago called iReport. News media has always been a top-down channel of relaying information to the general public, but the iReport initiative completely inverts that traditional process.
The beauty of iReport is that CNN has effectively extended their news-gathering capabilities to nearly every corner in the world – all without having to employ an army of reporters. They now have access to intimate and time-sensitive information that they could never otherwise have had.
For example, without iReport, CNN might never have known about the DNN – the Diva News Network! After returning home tonight from a Decorative and Fine Arts Society meeting in The Hague, I sat down to check my emails, only to discover a mail from my friend Suzanne which read “I just saw you on CNN!!!“ To my pleasant surprise, the Diva News Network video on Brussels was selected by CNN to appear on their CNN.com homepage as a primary iReport listing! Visit the site today (who knows how long it will be posted!).
The Antiques Diva
Building on momentum from last week’s DNN Video The Hague, I decided to hit the streets again, diva style, in this special DNN episode on Brussels Place du Grand Sablon. This posh square boasts an upscale weekend antiques market every Saturday 9 am – 5pm and Sunday 9am – 1pm. Lining the square you’ll find lively cafes, chic designer shopping, interior stores and enough high-end antique boutiques to see why the Place du Grand Sablon is considered “THE” place to be for weekend Belgium entertainment. Join me as I share historical and tourist information and then delve deep inside the market to show you some of the best finds of the day!
The Antiques Diva ™
This Brussels video was picked up by CNN and shown on their CNN.com homepage on October 6th, 2008. Click here to see the official Antiques Diva shown on CNN!
You recently posted some brocante dates for Holland and France. Can you recommend a similar list for England? I love watching BBC television for their decorating and antiques programs. I would like to visit an antique fair and country fair while touring the UK this August. My husband is English and thus far each trip across the Channel has been to visit his friends or family in Somerset. This year for our holiday I convinced him to take me on a tour of his home land so I can visit the sites we see on TV. This will be our first “holiday” in the UK. We’ll take the ferry from Calais and as my husband phrases it, “We will peter around for 4 weeks.” He’s setting the itinerary but do you know of a good antique fair we could visit?
Your advice is appreciated.
You are a lucky lady! Not only have you married an English man (I’m a pushover for those sexy British accents) but you have family & friends to visit in Somerset whenever you want. I suspect you’ve read every Jane Austen novel there is and I imagine you call “ton marie” Darcy every chance you get! Nevertheless, I can understand you wanting to get out and see more of the countryside. Jolly old England happens to be one of my favorite places on the planet and if I weren’t taking a driving tour of Italy before hopping on our Mediterranean Cruise this August, I might have major envy over your travel plans! You must let us know where you went and what you did when all is said and done!!
As for antique fairs, again lady luck has smiled down on you as August in England is smacked full of great antiques fairs and country fairs. And (again lucky you) I just met up with my good friend The English Rose who was taking a long weekend in Brussels last weekend on her quest to visit all the European capitals. While there, The English Rose loaded my arms with a stack of English magazines and in that stack happened to be the latest copy of BBC Homes & Antiques.
All your answers come from this August 2008 issue – so you might want to bid The English Rose a quick Bonjour & Merci while tootling around the countryside!
The Antiques Diva™
(with a little help from her friend, The English Rose)
International Antiques & Home Show
5-6 August, 2008 at RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire
7-8 August, 2008 at Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground in Winthorpe
8-10 August, 2008 at Bingley Hall – Straffordshire Country Showground
The South Cotswolds Antique Fair
8-10 August, 2008 at Westonbirt School
Affordable Ceramics & Decorative Arts Sale
16-18th August, 2008 at Dreweatts Auction House – Mansfield Road, Nottingham
Brussels Expo Centre
May 1 – 4 – Antiek en Brocantemarkt,Havenbuurt, Blankenberge
May 16 -19 – Eurantica Brussels – Fine Art & Antiques Fair
Palais 5 de Brussels Expo
June 1 – Grote 9 Straaten en Pleinen Rommelmarkt, Gent
June 27 – Avondrommelmarkt – Kuringen
July 5 – Rommelmarkt, Veurne
August 2 – Trammelant Rommel en Kunstmarkt, De Haan
(Vendors dressed in Belle Epoque costumes)
August 23 – 24 – Brocante Rommelmarkt, Temploux
September 13 – Grote Rommelmarkt, Gent
September 13 -1 4 – Zomerendemarkt, Klemskerke
The Antiques Diva™
hat do Paris, Provence, London, Bath and The Cotswold’s have in common with Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Tongeren and Ghent?
They are all featured as having fabulous antique shopping in the new series The Antiques Diva™ is writing for EscapeArtist.com.
In case you’re not yet readers of this online magazine, click here to join me as I take you on a whirlwind antique shopping tour of Europe! But I warn you, you’d best bookmark this article as you won’t want to take a trip without consulting this series before hand!
Happy Reading and, as always, Happy Travels,
The Antiques Diva ™