While every client at The Antiques Diva™ European Shopping Tours is special, this summer I had the opportunity to travel with an extraordinary client – my 16 year old niece, Tessa! On her first European adventure I initiated her into The Antiques Diva™ Lifestyle by taking her to my favorite French flea market in Paris – Marché aux Puces de Vanves.
One of the things I love most about my job leading travelers around the flea markets of Europe is what my clients teach me as they introduce me to their passions and collections! Each client inevitably is unique – with a different interest, different hobby and different collections they’re looking to add to while out and about, shopping in the European flea markets. My 16 year old niece was no exception! With her pink head pulsing thru the market, vendors simply adored her, pointing out perfect Parisian pink treasures for her to take home. Ever the fashion plate, she picked up this gorgeous 1960’s French silk gown (above) shortly after we arrived at the flea market for a mere 36Euro. It fit as if it were made for her and a few days later she wore it to lunch at Café Marly nearby the Louvre!
She also fell head over heels for these vintage French frames at 12 Euro and sported them around Europe for the next month!
Of course, she was crazy for this Daisy Necklace picking it up for a friend as a souvenir de Paris for 6Euro!
I’m not certain whether it was she or me who noticed the stuffed camel first – but we knew that it said exotic travel décor with a 20 E price tag!
She decided against buying this Charlie Chaplin hat for 30E but was sorely tempted by it!
In general, the French hats were of great interest and we spent a good 30 minutes digging thru this box where all the hats were marked 10E or less!
But perhaps the catch that got away was the magnifying glass paperweight. We decided against purchasing it at 45E, but in retrospect perhaps we should have! Where else could she have been framed so perfectly in Paris?
After all that hard work shopping, we were ready for a break. So we hit a local café to have a Diablo Fraise! A Diablo Fraise is a typical drink you’d order on a sunny day in Paris – it’s carbonated lemonade with strawberry syrup that just so happened to match Tessa’s perfectly pink hair!
When the waiter noticed this, he decided that Tessa would make an ideal art installation on the Parisian streets! And he artfully arranged colored straws in her hair!
Tell me – where else but Paris would a waiter make you into street art?
From time to time I’ve had clients on Diva Tours tell me that their teenage sons and daughters wouldn’t be interested in antique shopping, preferring instead to antique/vintage shop solo. But I have to tell you, my 16 year old niece loved the Paris Flea Market! Tessa found nearly ever souvenir she purchased in Paris at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market – so for your next trip abroad, forget the typical souvenir t-shirts when shopping for a teenager in Paris, consider instead vintage fashion and fun French antique accessories!
The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with The Little Diva – Tessa at the top of the Tour Eiffel)
Located in the 14eme arrondisment at the avenue Marc Sangnier and avenue Georges Lafenestre, “The Other Paris Flea Market” is located near the Porte de Vanves metro stop. The market is open year round e
very Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1pm – though experience tells me vendors aren’t really ready for customers until 9am, so take advantage of a “late start” and sleep an extra hour before shopping the fleas!
Bonne Shopping, Diva Style!
Direct from Holland, The Antiques Diva™ has found another great Vintage Delft Blue Ginger Jar with charming bird motif is in excellent condition, marked and dated 1950. Perfect stand alone or as part of a collection of blue & white accessories! Item #102.
Measurements: 28 X 19cm or 11 X 7 1/2 in
$200 (147 Euro) includes international shipping
“They are vintage… don’t you just love them? I figured if I had to wear glasses, I might as well wear frames with personality!”
Often in flea markets I see these massive piles of frames, with or without lenses, and it wasn’t until Katia’s revelation that I had considered the possibility of wearing vintage frames. I only wish I would have had the fore-sight to have snapped a photo on my phone so I could share her cute look on The Diva blog! I have vintage coats, hats, gloves, dresses, purses and sweaters – not to mention oodles and oodles of vintage paste jewelry, so why not wear vintage spectacles too?
Next time you’re at a flea market and see a basket blooming with frames why don’t you take a gander and see if you can find a pair that you could bring your ophthalmologist to fit with new lenses!? And by the way, doing so might just save you a bundle – most of the frames in this pot were marked around 2 – 5 Euro!
If you want to save money & create your own one-of-kind style, going vintage is the way to go! Of course – I think my husband, The Wine Guy, and I are taking the “vintage spectacle thing” a tad too far….
The Antiques Diva™
P.S. Stay tuned to “The Better To See You With, Part Deux” later this week….
Get ready to do some serious drooling – Sotheby’s Amsterdam is delighted to announce that it will offer for sale the core body from the former Peter Stuyvesant Collection, property of British American Tobacco The Netherlands (BAT), on
Monday, March 8, 2010
Viewing March 1-7, 2010 – 10am-7pm
The sale will be an evening event following a week-long exhibition at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam. The works from the collection to be offered for sale are estimated to realize in excess of €4 – 5 million. The core body of the collection has over 163 works fresh on the market by leading artists such as Karel Appel, Manuel Rivera, and Jesus Rafael Soto!
Art Knowledge News has posted an excellent article with information on the background of this collection – a fascinating story that started as an experiment and resulted in the largest collection of Post War and Contemporary Art ever to come at auction in the Netherlands.
If you’re an arm-chair traveler, don’t worry – the auction catalog is available online, perfect for perusing with a coup de champagne in one hand and the laptop in the other!
The Antiques Diva™
You’ve heard me dish about my dalliances in Paris time and time again. I’ve talked of sipping champagne alongside the Seine, sashaying past the crowds at Les Puce de Paris, promenading at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market and doing the Diva-Loca during Les Soldes. I’m constantly dazzling you with details of miscellaneous brocantes in the city of light, tossing out frivolous French addresses and tempting you with stories of antiquing conquests! But I have an important question to ask:
“Why just READ about it when you can LIVE it?”
Here’s a Special Invitation to join The Antiques Diva™ in Paris for one of two upcoming divalicious tours this Fall 2009 in a French Flea Market Extravaganza!
Not only will we shop the traditional Paris flea markets, oohing and ahhing over everything Louis and beyond, but we’ll also hit the Mother Load of Divadom at one of The Diva’s two favorite French flea markets: la Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons on the île de Chatou or The Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille (depending on the dates of your tour)!
When you think you’ve literally shopped until you’ll drop, The Diva will revive you with champagne or café au lait – you name your poison – we’ll leave the flea markets behind, stepping into Hemingsway’s Paris, hitting a bar named after him and parading through the Ritz as if it were built for us alone. On another day The Diva will take you, arm-in-arm, strolling the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, showing you the hottest shops, the best boutiques, the obvious and the out-of-the-way in her private Paris, sharing memories and making new ones! We’ll even make a rendez-vous to meet up in person with some of the best Parisian bloggers and online personalities! Should food or wine be your thing, let Diva Tours know and for an extra cost we’ll schedule French cooking lessons or steal some time for a wine tasting or two!
Picture it. You, The Antiques Diva™ and Paris. It looks good, doesn’t it?
Option 1 takes place during the famous La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons, a fair going on annually in the Parisian suburb of Ile de Chatou since the Middle Ages! Tour includes trips around Paris to the Porte de Vanves flea market as well as the world-renowned Paris Flea Market at Clingnancourt. We’ll hit a few Paris tourist sites to check some Paris Must See’s and, as this is Paris, we’ll shop the clothing boutiques and vintage fashion of St-Germain-des-Prés! Dinner plans will be discussed before the tour. Dinner is at your own cost but Diva Tours will secure the reservations. Hotel and Airfare are not included in tour cost; however, we can make hotel recommendations and suggestions on which area of the city in which you should stay!
Tour 1: Sunday Sep 27 – Wednesday Sep 30, 2009
Tour 2: Friday Oct 2 – Monday Oct 5, 2009
Includes everything mentioned in Option 1; however, replace La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons with the Antiquities Brocante at the Place de la Bastille, where we’ll storm the antiques and flea market finds in this square chocked full of tales from the French Revolution!
Tour 3: Friday Nov 6 – Monday Nov 9, 2009
Tour 4: Friday Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 16, 2009
Do I really need to say this… where else do you think, mes amies? We will meet in Paris, bien sur! (this said with a French accent and the wiggle of my fake moustache). To best optimize your time, please schedule your flights or train schedules to arrive a day before and depart a day after scheduled tour dates should your Parisian trip not extend beyond these Divalicious tour dates!
Four Day Antiques Diva Tour: 1,000 Euro (approximately $ 1,400) *
Girls Trips always earn special discounts as do married couples!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, to book your trip or to learn about special discounts which might apply!
* Price is set at 1,000 Euro. Price in USD will be set at booking based on current f/x rate but will never exceed $1,400 as Diva Tours will absorb any exchange rate risk above that threshold.
Day Tours Also Available
Perhaps this all sounds like great fun but you are not looking for a full four day Diva Tour. E
mail email@example.com to check availability on attending a one-day-only tour of La Foire Nationale Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (between Sept 27 & Oct 4, 2009), Antiquities Brocante Place de la Bastille (between Nov 5-15, 2009) or either of the Paris Flea Markets – Porte de Vanves or Les Puce at Porte de Clingnancourt!
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Some of you may be thinking you’d love to come this fall but these dates simply don’t work in your agenda. Never fear! As they say, the early bird catches the worm. Both The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham and The Antiques Flea Market at the Place de la Bastille in Paris occur not only in the Fall but also in March and May 2010! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss dates and opportunities for Spring 2010.
Hope to see you on one of these exciting Paris Flea Market tours!
The Antiques Diva™
Both oil on panel, each approx. 113.2 x 86.3 cm. Estimate €80,000 – 120,000.
Dear Diva Readers,
With the May 5th Sotheby’s sale, here’s your chance to score an Old Master or at the very least examine one with the blue light. One of the things I love most about high-end antique sales is the opportunity to get up close and personal with museum pieces without the constraint of the museum security guard watching over my shoulder! I’m the girl you wonder about when you see her getting escorted out of the museum for pressing her face too close to a master-piece. I’ve been known to set off more than one security alarm over the years – most recently at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin when I was examining an 18th C painting done of the street in Berlin where I now live. In my defense, I come by it naturally – when my mom came to visit me in Paris she got us kicked out of the chateau in St Germain-en-Laye for opening a closed door to the dungeons. Like mother like daughter! That said, if you’re like me and want to see the reverse side of paintings, ask endless questions about the techniques used, it’s provenance, (who owned it/when) and learn the prices of museum-pieces, then you should definitely visit the May 5th, 2009 Old Master’s sale at Sotheby’s Amsterdam!
Raise your paddle for great landscapes, still-lifes, portraits, biblical and genre scenes by Dutch old masters from the 15th to 18th century. Given this is A’dam, the sale has a special focus on the Dutch Golden Age. One of the highlights is a stunning family portrait by the 17th century master Jan van Noordt which is remarkable for its quality, elegance, coloring and size. Also of particular interest (see image above) in the art community is a pair of portraits done by the Delft master Willem Willemsz van der Vliet, of the charming 17th C couple – Willem Reyersz. de Langue and his wife Maria Pijnaeker. Willem de Langue (1599-1656) was a notary in Delft who worked for several artists including Delft’s famous home-town boy Johannes Vermeer.
Should you not be able to make this Sotheby’s sale but are salivating over the thought of touching the masters, then plan ahead to attend TEFAF next year. TEFAF, The European Fine Arts Fair, is the crème de la crème of arts and antiques fairs – this is the best antiques show in the world. Here you rub shoulders with museum curators and jet setters (as well as mere mortals like me who can’t afford a master but love the opportunity to see their price tags). Next years TEFAF will be March 12 -21, 2010 – book your airfare and hotels now to insure you have a place to sleep! Beds book up early and airfares into Holland skyrocket this time of year! To read more about the 2009 TEFAF, click here!
The Antiques Diva™
Kerk De Duif
10am – 6pm
Entry 7 Euros
A diversity of textiles will be presented and sold including batik, embroidery, indigo, ikat, plangi and quilts; weavings from all over the world such as African textiles of the Ashanti, Bambara, Ewe, Fanti, Haussa, Kuba, Kente, Nupe, Shoowa, Woodabe, Yoruba. Also textiles from Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Chinese minorities, Philippines, India, Pakistan, India, Guatemala, Peru and Ecuador; antique textiles from Europe for example cashmere shawls, lace and linen kitchen towels.
For more information, click here.
As The Antiques Diva continues taking a “break from her blog” whilst settling into her new home in Berlin post-move, the Guest Blog Marathon continues with a highly esteemed visitor taking the helm in today’s muse.
Today’s Guest Blogger is Tara Bradford, American author of the “tres populaire” blog Paris Parfait, which seems to have a dash of everything from art, antiques, culture and poetry to photography and a liberal dose of political ponderings. In today’s special Antiques Diva post, you’ll see why The Diva fell in love with Paris Parfait’s writing style as Tara writes about a recent visit to a flea market as if she were recounting a romance tale.
Paris Parfait Guest Blog – The Art of the Deal
She spotted it right away, but pretended not to notice. In French, she asked him to show her Russian religious icons, one after the other. But she wasn’t interested in Russian icons; not today.
Before that afternoon at the brocante at Parc des Princes, she’d never been interested in daggers. But at first glance at the antique dealer’s table, she could see one was very special. Four ancient ceremonial daggers were lined up in a row, their scabbards gleaming; the handles studded with semi-precious stones. Casually, she asked to see the one she liked least. He detected an accent and began talking in English about his days at university in Scotland. He went on and on, caught up in happy memories, no longer paying any attention to trying to sell his antiques.
“I’m not English,” she said. He looked crestfallen. “But your accent?…”
“I’m American,” she responded. “Perhaps you think my accent sounds a bit English, because my husband is British.”
“Ah, that’s it,” he nodded, knowingly. And he kept talking about Scotland, about his English girlfriends at university; about the fierce winters that made him long for the desert.
She asked him to show her another dagger. It was beautiful, but not unusual. Finally, she asked to see the one that had made her inwardly catch her breath.
As he drew the dagger from its silver and bronze scabbard, she tried not to react at the rare sight of the hand-carved keyhole and hand-etched design. She brushed aside his talk of the ivory handle, inlaid with coral stones. She shrugged and said, “Yes, it’s nice. How much”?
“550 Euros,” he replied gravely. She laughed. “You might as well stab me in the heart with it then.”
“350 Euros,” he offered. “No, I don’t have that kind of cash with me, but thanks,” she said, shaking her head and turning to go.
“Do I speak Arabic??!!” he exclaimed. And the words came tumbling out, one after the other, so fast she could barely keep up, as he told her his story. She listened, nodding and trying to make appropriate remarks in the flowery language she hadn’t attempted for ages. After a few minutes, she asked, in Arabic, his best price for the dagger.
“For you, 100 Euros!” he shouted, beaming. “Thank you,” she responded, smiling as she handed over the cash. And he, too was happy, even though he’d dramatically undersold a 200-year-old piece.
Photo of Tara, courtesy of Di Mackey Photographer, Woman Wandering
Paris Parfait Photography:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 France License.
Caption: Antique Syrian dagger, which has not been cleaned in many, many years on top of a Lehnert & Landrock photograph.
Caption: Close-up view of the silver and bronze dagger’s keyhole design.
Caption: A 19th-century Moroccan silver coin necklace purchased Sunday from another dealer at the brocante – no bargaining required. The coins rubbing together sound like little tinkling bells, as you walk. The mosque image is part of Tara’s collection of Lehnert & Landrock photographs