Valentine’s Sale: I Heart Ham!

Dear Diva Readers,

The smell of Ham is in the air….  You’ve heard me wax on for years about The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham in Paris!!   This SPRING we’re doing some SPECIAL OFFERS for blog readers who email me”> saying “I HEART HAM” in the title of their email!

Antiques Diva

What does this special Paris Antiques Diva Tour entail??  Two Full Days Flea Marking in Paris on the arm of a Diva Guide who knows as much about antiques as she does jambon, giving you entrance into one of France’s most culturally rich antique fairs…  which just so happens to be the crème of the crop for decorative antique shoppers in Paris.

The “I Heart Ham” Discount will give you 150 EUROS off of a 2 Day 2 Person  Paris Ham Fair & Flea Market Tour if you book a 2 Day tour occurring during March 15 -24, 2013.  Tour must be booked by Feb 14th to receive the LOVE this Valentine’s Day!

Is your party larger than 2 people? The bigger your party, the bigger the discount  per person we can offer on this special tour!!

We’re going Hog Wild! 

The Antiques Diva®

How could I forget

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Dear Diva Readers,

How could I forget…. While I was away in Italy at Mercanteinfiera – a gorgeous antiques fair in Parma, Italy – I never rang the opening bell for The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham in the Parisian suburbs! The”>Ham Fairruns until October 7th 2012 – but don’t worry, if you’ve missed this year’s fair it’s back again in the Spring!  Email me for the full on details of our upcoming special Spring tours!

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I’ve got to tell you the best news I’ve heard all year…this fabulous fair just got better.  One of my favorite Swedish and French vendors – Britt Poulsen of Casa Nova Antiques  – is now selling at the Ham Fair.  Discover her booth at 6 Rue Saint Sabin and you are destined to go home with the creme de la creme of the inventory at Chatou!

I first got to know Britt at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in England via an introduction from my locally based Diva Guide in England, Gail. Immediately upon meeting Britt I explained that we were taking clients on a Scandinavian antiques buying tour in May and the next thing I knew my clients and I had an invitation to her gorgeous home in Copenhagen for lunch! Upon entering her apartment where she sells from her home I swooned in delight – not only were she and her husband among the most gracious antique dealers I had ever met, their inventory was first class! The experience was such that I pitched a home feature chez elle to one of the glossies and will be writing about her for a print publication later this winter. In the meantime I couldn’t wait to spread the word and if you are going to Chatou you must drop in for a quick Bonjour! Britt also is one of the illustrious dealers at The Blanchard Collective in England and so I’ll be enjoying some of her inventory when visiting Blanchard’s booth later this week at The Decorative Fair in London also on concurrently in the UK until October 7.

Happy Shopping wherever your travels take you!
The Antiques Diva®

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Ham Fair Starts Today!

Dear Diva Readers,

Can you smell it? Ham is in the air!” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon starts today, March 9th, and lasts until March19th in the Paris-suburb of Chatou!

One of the first vendors I’m going to be dashing towards when the gates open is Madame Blandine Bavoux’s quintessentially French stall with gorgeous café au lait bowls, enamel canisters and assorted kitchenalia. For those of you who aren’t able to make it to the fair this year… have no fear, Blandine also runs an online store Jolie Trouvailleselling all the pretty things she finds!

Today I’ll be joining the market with a special crew of clients!! We’re going HOG WILD as part of the GRAND PRIZE TRIP for the Winner of the Charcutepalooza’s Competition….

Alongside Charcutepalooza’s Cathy Barrows, Truffle Pig Travel Agency’s Jack Dancy and the Kitchen at Camont’s Kate Hill, I’ll be shopping with Charcutepalooza Grand-Prize-Trip-to-France winner: the divine gourmand Peter of A Cook Blog!

Not only will we shop the flea market – but we’ll be dining on my favorite meal all year…

We’re going to have more fun than a barrel of pigs!!

Let the Shopping Commence!!
The Antiques Diva®
Seen below with Diva Guide Kim P

PS> There’s still time to book a Last Minute Diva Tour of The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham! Email”> or inquire about September 2012 dates

Save the Date for a French Brocante Tour March 2012

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Photo Credit: NY Times Monika Höfler

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;”>Who doesn’t love Paris in the Spring?  From March 9 -18, 2012 we’ll celebrate the start of the flea market season with tou/” target=”_blank”>La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons – the French National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham – offering tours that combine cooking lessons at the Ritz with antiquing excursions to Renoir’s painting paradise on the Ile de Chatou!  With options to book one-day or multi-day French flea market tours it’s time to go “Hog Wild” in Paris by booking a special tour!

But don’t just take my word for it, tou/” target=”_blank”>take The New York Times

The Antiques Diva & Co was delighted to get a mention in a recent New York Times Style Magazine in an article titled Pigs & a Blanket covering this delightful Ham and Antiques Fair! 

For March 2012 Tour queries – or for info on any of our antique shopping tours in 6 different countries –  email”>

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

(Seen below with Antiques Diva Paris Guide Kim)

My Top 3 Fav Brocantes in Paris!

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;”>Each fall and spring you hear me wax on about the famed Foire Nationale à la Brocante et au Jambon in the Parisian suburb of ile de Chatou, but I fear I’ve been neglecting my duties.  While I love the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham, I have 2 other Parisian brocantes – traveling flea markets – that also get my blood pumping with the same degree of diva fever – and you’re in luck, they’re on soon in Paris! 

Top 3 Paris Brocantes:
1) Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon (next dates 23 Sep-2 Oct 2011)

2) Antiquities Brocante at Place de Bastille (THIS WEEK May 19-29, 2011 and Nov 4-13, 2011)

3) Antiquities Brocante at St Sulpice (Next Month: June 8-19, 2011)

That’s right – one of my all time favorite markets is on RIGHT NOW in PARIS – The Antiquities Brocante at Place de Bastille is THIS WEEK May 19-29, 2011! If you’re in the city of light, you’d best get shopping!!!  To find out all the diva details read my column “tory/ask-antiques-diva-salon-des-antiquities-de-bastill/” target=”_blank”>Ask The Antiques Diva” in the Bonjour Paris newsletter to find out what sorts of treasures you’ll find at the 480+ vendors selling at this fair!

And should you miss this event, have no fear! Mark your calendar for the fall when the fair is back again this Nov 4-13, 2011! 

And speaking of marking your calendar, next month on one of the chicest squares in town – the Place St Sulpice (of Da Vinci Code fame) –  there will be a smaller but oh-so-lovely flea market fair with about 110 vendors selling perfect pieces from Paris from June 8-19th.  An antique dealer friend (who shall remain nameless lest I give all his secrets away) swears by this fair as his source for the best items in his store – plus, he claims that he’s rubbed shoulders on more than one occasion with the squares most famous resident, Madame Catherine Deneuve, whose penthouse apartment overlooks the fair!

Now readers, I have one question for you – Do you have any favorite Brocantes in Paris?? If so, share the details!!!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

Flea Market Dogs

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;”>If I believed in reincarnation I would want to return to this next life as a dog in Paris!!  They live the good life – Parisians carry their dogs in their Louis Vuitton hand-bags as they dash across the city, going from chic locale to chic locale.  Restaurants in Paris not only allow les chiens to accompany their owners to the table but they’re often given their own plate and water bowl under the table!  On top of that, the average French dog visits the spa more times per year than I do… and if that wasn’t enough to have me interested in living my next life as a French dog, they also flea market! Today in honor of the Spring Semester of my favorite flea market in France – La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons going on this March 11-20, 2011 – I want to share with you a few snap shots of these furry French friends I’ve taken over the years at this famed flea market in the Parisian suburb of Chatou.

I think some vendors simply bring their pets because they look so darn cute cuddled underneath their inventory!  This pup would certainly convince me to buy that basket!

Other dogs are put to work guarding the antiques and vintage pieces in their master’s stall… or perhaps, rather than guarding they are used to lure customers into the stall with their cuteness!

Meanwhile some of the dogs at the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham are for sale! You could take home this English Victorian Dog Pitcher or this charmingly naïve painting of a French bow-clad puppy!


But sometimes it gets to be too much – As you can see, all this shopping is exhausting for the poor dogs! 

Sometimes they simply have to take a break!

And when the dogs find something they really want at the flea market – like these gorgeous gilt chairs… they plead and whine in hopes of getting their way!  With those puppy dog eye’s I’m a goner… I’d give into their whims every time!

When the day is the done, the dog knows it and he takes his master home!  After spending the day at les puce, I’m happy as a dog!

The Antiques Diva®

The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou

Dear Diva Readers,

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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;”>The fair coordinators who organize my favorite French flea market –” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons in Ile de Chatouwhich is going on in the Paris suburbs March 11-20, 2011, have compiled “Les 10 Commandements du Chineur a la Brocante de Chatou” or “The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou” to help customers shop the fair.   

Because their version is only available” target=”_blank”>in French, I thought I’d provide you with a rough translation (and a few ad libs) to let you know what the French fair coordinators have to say about what to do – or more importantly what not to do – when shopping this National French Fair of the Flea Market and Ham.  Now that’s what I call the inside scoop à la française!

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1) Se lever tôt et venir en semaine.  Get up early and shop during the week (to avoid the crowds).

2) Ne pas hésiter à revenir souvent: la marchandise se renouvelle pendant la durée de la Foire.
Don’t visit the fair just once; return often as many vendors put out new inventory as the fair passes by.

3) Avoir l’oeil vif et la curiosité en éveil.
Shop with a keen eye – ask questions and let your curiosity be aroused by all the treasures Chatou holds!

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4)  Prendre son temps: fouiner, chiner, chercher inlassablement pour dénicher la pièce unique. Take your time to snoop, digging thru the piles.  If you seek tirelessly from vendor to vendor, you’ll be rewarded with finding that oh-so-unique piece!

5)  Montrer que l’objet ou le meuble vous intéresse.
Tell the vendor what you’re interested in – show them the items in their stall you like.

6)  Discuter gentiment, personne ne doit perdre la face.
When negotiating, be nice.  No one should “lose face” during the discussions.

7) Rester courtois, pas d’offre ridicule ou de capitulation honteuse.
This point is so important that the fair coordinators make it twice – “Remain polite, don’t ask for ridiculous or even insulting negotiations.

8) Ne pas dénigrer la marchandise, le brocanteur connaît les défauts de ce qu’il propose et ajuste son prix en conséquence, donc il faut savoir doser habilement ses réticences.
Do not disparage the inventory – the dealer is already aware of his inventories defects and has probably already adjusted its prices accordingly.  While asking for a discount is always expected at the market, you need to know “how to balance a vendor’s reluctance skillfully”.


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9) Faire appel aux experts présents pendant toute la durée de la Foire en cas de litige.
The fair has experts on hand to evaluate and give estimates on inventory at the fair, should you need an outsider’s opinion, get the experts to give their advice. 

10) La rigueur n’est pas de règle, c’est la loi de l’offre et de la demande et celle de la mode. Le prix est basé sur la qualité et la rareté de l’objet. Aussi faut-il beaucoup regarder, questionner, marchander, savoir dire non et quitter avec gentillesse, ne pas se presser.
Price is based on any number things – from supply & demand to fashion.  The antiques are priced based upon their quality and the rarity of the object for sale. Check prices from stall to stall, ask the vendor questions about the piece, always haggle and if the price isn’t interesting to you thank the vendor for his time and carry on shopping les puce!

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva
(Seen below last March with my Chatou steal – I paid only 150E for this giant antique mirror!)

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Smells Like Bacon – National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham

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;”>Your olfactory pied piper isn’t leading you astray… Paris is starting to smell a lot like bacon!  That’s because my tory/favorite-french-flea-market-interview/”>favorite flea market in Paris – the twice annual”>Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons is back!!!   


When:   March 11-20, 2011
Attention Antiques Dealers Get to Shop Early on March 10th!

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What: More than 800 vendors selling the best antiques from the whole of France.  As if that weren’t enough to get you drooling, add a smorgasbord of vendors hawking jambons & produits du terroir

Where:  Just outside Paris proper in the suburbs – take RER A to Chatou-Croissy, direction St-Germain en Laye

How Much: Entrée Charged: 5E per person


Least you be worried about over-packing your suitcases with all the loot you buy at the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham,  fear not – the vendor coordinators have thought of everything!  International shipping services are available on site!

Make sure to read tory/favorite-french-flea-market-interview/”>my interview in Bonjour Paris newsletter about this market!  Or to get a man’s perspective read a Guest Blog from tou/# “>The Professor a few years ago – he’ll have you rolling the aisles with laughter!

Last but not least, don’t forget you can always book an Antiques Diva® Guided Tour of the Paris Flea Market and The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham by emailing”>

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

Paris! The National Fair of The Flea Market and Ham Starts Today!!

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La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou start’s today – March 12th!

Come! Come now to this suburb just outside Paris, France!! You’ll find the absolute best assortment of French antiques plus some wonderful food all in one locale – what more could a person ask for??

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When :
Friday, March 12 to Sunday March 21*
Daily from 10am – 7pm.
*Dealers shop early on March 11 with invitation for entrance.

Where :
the Parisian suburb of ile de Chatou

What :
Europe’s best twice annual flea market with over 800 vendors !

How to Get There :
Take RER A Direction Saint Germain en Laye to stop Chatou

Don’t forget to tour.html” target=”_blank”>book an Antiques Diva Tour to visit the famed flea market on the arm of a seasoned shopper !

The Antiques Diva™

Fall France Brocante and Art Market Calendar Update

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

Joel Garcia, Paris’ pre-eminent organizer of brocantes, art salons and antique fairs just released their upcoming “CALENDRIER DES MANIFESTATIONS A VENIR”. Add these dates to your agenda!

ANTIQUITES BROCANTE / VIEUX PAPIERS – Antique Markets and Flea Markets/ Old Paper Markets

23 Octobre – 1er Novembre : Salon du Livre et Papiers anciens – Paris – Espace Champerret / 23 October – 1st November: Old Books and Papers Salon

5 – 15 Novembre : Salon d’Antiquités Brocante – Paris – Place de la Bastille / 5-15 November: Antiques and Bric-a-Brac Market – Paris – Place de la Bastille. Read more about a special Antiques Diva Tour of the to-join-two-special-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>Place de Bastille Brocante.

GRANDS MARCHES D’ART CONTEMPORAIN / Large Contemporary Art Markets

3 – 6 Septembre : GMAC – Valbonne – Le Pré des Arts / 3-6 September: Valbonne (Alpes-Maritimes region) Art Fair

15 – 18 Octobre : GMAC – Chatou – Ile des Impressionnistes / 15-18 October Chatou (Paris suburb) Ile des Impressionnistes

27 Octobre – 1er Novembre : GMAC – Paris – Place de la Bastille / 27 October- 1 November Paris Place de la Bastille

Find more information on the Joel Garcia website!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

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