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French Antiques

Announcing Bordeaux Tours

Dear Diva Readers,

I just opened a gorgeous bottle of Margaux to celebrate the official announcement that The Antiques Diva® is now offering Bordeaux Antiquing Tours! Sante!!!

As I sip in satisfaction I had to take the time to write and introduce you to your Bordeaux Diva Guide: Tara Neuville!

Antiques Diva, The antiques diva, antiques, bordeaux, france

Tara takes her antiques expertise to heart.  Her antiques career began in Seattle where she worked as a dealer stocking her store through sourcing antiques abroad.  When love intervened and she moved to France marrying a Frenchman and raising a family, she went to work at the Paris Flea Market leading antique buying tours.  Then after 10 years scouring the antique markets of Paris, she took her expert skills to Bordeaux when her family relocated!

She quickly became a fixture on the scene and can often be found making a deal(s) at the Brocantes  around her home town on the weekend.

antiques diva, the antiques diva, france, bordeaux antique buying tour

When working with clients – two words describe Tara’s tours – High Energy!  Once she understands what you’re looking for – she will custom plan your itinerary and then translate and negotiate to get you the best deal on antiques in Bordeaux!

Tara Neuville is a mostly self taught antique dealer, although she served apprenticeships with prominent affiliated members of the trade.   She found her mentor in the Seattle antique business who acquired his expertise in France, Belgium and England.  For 20 years of their 30 year business relationship she accompanied him on buying trips in England and France.

antiques, the antiques diva, antique buying tour in bordeaux

As a young child of 5 through buying her antique sterling silver cherub hand mirror she discovered her passion.  From there she went to school specializing in antique recognition and interior design.

Tara has always been a collector of many things, so with early influences it was inevitable that she developed a keen interest in decor and furniture. Her early collecting focused on antique boxes and sterling silver napkin rings ranging in periods and materials. She started to sell items from her collection to fund further acquisitions.

antiques diva, bordeaux antique tours

Her natural, friendly personality and networking skills give her access to a large portfolio of local dealers and traders in the industry. She has a talent for establishing authenticity and a keen eye for quality and condition.

Tara believes the key to leading a successful antiques buying tour is about understanding the products and matching them up to the right clients and finding a price so that both parties – client and vendor – are happy. Her golden rule is honesty and integrity.

We’re delighted to have her join our Antiques Diva Team!

Sante!

The Antiques Diva®

History of the Paris Flea Market

Dear Diva Readers,

O ne of our most popular Antiques Diva® Tour destinations is The Paris Flea Market.  People come from all over the world and ask us to help them navigate the HUGE Les Puces, which encompasses 15 markets.  It can be intimidating not knowing which areas to go to, how to speak the language, and how to negotiate with French antique dealers.

Les-Puces

We believe that education is the first step in the process so our Diva Guides will brief you on all you need to know before hitting the streets – we try to teach you how to do it yourself  – but we’re also there to translate, negotiate, and will help you liaise with a shipper to get your purchases home!  In the spirit of education, let me share with you the history of this famous market!

HISTORY OF THE PARIS FLEA MARKET

The Paris Flea Market’s origin dates back over two centuries.  It all began when men would pick through the garbage at night, collecting “junk” that still had value.  They would set up temporary stalls within the Paris walls and sell their finds in less than desirable neighborhoods.  These areas were full of thieves and pickpockets, and as a result the pickers were chased out of the city and forced to set up just outside the city walls in areas like Clingnancourt, Montreuil, and Vanves.  

Flea Market, Paris Flea Market

Eventually these “vendors” formed groups of stalls to attract more customers.  You might think of it as a “one stop shop” with a variety of merchandise.  In the spirit of entrepreneurism, some of these hawkers began selling higher quality goods, allowing them to gain customers such as collectors and antique dealers.

Antiques, Paris Antiques, French Antiques

In 1855, the streets were paved and the area of Saint Ouen was cleaned up by order of the authorities, leading to the first year of Les Puces.  Certain areas were designated as official market space and vendors were required to pay a fee if they wanted to set up a stall there. The Marché Vernaison came about when Monsieur Romain Vernaison built a series of covered huts on the acres he owned. Then an Albanian named Malik bought a building on rue Jules Valles and turned it into 100 stalls, forming the Malik Market. In 1925 the Marché du Biron was formed, consisting of 2 long rows of stalls.  It is known to be the more expensive market today.

Paris Flea Market, Paris shopping, antiques in paris

Creative Consultant and Lifestyle Expert Andrew Skipper shops the Paris Flea Market on an Antiques Diva & Co Buying Tour

Knowing the history behind the different markets is not only interesting but also helpful when deciding which section of the Paris Flea Market you want to shop. Some markets in Paris offer higher end items, while others are the bargain hunter’s dream.  The market is massive – it’s 7 miles of antique filled alleyways and 15 districts.  Knowing where to go can feel down right intimidating.  We’re going to share with you a map of the famous Puce de Paris so you can see the various markets in the Paris Flea Market and get a feel for the lay of the land.

map, Paris Flea Market

As always, if you would like to book an Antiques Diva Tour of the Paris Flea Market or any of our tour countries- Italy, England, Sweden, Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, and Denmark, contact us at info@antiquesdiva.com to inquire about your custom made private antiques buying tour.

Au revoir et Bonne Shopping!!!

The Antiques Diva®

Les Puces – Paris Flea Market

Dear Diva Readers,

Big news for Les Puces de Paris (The Paris Flea Market) has just been announced!  Two major sections of the Paris Flea Market – Paul Bert and Serpette in Saint-Ouen –  have been sold by The Duke of Westminster to a prominent French Businessman, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy. Of late, vendors have been unhappy with The Duke, claiming that he has imposed unfair rent increases and has viewed ownership of these historic markets as a mere business investment, completely discounting the fact that they are an integral part of France’s history. Les Puces – Paris Flea Market is not only the best flea market in the world – but it’s also a national landmark. Viva La France!

Paris, Flea Market Tours,

The good news is that the new owner claims to have bought the two markets “out of passion,” and has committed to preserving their eclectic character. Rumor has it there is a renewed sense of optimism for Les Puces de Paris.

One thing is for sure– we’ll be watching and keeping you updated on relevant changes and exciting additions to this popular flea market tour destination!  You can read more about this buy out at The Guardian.

As always we’d love to see you on an upcoming Paris Flea Market Tour. We pick you up at your hotel, drive you to the Paris Flea Market, custom plan a route (making private appointments with vendors when needed), and organize an antiques buying tour of the famous Puce de Paris that not only saves you time – but also saves you money.  Our Paris Flea Market Shopping Guides are fixtures at the market – they know everyone and those relationships help get you the best prices.  On tour they translate, negotiate and liaise you with a shipper to help get your purchases home sweet home across the pond.

Stay tuned for more Les Puces Paris Flea Market News as it comes in.
The Antiques Diva®

Client Feedback French Garden House

Dear Diva Readers,

God has been smiling on me a lot here lately and His most recent smile came in the form of Lidy Baars, proprietress of French Garden House, a blooming business selling European vintage and antique pieces.  After discovering her shop in 2008 and reading about her in a zillion magazine articles featuring her business, over time we formed an online friendship as I followed her blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds.  Lidy is European by birth but lives in America  – she has the reverse experience to me as an American by birth who lives in Europe. Our lives seemed opposite sides of the same coin.

French Garden House logo

When she emailed recently to  inquire about taking a tour I jumped on the opportunity to take her to my secret sources in Belgium, helping her stock her gorgeous online store.    We shopped until Lidy’s poor husband dropped.  He’d come along for the ride and meeting him was as much a pleasure as meeting her…   This man adores this woman.  He spoke with such pride about the amazing business she’d created and it was brilliant to watch Lidy’s process as a buyer.  She knew exactly what she wanted, exactly what worked for her clients and she was always aware of choosing budget-sensible pieces so she could pass her savings along to her clients. She shopped well so her clients could shop well as well!  But it wasn’t just the shopping that was good – Lidy was good.  I adored her.  We laughed until tears ran down our faces, bonded over shared beliefs and views and in general had such a good time I forgot I was working.   I love it when that happens with a client and doing what I do I am so fortunate to meet people like Lidy!

French Antiques

I asked Lidy after her tour if she’d be willing to share her experiences on tour with our Antiques Diva  readers…. And here’s what she had to say about Antiquing in Europe with The Antiques Diva & Co:

The Antiques Diva: 
What did you like about your Antiques Diva Trade Tour?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
Being able to shop Europe’s secret sources with an expert who has finessed the art of finding all the best dealers and places. You truly selected places for me to shop with my business in mind, brought me to see unusual, hard-to-find treasures that it would have taken me years to seek out.  In three days you packed our schedule full of “to the trade only” resources, dealers that are seen “by appointment only” whom I would have never have found myself , and special shopping experiences it would take me years and years of “on the ground” research to ferret out.  Not to mention that you are beyond organized, treated me like royalty and took care of all the details, allowing me to focus on what mattered most: selecting antiques that are perfect for my clients.

Aside from shopping for antique treasures in Belgium, my Diva Guide was the true GEM. Irreplaceable, worth more than anything else on the tour.  Personal, professional, kind and caring, a true treat.  Like shopping Europe with your best friend, but a best friend who knows everything and everyone in the antiques business.

Buing Antiques in Europe

Buying French Antiques

The Antiques Diva:
In addition to taking our European Tour you have some European Sources of your own!  Would you be willing to share a Secret Source in Europe?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
That would be CAATJE ANTIEK& BROCANTE DE VERANDA.  My husband John and I loved doing this tour of dealers in Limburg, close to the Belgian border, and the most charming shops and little towns!

Buying Antiques in Europe

Buying antiques in Europe

The Antiques Diva:
If you were to plan on attending another Antiques Diva Tour where would you go next after Belgium or what would you do?

Lidy @ French Garden House:
I want to go to each country you have a tour in.  My next tour might be England.  There is just no way to shop in Europe without you and the tour, you have all the best sources and contacts and take such good care of your clients, it’s like having a personal concierge every step of the way.

Antiques Diva

French Garden House

To book your Antiques Diva Tour email info@antiquesdiva.com

The Antiques Diva®

Versaille Antiquing

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva French Antiques

Extra ,Extra! Read All About It!  Our Paris Antiques Diva Tours just got better than ever!

In addition to our already sensational line up of Paris Tours – shopping the Puce de Paris, Porte de Vanves, from the Left Bank to the Right Bank and all over the city of light looking for antiques, vintage, retro, as well as fabrics and frills and vintage fashion and Chanel –  we are NOW OFFERING Antiquing Tours in Versailles!

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Paris Antiques Diva Tour Guide Danielle P explains about this special tour in a French Antiques Quarter in the Paris suburbs. 

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of Paris and go to the Suburbs to continue shopping in history.  I usually meet  clients at their hotel and drive them to Versailles in my personal car to take them antiquing in a really special place in the heart of the old town of Versailles.

The area was the local “le baillage” or the bailiff’s quarters. The bailiff was a judge of the criminal court.  Built in the first quarter of the 18th century, the main building housed the tribunal court and was surrounded by a series of courtyards, smaller dwellings….and a prison. 

About 30 years ago, a man by the name of Monsieur Lemonnier – nicknamed “Coach” – inherited the property and decided to install a few antique shops.    Today there are now a little over fifty stores, ranging from small booths to much larger spaces and the offer is wide! You can find jewels, paintings, glass wares, furniture, an old frames restoration shop, a “Toiles de Jouy” store, art galleries, Chinese antiques, and some of the most beautiful 18th century furniture you can find anywhere.  There’s even a little restaurant nestled in the middle of the shops called Little Italy that is delizioso for taking a mid-tour break! 

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

On my recent visit Coach was kind enough to show me the old prison cells adjacent to the stores.    Because I was attending for a fete, he even plied me with champagne!   I suspect I was given much better treatment than those who stayed in the prison!!”

When to Book this Tour?

We recommend clients book this tour on a Friday (though it’s also possible on Saturday or Sunday).  It’s the perfect day to have a little culture – and French retail therapy.  After your Antiques Diva Guide Danielle collects you from your hotel, she’ll drive you to Versailles to start the day by touring the castle gardens.  You can’t go to Versailles and not see these – it’s a stunning experience.  Then you’ll spend the rest of the day antiquing – in a diva style that would make Marie Antoinette proud!  Lunch at Little Italy is a must.

To book this new Versailles Antiques Tour with Danielle, email info@antiquesdiva.com.

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva® & Co

Bastille Brocante 2011

Dear Diva Readers,

There’s still time for you to book an Antiques Diva® Tour during one of our favorite French Antique Fairs  SALON D’ANTIQUITES BROCANTE at the PLACE DE LA BASTILLE .  Held from  4 – 13 NOVEMBER 2011 some of our favorite upscale vendors will be setting up shop alongside the Seine!

This traditional fair first occurred in 1969 and has become over time a Parisian institution with undeniable French charm owing to it’s location in the heart of Paris and it’s exclusive antique atmosphere boasting over 350 French vendors! 

The theme of this years event is “MINIATURE AND SMALL OBJECTS OF VERTU” so many of the vendors will specialize in offering unusual and tiny miniature precious curiosities!

LOCATION
PARIS – Place de la Bastille

ACCESS
Metro: lines 1, 5 or 8 – station: Bastille

HOURS
Daily from 11 am to 19 pm

ENTRY FEE
8 Euros

To read a past blog post about this sensational antiques fair and to see some of Paris Parfait’s photos –
click here.

For information on Antiques Diva Special Tours of the Bastille Brocante:
contact info@antiquesdiva.com

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva®

Village Suisse

Dear Diva Readers,

One of my favorite mid-week places to go antique shopping in Paris when Les Puce is closed is the Village Suisse! Mais non, I’m not hopping on the TGV and heading to Switzerland (though, that too sounds like a grand plan).  Rather, I’m talking about the antique mall in Paris’ 15eme arrondisement located near La Motte Picquet metro stop.

Village Suisse
 54 avenue de la Motte Picquet,
75015 Paris

Named such after its location as the Swiss Village during the World Fair of 1900, today it houses a handful of good quality antique shops and from September 23 – 25, 2011 they will be hosting Fête les Vendanges, la Gastronomie et les Arts de la Terre

At this fair they’ll celebrate bonne food et bonne vin in an atmosphere resplendent of antiques and la bonne vie!  Held during the first 3 days of the famed FOIRE NATIONALE D’AUTOMNE AUX ANTIQUITÉS, À LA BROCANTE ET AUX JAMBONS I couldn’t help but to tell you about this other extraordinary event going on in the city of light during the same period. Two fairs – combining French Food & Antiques! Now, those are my kinds of fairs!

Bonne Shopping et Bonne dégustation!
The Antiques Diva®  

Flea Market Dogs

Dear Diva Readers,

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®

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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

The Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette




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