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;”>Hippity 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 to:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
The Antiques Diva®
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;”>From my home in Berlin this holiday season I want to wish you a Happy Easter – or as they say in Germany – ‘Frohe Ostern! While many countries have adopted German traditions such as the Easter bunny, Easter eggs and the Easter tree, these are all traditions that were born in Germany.
While the egg has long been a symbol of re-birth, I’ve always wondered how it became used as a symbol during Easter traditions. While this has something to do with both pagan rites and Christian traditions, I found a historical tidbit about the use of eggs in Germany during Lent and Easter quite interesting!
During the 40-day Lenten fast before Easter, many Christians abstain from eating certain foods and traditionally that included eggs. But the hens keep on laying those eggs – even if no one eats them! Some of those eggs were boiled to make Easter Eggs – often these were dyed red to represent drops of Christ’s blood as well as the regeneration of life, while others were decorated with intricate floral or geometric motifs. After the fast had been broken – a week before Easter on Palm Sunday – Catholics could again cook dishes using eggs. Those that were used for traditional Easter dishes were not cracked but rather emptied by blowing the contents into a bowl through pinholes at either end of the egg.
In many parts of Europe, Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday) is the traditional day for decorating Easter eggs. The hollow eggs are then decorated, a folk-art still practiced in many Eastern European countries today. These eggs are then hung on the “Osterbaum” – the Easter Tree – as well as outside of shrubs and bushes!
Hippity-hop hop, Hippity hop hop – Easter’s on its way!!
The Antiques Diva®
Photo Credit below: Angelica Arbula
to 10px; WIDTH: 225px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SQ1rpnL0a5I/AAAAAAAACKI/iSEmVFnHY90/s320/scan0064.jpg” border=”0″ />
lients who take Antiques Diva Tours are often looking for a different way to see a country. In my case, I offer retail therapy and a chance to score the perfect souvenir – a chance to bring home a bit of that country and to set it on the mantle as your home décor!
Tourists often take courses while on holiday, but it’s usually something sporty like scuba diving, parasailing or kayaking courses, but Christa Snoek “Bloemsierkunst”
is offering something different – floral design workshops fit for a diva!
Whether you’re a seasoned floral expert or merely interested in learning to puff your home décor, all you have to do is sign up to attend one of her many workshops throughout the year! Then you simply show up at her atelier which is located in what seems to be the middle of no-where, but is in fact in the middle of Holland’s flower district. When you walk into her workshop stuffed from end to end with gorgeous buckets of flowers you’ll think you’ve died and gone to – Holland!
Can you think of a better way to “get to know a country” than through their most famous export – in this case flowers? Upcoming workshops include:
Kerst (Christmas) Flowers – courses run from 1 Nov – Dec 22 and cost between 17.50 and 45 Euros
Passen (Easter) Flowers – courses run from 27 March – 9 April and cost between 17.50 and 25 Euros
Zomerbloemen (Summer Flowers) – courses run 5 June – 25 Sept and cost from 15 Euros
Not only do you learn great hints and tips for flower arranging, but you also have a chance to meet local ladies who are taking the workshop with friends as well. Christa also sells a variety of “Woonaccessoires and Bloemisterijartikelen” – Home Goods and Floral Accessories – at significantly lower prices than you’d find elsewhere in Holland. All in all, Christa Snoek Flower Workshops receive 2 thumbs up from this diva!