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English Tea Caddies

Dear Diva Readers,

Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we offer Antique Buying Tours in 8 different countries. And while our Diva Guides are all united by their love for antiques, it seems that each country has something unique to offer. Whether it is a certain style, a way of living, or particular pieces specific to a certain country, we always try to show clients what makes each locale special. Often times clients want to take a piece home of whichever tour country they’re in, and we love that! Whenever I’m in England it seems that there are a few key things that come to mind—The Royal Family, great country houses, and of course TEA! Clients always enjoy stopping for a spot of tea in between antiquing appointments and participating in this quintessentially English tradition. Of course, many of our sources sell antique tea services, spoons, and caddies. Tea caddies make wonderful decorative accessories and can be beautifully displayed alone or in a collection. With a wide variety of caddies out there, here’s a bit of history on them.

English Tea Caddies-Silver

George III Sterling Silver Tea Caddy London 1783-1784 by Thomas Daniell

English Tea Caddy- glazed

Early Staffordshire Green Glazed Tea Caddy

Tea was introduced to England from China sometime in the middle of the 17th century. As it became popular and more in demand, the price went up and so did the tax. People began incorporating the ritual of tea time into their daily lives at home, making tea a necessity. Tea was taxed at an extremely high rate in the 17th and 18th centuries, therefore it needed to be kept under lock and key and this is where the invention of tea caddies came into play. 17th century tea containers were bottle-shaped jars made from glass, china, silver, and metal. However it was during the 18th century that tea caddies, box-shaped containers, became a typical accessory in private homes. As with any functional piece, tea caddies became more decorative with time and adapted to the needs of changing tastes and traditions.

English Tea Caddy-Regency

Regency Period Burr Yew Shaped Box

English Tea Caddy- Chinoiserie

English Chinoiserie Papier Mâché Tea Caddy with Pewter Fitted Interior

Some caddies had two compartments—one for storing green tea and one for storing black tea— as it became desirable to offer both types of tea. Many caddies also had a space to store sugar which was an integral component to tea drinking. During the early 18th century, tea caddies were made primarily of wood or silver and shaped like small chests. Caddies from the second half of the 18th century began to incorporate painted decorations, Chinoiserie motifs, and even straw work. Other materials used to make caddies included papier-mâché, tortoiseshell, and ivory. Cabinet makers and woodworkers began offering tea caddies to their clientele as well. The late 18th century caddies were made of pine, oak or mahogany and veneered in different woods such as native fruitwoods as well as more exotic imported woods, which gave the cabinet makers more scope for designs. This enabled the makers to make the best use of rich figuring in the wood as many surfaces could be cut from the most beautiful pieces.

English Tea Caddy- Tortoiseshell

Regency Period Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy

When it comes to early 19th century, we begin to see the Regency style reflected in tea caddies. With improved transport and trade, the culture in England had changed somewhat. The natural progression toward incorporating different cultures can be seen in the style of that time, and a departure from the old English forms. Anglo Indian and Chinese Export lacquer styles as well as materials like mother of pearl can be seen in the styles of tea caddies during this period. The neo classical influence of the 18th century began to effect the construction of tea caddies. Straight shapes and stylized ornaments were translated in the style of classical architectural forms in tea caddy design.

English tea caddies-collection

Collection of Late 18th / Early 19th Century Tea Caddies Variously Mounted

The second half of the 19th century brought changes as well. Social and economic growth as well as medial enhancements meant the population had grown exponentially. Increased trade gave opportunity to more people to increase their wealth and social standing. This meant the the demand for tea sky-rocketed. As tea drinking became a reality for people in small villages, as well as those in crowded cities, the English government was pressured to reduce prices on tea, and they withdrew the monopoly of the East India Company to import tea. With tea being imported from China as well as India, it became much more accessible. Of course this meant that all of the tea accoutrement increased in demand too, including the tea caddy. With new mechanical processes, it was easier to cut veneer. By this time timber was being imported from the Far East, Africa, the Americas, and New Zealand, meaning the options for variety were endless. From basic caddies for the average citizen to rare and valuable caddies made for Nobility, tea caddies, as with most material possessions, became status symbols.

English Tea Caddy-Silver Double

Silver Plate Double Tea Caddy, circa 1940

Today they can be pressed into service for their original purpose or simply enjoyed aesthetically for their beauty. Whether you prefer intricately detailed tea caddies crafted from exotic materials or a clean-lined elegant silver caddy, there is a style to suite every taste! If you would like information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour of England, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d also love to help source English tea caddies for you though our Buying Services! It’s a great way to buy antiques abroad even if you can’t travel yourself.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Windsor Chairs

Dear Diva Readers,

While we offer antiques buying tours in eight European countries, we seem to consistently get inquiries about a few specific locations. With a rich history in furniture design, it’s no wonder the UK is one of our top tour countries when it comes to client requests. There are certain pieces that instantly make one think of England, and the Windsor chair is one of those.

Windsor Chairs

Recognized for its spoke-like spindles on the chair back, Windsor chairs also feature solid wooden seats which were often carved into a saddle shape to make them more comfortable. The seat is typically made from a thick timber which is strong and durable that provides strength and stability but also is able to be shaped to the desired look of a Windsor chair. That’s why elm is often used for the seat of an English Windsor chair, because it has interlocking grains which give good cross-grain strength that resists splitting once the holes are drilled for the chair back near the edge of the seat.

Windsor Chairs

While it is not known when the first Windsor chairs were made, it is speculated that chair spindles were crafted by the same men who created wheel spokes as early as the 16th century. As all design seems to adapt from earlier models, the Windsor chair may be derived from the stick-back chairs of Wales and Ireland. By the 18th century steam-bending was being used to form the bow of the Windsor chair and they were being shipped from High Wycombe where they were made to the town of Windsor, Berkshire where they would be sold, often to London dealers.

Regardless of where the idea originated, the name for the Windsor chair probably comes from its use at Windsor Castle in England. In the 18th century the Windsor chair was used in the gardens of Windsor Castle, and they soon became popular garden seats throughout the country. In those early years they were often painted green or simply left to weather, but by the late part the the 18th century they could be found indoors in darker tones being used everywhere from taverns to meeting houses to libraries.

Windsor Chairs Windsor Castle Please credit the photographer: Peter Packer

Windsor Castle
Photographer: Peter Packer

The English settlers brought Windsor chairs with them to America in the 18th century and they began to manufacture them in Philadelphia soon after. By the 19th century Windsor chairs were being produced in factories and shipped all over the United States. The chairs were usually painted and sometimes had stenciling on them as decoration. If you find an antique Windsor chair today, check to see if it has its original finish, as this will affect its value. As with many antiques, the finish will have worn with use, usually around the edges, so check the unworn areas such as the bottom of the seat to see if the piece retains its original finish or paint color.

Windsor Chairs

If you would like information on an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, please email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to take you to our sources to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Salvo Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

To close out a recent week-long VIP Antiques Diva UK tour with Olga Granda-Scott, co-founder of The HighBoy, we hopped in the car and headed from London to Henley for Salvo Fair for opening trade day. Antiques Diva UK Agent Gail McLeod met us at Fawley Hill, Henley on Thames, the estate of Sir William and Lady McAlpine which was the venue for this year’s fair. Salvo is the largest architectural salvage fair in the UK.

Salvo Fair, English Antiques, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Gail McLeod, Sir William and Lady McAlpine, Architectural Salvage Fairs, Repurposed items

The Antiques Diva cooling off at the Salvo Fair!

Dealers at Salvo offer a wide variety of architectural salvage, ranging from very affordable tiles and hardware to reclaimed building materials such as a huge bridge which held court at the center of the fair. As we perused the grounds, we spotted a nice mix of garden antiques including sculpture, fountains, and repurposed items which are in high demand right now. There were also plenty of retro signs, decorative antiques, and vintage pieces. I especially liked the variety of industrial items which could be used in new construction. A pleasant surprise was the affordable prices at Salvo. Our Creative Consultant Andrew Skipper even picked up a fun antique door knocker shaped like a fox for less than half the price he would pay in the USA.

Salvo Fair, English Antiques, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Gail McLeod, Sir William and Lady McAlpine, Architectural Salvage Fairs, Repurposed items

Salvo Fair, English Antiques, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Gail McLeod, Sir William and Lady McAlpine, Architectural Salvage Fairs, Repurposed items

 

Aside from the inventory, the set up of the fair was everything you would imagine when you picture a country antiques fair in England. Old fashioned tents with bunting (strings of colorful flags) strewn from side to side set the stage for a picturesque day. There was even a charming tea tent where we attended a private party with the local Lord and Lady and the “county set” after the fair closed. Complete with champagne, roast lamb, quail eggs, smoked salmon, and scones, the evening was a quintessential English one—and the ideal way to complete a Diva tour of some of the UK’s top antiques fairs.

Salvo Fair, English Antiques, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Gail McLeod, Sir William and Lady McAlpine, Architectural Salvage Fairs, Repurposed items

 

If you would like information on our UK Antiques Diva tours, please email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you find the antiques you’re looking for while also giving you a truly unique experience of culture, travel, and the Diva lifestyle!

The Antiques Diva®   

Diva Does Masterpiece Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

While taking Olga Granda-Scott of The HighBoy on a whirlwind Antiques Diva UK experience to introduce her to a few of our favorite fairs and dealers, we attended opening day of the renowned English antiques fair Masterpiece in London. Offering museum quality pieces, this fair is one of the best in Europe, comparing often as a smaller TEFAF.

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Before heading to the fair we checked out Antiques News & Fairs to find out what the must-see booths were. Discovering that the Empress Eugenie’s pearl earrings would be on display, we headed straight to Siegelson’s booth upon arrival at the fair.  This pair of natural grey pearl earrings appear on Empress Eugenie’s ears in a portrait of her which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York so being able to see them first hand was quite a treat! The only disappointment? They wouldn’t let me try them on! And darling… I would have worn them well! 🙂

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

After meandering the antique filled aisles and stopping by the bar for a glass of champagne to sip while we shopped, we spotted one of our favorite pieces at the fair. It was a George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table from Apter-Fredericks LTD. This rare table, one of only two known to exist, was made for social drinking. Drinking in the 18th century was prevalent at all levels of society and was so socially acceptable that by the end of the century specialized furniture was being made especially for drinking. With space for multiple champagne bottles and glasses, it’s perfect for a Diva!

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Speaking of tables, we also came upon a stunning center table with a specimen marble top from Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. The overall booth was stunning and really drew us in, but this special table – complete with its original documents – is a stand out piece.

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

It was also fantastic to have a quick chat with Robert Young in his booth. Robert is one of the founders of Masterpiece – and is a leading folk art dealer in the UK.  What I loved about his booth – and inventory in general – is that it was entirely different from anyone else’s at the fair. Surrounded by dealers offering polished furniture and glitzy jewels, Robert’s inventory celebrated the unpretentious creations of artisans, adding a creative depth to the overall feel of the fair.   Because the fair is not segregated, it makes for an exciting experience to shop the fair – Russian jewels are in stalls next to English Folk Art opposite a stall filled with Neo-Classical busts.  Each turn of the neck gives an experience to another land, another time.

Masterpiece Fair, Olga Granda-Scott, The HighBoy, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques, TEFAF, Antiques News & Fairs, Siegelson, Apter-Fredericks LTD, George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table, Robert Young, Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Salvo Fair, Art & Antiques Fairs of Europe

All in all, the fair was a glamorous experience with museum quality pieces at every corner—net, net, Masterpiece is Diva-Worthy and if it’s not already on your social calendar consider it a Must Go on the London Antiques Scene!  My only regret (beyond not getting to try on those darn pearls from Eugenie) was that I wish we could have stayed longer, but a Diva’s work is never done. We had to jet off to the hotel to get some sleep as the following day we traveled to the country to attend Salvo Fair, but more on that later! Stay tuned to the blog to hear about the rest of our week-long journey through antiques fairs of the UK!

The Antiques Diva®   

Salvo Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

Whenever clients reach out to us for information on taking an Antiques Diva Buying Tour, one of the first questions we ask them is for which type of pieces they will be looking. Architectural salvage has been high on client’s lists for the last few years and the desire for these types of pieces hasn’t slowed down in 2015. While we have wonderful sources for architectural salvage, the largest architectural salvage fair in the world is coming up in June which will bring together dealers from the UK, Europe, and beyond. The Salvo Fair will be held on 27-28 June with Trade Day on Friday 26 June, at Fawley Hill, Fawley Green, Henley-on-Thames RG9 6JA, Oxfordshire and will be open 11am – 5pm.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This is the fourteenth year for this fair which is legendary in the trade, often bringing in some of the best interior designers, architects, builders, developers and dealers to shop. Even celebrities and billionaires are known to peruse the fair for just the right pieces of antique garden art or reclaimed building materials. Anything from antique flooring and bricks to vintage lighting, antique fireplaces, and decorative antiques can be found at Salvo Fair.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

This year it will be held at Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine’s extraordinary private estate near Henley-on-Thames. And it’s the weekend before Henley Regatta and Wimbledon and just after the Royal Ascot races. It’s at the centre of the English Social calendar! Ruby Hazael, co-organizer of Salvo Fair says, “Sir William McAlpine has built an extraordinary home on the outskirts of Henley with a full size steam railway, a railway museum and 400 rescued animals. We are honoured to be able to hold the Salvo Fair at Fawley Hill, and very excited that our visitors will not only be able to browse and buy at the largest salvage fair in the country but will also be able to experience Fawley Hill’s attractions which are not normally open to the public.”

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Just a taste of what one can expect to find at Salvo Fair includes:  Fireplaces, chimneypieces, doors, windows, radiators, statuary, seats, urns, troughs, tubs, garden, sundials, birdbaths, pergola, rose arches, railway sleepers, furniture, bathrooms, baths, basins, taps, toilets, tiles, brassware, knobs, handles, knockers, hinges, balls, finials, chairs, pews, altars, lecterns, stained glass, staircases, spirals, flooring, parquet, woodblock, floorboards, bricks, pavers, flagstones, york stone coping, pediments, balustrade, timber, oak pine, marble, trusses, beams, columns, pilasters, portico, cornice, dado, skirting, roof tiles, slates, ironwork, gates, railings, lighting, lamposts, kitchens, kitchenalia, sinks, post boxes, telephone boxes, cartwheels, shopfittings, butchers block, and shingles.

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

Salvo Fair, Architectural Salvage, Antiques Diva Buying Tours, Sourcing antiques in Europe, English Antiques, Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine, Decorating tips, Decorating with Reclaimed Materials

In other words, if you can’t find it at Salvo Fair, you can’t find it!

If you’d like more information on Salvo Fair, check out their website or email us at info@antiquesdiva.com.

Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Being Alys – An Antiques Guide

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva Buying Tour in Sussex England

The county of Sussex, in the South East of England, is in my humble opinion one of the most beautiful places in the country to visit, and therefore a perfect location to base an Antiques Tour. When locally-based UK Diva Guide Alys Dobbie recently took a client named Shannon on a buying tour, she had such a ball with our client that she though it would be interesting for you, dear Diva Readers, to read about the tour from a guide’s perspective!

Alys Dobbie of Nanadobbie pictured with George Johnson, Nicky Haslam and Mark Hill.  Antiques Diva Guide Alys

Alys Dobbie of Nanadobbie pictured with George Johnson, Nicky Haslam and Mark Hill

 

Diva Guide Alys writes:

“I met Shannon at the Lewes train station – how very strange it is to meet someone you’ve never clapped eyes on before. It feels like a blind date when meeting a client for the first time – we’d even told each other what we would be wearing (Purple coat for one and green tights on the other)!

petworth

Once safely into the right side of the car, Shannon told me her wants and her needs for antiquing in England. She’d already emailed a superb list ahead so I could really research and find the ideal dealers to visit in the South East. Upon hopping in the car we were fast friends – it usually works this way on tour with the guide and client as automatically you have so much in common with the shared interest of antiquing.  Plus, our clients tend to be the most interesting people.   Shannon is American but lives in Amsterdam and I was fascinated by her fabulous expat life.

Our first stop was a humble little town on the south coast where you wouldn’t expect to have an exceptional array of buildings all owned by one dealer…. of course that’s why you’ve booked a buying tour with us… to take you those places you wouldn’t find on your own!

Antique Sourcing in England, Buying tours in England, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie, Sourcing antiques in England, Antiquing in Sussex, English Antiques

Shannon wanted a statement dining table for her kitchen that would house her and her family comfortably. There were lots and lots of lovely reclaimed railway sleeper tables and others with centuries of history. We were in our element! She also found a beautiful Jacobean chest of drawers – not particularly her style admittedly but it’s hard to find anything better than a piece of furniture that’s over 300 years old (at a reasonable price!). We spent an hour or so here and then moved onto our next appointment.

Antique Sourcing in England, Buying tours in England, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie, Sourcing antiques in England, Antiquing in Sussex, English Antiques

Meeting our next dealer was a funny one – he had just moved into a new warehouse that had been newly built that week! But he was friendly and helpful. Shannon fell in love with a French baguette trolley – she told me herself that she has a real weakness for anything on wheels.

Brighton Pier, Sussex England

After which we carried on to Brighton passing over The National Park that is The South Downs. It was a typical British day – drizzle and wind, but the great hills still looked fantastic. Shannon was delighted we were going to Brighton for our next visit – seeing the pier even from the comfort of a car was a great treat.

Antique Sourcing in England, Buying tours in England, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie, Sourcing antiques in England, Antiquing in Sussex, English Antiques

We next dropped off to a friend of mine’s shop – he had just been on a buying trip to France so the timing was perfect – he had lots of lovely weird and wacky decorative pieces as well as some great tambour fronted storage solutions .

After a quick spot of lunch (no rest for the wicked! we often eat on the run when on a buying tour), we moseyed on out and followed the coast west to Worthing.

Antique Sourcing in England, Buying tours in England, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie, Sourcing antiques in England, Antiquing in Sussex, English Antiques

I had been recommended a place by my good friend Henry Nicholls and he came up trumps – the second we walked into the door, Shannon was in her element. She was grinning ear to ear – it’s always so great to meet another furniture enthusiast. She in particular fell in love with a huge gorgeous French grain store – the paint hadn’t been touched and it was in lovely condition.

Antique Sourcing in England, Buying tours in England, The Antiques Diva, Alys Dobbie, Sourcing antiques in England, Antiquing in Sussex, English Antiques

I was certainly saving the best until last and we visited a very well known dealer at the next location and were shown around personally. It really was an incredible experience for me, too – as a young dealer, this man has always been something of an inspiration. Shannon fell in love with a lot of his stock! Especially a very large 12′  table which would have been ideal for her kitchen. The patina and condition was beautiful.

petworth

After 8 hours our tour was complete…. sometimes the days go longer because you’re buying on the road so it’s easy to lose track of time!  I love this job – I got to take a very nice woman shopping in my home county!”

Cheers!

The Antiques Diva®

Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia

Dear Diva Readers,

Coming up on November 3-9 2014 is the longest running London Winter Fair, the 24th Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia. It is the only high calibre art and antiques fair between October and March and a highlight of the Winter art season. For the second year running it coincides with Asian Art in London, making London the focus this week for serious collectors.

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

The fair showcases over 100 top dealers selling the finest British craftsmanship through the centuries. There’s sure to be a variety of offerings with 30,000 pieces available for sale including furniture, 20th century design, jewelry, art, Asian pieces, ceramics, sculpture, silver, mirrors, lighting, fossils, clocks, textiles and glass.

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

Popular with collectors, interior designers and those looking for something different, the stock on sale ranges from 16th century to Modern British and from dining tables to diamond rings. In fact,  jewelry is one of the top sellers at this fair…after all, Christmas is coming!!! Maybe I should send my husband!

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

Every piece on sale is strictly checked by experts before the fair opens to ensure it is authentic so visitors can buy with confidence. Incorporating a Mosimanns Bistro and champagne bar and with stylish presentation of the 130 stands, this is a glamorous event that is certainly a Diva Destination!

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

Last year one of the more unusual items for sale were a pair of glasses given by Humphrey Bogart to his publicist to say thank you for all his hard work. As expected, the glasses sold very soon after the fair opened. It’s pieces like this—with a story and with provenance— that are fun to shop for! This year there are rumored to be a few stand out pieces available, including an enormous American Civi War flag, an oil painting by Sir Alfred Munnings (for £750,000) and works on paper by Hirst, Picasso, Banksy and Warhol.

London Winter Fair, Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, Olympia, Asian Art London, English Antiques, Modern British Design, Buying English Antiques in London, Antiques Diva

If you plan on attending the fair, we’ve got a couple of tips for you. Definitely go on one of the free highlights tours. This is the first year they will be available and Vanessa Curry is a knowledgeable art historian who will bring the pieces to life. She also offers jewelry and furniture tours. And don’t forget, if you want to get back into the fair on another day, ask for a pass from the security desk when you leave. It may take more than one day to soak in all there is to see at Olympia!

Happy hunting,

The Antiques Diva®

The Antiques Diva Shops Guinevere in London

Dear Diva Readers,

While on tour in London recently, I was very excited to take our client to an iconic London antiques establishment called Guinevere . This store, famous for its showroom displays which are to die for, juxtaposes the old and new, east and west, wild and sober in a way that reflects how the stylish set live now. From the moment you set foot in the door, you know that you are somewhere special where quality is prized above all else.

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Co-owner Marc Weaver was kind enough to meet us at the door and take our group on a private tour of their meandering, multilevel store. From small Chinese sculptures and Asian screens to European oil paintings and mid century lighting, everywhere you look vignettes are thoughtfully put together. The buying team at Guinevere scours the globe for the most exquisite pieces, resulting in an interesting mix that’s both inspiring and informing.

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,  Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

And their textile collection, which is put together by Heather Weaver, is a go-to source for those in the know. A combination of antique dhurries, French linens, embroidered napkins, tablecloths, and cotton bedspreads from India, the inventory is always coming in the door and flying out.

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

The founder was French-born Genevieve Weaver who trained as a hat designer in Paris in the 1950’s. After moving to London, she became intrigued by antiques and opened Guinevere in 1963 in what was then a “not-so-nice” end of Kings Road in Chelsea. It’s funny how time changes things, as today that same area is a very prominent section of the neighborhood.

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Her flair for mixing styles and eras has continued with her sons Marc and Kevin who now run the company. Their forward-thinking combinations of antiquities and mid-century modern are unique in the antiques trade where dealers often specialize in one era or style. Their desire to mix things up puts them at the forefront as innovators in this industry rather than trend followers.

Antiques Diva, Shopping for antiques in London, English Antiques, Guinevere, Marc Weaver, Genevieve Weaver, Kings Road, Chelsea,

Today the company caters to discerning collectors and interior designers from all over the world. Their international following is loyal, consistently coming back for more. And more is something Guinevere always has. Consisting of four adjoining shops and windows on Kings Road, this showroom is constantly evolving. In fact, they were changing some of the windows the day we dropped in. It was such a delight to tour this famous store – a landmark on Kings Road – and hear a bit of its history from Marc himself. Thank You Guinevere for being such gracious hosts on our recent visit!

Consider this shop a Must Visit Antiques Diva London Resource!

Happy shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

Paul Jones Pop-up Shop at Spencer Swaffer

Dear Diva Readers,

Recently on an Antiques Diva Tour, renowned antiques dealer Spencer Swaffer played host to a group of Designers on an an Antiques Diva / Nobelinks Design Tour in the UK.

Spencer Swaffer, The Antiques Diva, English Antiques

The role of host is a well-known role for Spencer and his wife Freya.  Spencer continues his hospitality hosting this month a pop-up shop as part of a mentoring program offered through Antiques Young Guns.

As part of the Antiques Young Guns awards earlier this year a young Welsh dealer named Paul Alexander Jones won a coveted spot to open a small pop-up shop within Swaffer’s store for the next ten days (cleverly in conjunction with Battersea Decorative Fair which is less than a two hour drive from Swaffer’s store).

image001

Much of the stock offered by Jones does not appear online so venturing to the pop-up gives would-be clients a glimpse into an exclusive inventory of antiques. Hailing from a very rural North Wales town, Jones offers ‘country’ style pieces– think richly glazed potter, beautifully figured timbers and charming, naive folk art. Paul confided he’s bringing some warm Welsh tapestry blankets to sell—perfect timing if you ask me, as Autumn is upon us!

Antiques Young Guns, Spencer Swaffer, Paul Jones, English Antiques, Country style decorating, Battersea Decorative Fair, Nobelinks, Steve Nobel,

Antiques Young Guns, Spencer Swaffer, Paul Jones, English Antiques, Country style decorating, Battersea Decorative Fair, Nobelinks, Steve Nobel,

As I’m constantly combing over Europe for the best antiques dealers, whether that be quality of pieces or best prices, I’m always thrilled when new talent developed in the antiques field. Having opened his shop in July 2012, Paul Jones is sure to learn a lot about the antiques trade while being mentored by sage Spencer Swaffer. I’m excited to hear more from Paul and see how networking with other established dealers enhances his business!

If you’ll be in the Arundel area over the next week, stop by and say hello to Paul and Spencer. Tell them The Antiques Diva sent you!

Happy shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

Special Group Tour in London for Designers

Dear Diva Readers,

I’m delighted to announce that I’m teaming up with Steve Nobel, design industry sage and adviser, who links people, places and ideas through his consulting business Nobelinks for a special group tour in London this fall.   In addition to working privately with interior designers, Steve is renowned for taking exclusive groups of interior designers to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and – coming this September – London. Through exploring design abroad with like-minded professionals, designers are given the opportunity to explore first hand and sharpen their overall strategic outlook.

Nobelinks, Steve Nobel, Design Trust, Antiques Diva, London, English Antiques, London Design Festival, DECOREX, FOCUS at Chelsea Harbor, Design Strategy

For this upcoming British invasion partnering Nobel’s group with The Antiques Diva & Co was a natural connection.  The AD&CO takes people to places and introduces them to people they would not have access to on their own.  As a company, our mission is to make European antiques accessible, helping to navigate the international waters of buying overseas and introducing clients not only to antiques vendors but also to international shippers and to European life in general.  On our antique buying tours we lend our experience and long-term relationships to our clients, making introductions to off-the-beaten path antique dealers and giving designers inside access that usually takes decades to achieve. My business is based on relationships as we build a bridge between North America and Europe.

Meanwhile Steve Nobel explains, “The real benefit for the participants in my Nobelinks groups is the people; collegiality is based on trusted relationships. We give interior designers the opportunity to make not only professional connections, but, perhaps more importantly, to make personal connections. Profound connections are made in our groups that are life changing for our designers.” Past participants in these ventures include Mark Cutler, Sherry Hayslip, Skip Sroka, Wendi Young and many others.

Nobelinks, Steve Nobel, Design Trust, Antiques Diva, London, English Antiques, London Design Festival, DECOREX, FOCUS at Chelsea Harbor, Design Strategy

With the help of The Antiques Diva & Co, Nobelink’s Design Trust will delve deeply into design during the top industry events in the UK this fall, traveling abroad September 19 – 23, 2014 during the International London Design Festival, DECOREX and FOCUS at Chelsea Harbor. Going further afield into the English countryside, this intimate group tour will help designers curate resources from British town and country, visiting country houses, historic castles and some of the top decorative antiques dealers in the Cotswolds and Sussex. Designers will learn how buying antiques abroad can increase their profit margin while also giving them a competitive edge in the marketplace.

For more information email toma@antiquesdiva.com

Cheers Mate!
The Antiques Diva®

Book a Tour

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 

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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

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