The Green Man

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>As my Diva Guides and I shop all over Europe, we see a few consistent themes in antiques that span various countries and time periods – one recurring face that’s seen all over the antique world is the mythological “Green Man” which appears as sculpture, in drawings or as a representation on certain furniture pieces.


The Green Man is usually depicted as a human-like face surrounded by or incorporating leaves, branches and vines. On rare occasions you may see a Green Woman or a Green Lion, but it is most often a male face and sometimes there is a body as well, also made of vegetation. Some representations will have a head completely covered in leaves while others depict a man’s head simply spewing vegetation from its mouth. Still others will have a more stylized head made up of vegetation such as leaves as eyebrows and vines as a beard.

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In some cultures the Green Man is thought to be a symbol of rebirth, nodding to the cycle of growth each spring. Other cultures view the Green Man as a deity, being lord over vegetation. Either way, he is a figure that has remained constant in several different cultures throughout the ages.




The Green Man can be spotted in architecture from all over the world. Sometimes he is incorporated into a plaster ceiling while other times he is cast in brass and made into a door knocker. From secular buildings to religious places, the Green Man is a decorative element that crosses lines of class and religion. While it may seem strange that this “deity like” symbol would be seen in Christian churches, one must realize that early missionaries would sometimes incorporate local gods into architecture so they wouldn’t alienate new converts.



Regardless of the origins, the Green Man is most definitely still a familiar symbol in antiques and architecture. The next time you’re out and about, try to spot one of these leafy faces!

Happy Hunting!

The Antiques Diva®

Define Your Style in One Picture Challenge

to 10px; WIDTH: 326px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Photo from House Beautiful 760 Decorating & Design Ideas

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>As I grow older I find my personal decorating style is becoming less formal and perhaps a tad more eclectic. I love fabulous lines on furniture – dramatic chaise lounges, black and white graphic stripes and intensely saturated colors. I also love irreverent touches – notice on the right hand side of this picture how the statue is wearing a strand of pearls as if to say, “I may be a priceless statue but I still know how to have fun”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 138px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />During the last decade of city living in Europe I’ve been apartment-bound and, like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve been conditioned to walk into a room and immediately decipher its options for multi-tasking. I see this room working as gorgeous home office/guest bedroom or master bedroom turned salon de tea. We don’t really entertain in our bedrooms anymore, but wouldn’t it be lovely to organize a private escape in your bedroom for you and your spouse? When my sister was pregnant with twins she was on bed rest for the last few months of her pregnancy and wouldn’t she have been delighted to have had a place to entertain the plethora of guests who came to visit and keep her company while she was laid up?

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 213px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 245px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />This bedroom appeals to me on so many levels – visually because of the drama and great lines, the dark walls and ceiling, and mirrored wall. But also for the classic touches – naturally the antiques scattered about the room are divine, but what sets this room apart – what gives it that certain je ne sais quoi – is the artful placement of the blue & white plate and ginger jars along the window wall. In the dark room your eye lands on these pieces – a place of rest – the white popping against the blue. People often think that decorating with Delft requires a formal, traditional room. And while this room has oodles of traditional elements, the vibe I walk away with is traditional with a modern twist!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 61px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />One of my favorite bloggers, Alex – the bloggess behind From the Right Bank – runs an ongoing challenge on her website called “What’s Your Style in One Picture”. Last year around this time I entered my personal style into this challenge – defining The Antiques Diva™ style as “Antiques, Modern, Glamour” and a year later I’ve found another photo that summarizes my look – the key components still being the same.

So I ask you, dear Diva Readers, what’s your style?

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 156px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Shop Online for Delft and other European Treasures at The Antiques Diva™ Online Shop

The Decorating Diva Style Maker Look Book

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When The Decorating Diva LLC listed my blog as one of the “Best of the Web” I was over the moon at the recognition she’d doled out, but when she asked me to compile a “look book” of images that define The Antiques Diva™ for the first of her Style Maker Look Book series I practically didn’t come back down from orbit!

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The Decorating Diva, LLC writes:

“‘Style Maker‘ Toma Clark Haines, founder of The Antiques Diva Tours and editor of the fabulously divine European antiques shopping and lifestyle blog, “The Antiques Diva”, shares her dream living room decor with The Decorating Diva, LLC readers via her elegant, refined and beautiful style and design look book compilation!”

to 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 70px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />See more details of The Antiques Diva™ Style Maker Look Book and other great Style Makers Look Books by visiting The Decorating Diva, LLC today!

And stay tuned! While above I show you my dream living room, over the next few months – via The Diva News Network videos – I’ll take you on a tour of my real life living room at home in Berlin!

Thanks Decorating Diva, LLC for the shout out!


The Antiques Diva™

ArtAntique: New Dutch Antiques Fair To Be Held April 2010

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 93px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />What:
There’s a new kid in town – The ArtAntique Fair – and all eyes are on him! For the 1st time in over 20 years, a new player in the art & antiques world has come to Holland, offering the crème de la crème of classic and contemporary art, antiques and jewellery.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 256px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />When / Where:
ArtAntique will take place in Jaarbeurs Utrecht from 11 to 18 April 2010. Fair entrance costs 15 Euro.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 271px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Why:
The fair is being organized on the initiative of a number of area antique dealers who feel the need for a high-level spring fair – exclusively for high-end participants. You’ll find over 60 art dealers and galleries displaying everything from antiques to 18th and 19th Century paintings to contemporary art and photography.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 245px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Participation:
Participating as a vendor in ArtAntique is only possible on invitation and after assessment by two independent selection committees – and better yet, all art objects will be subjected to inspection prior to being exhibited in the fair. For you as a buyer that ensures you absolute confidence in what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from!

to 10px; WIDTH: 266px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Following are a few of my favourite vendors who will be appearing at ArtAntique:

  • Dolf D. van Omme
  • Bruil & Brandsma Antiquairs
  • Limburg Antiquairs
  • P&J; Honsbeek
  • Robert Schreuder Antiquair
  • Jan van Hoof Galerie
  • Etienne Gallery- Galerie Mokum

Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva


top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>My younger brother, Nathan – upon hearing of the scads of antiques scored for both clients and myself on my recent Antiques Diva Fall Flea Market Extravaganza – sent me a hand-written note, congratulating me on my recent success along with this clipping from his local newspaper.

The little clipped comic revealed that he knew me and my penchant for scouring the flea markets across Europe a little too well…

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 163px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />On that note, dear Diva Readers, Happy Plundering!

The Antiques Diva™

Your “Style in One Picture” Challenge

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One of my favorite blogs, From The Right Bank To The Left Coast, posted a Summer Challenge, asking readers to define their style in one photo. This is not an easy task to accomplish as my taste tends towards the eclectic. Frequent moves throughout my marriage (6 in 13 years) have given me time to exercise many options, but whatever color or style-de-jour I’m embracing, the one thing that’s become a constant in my home decor is how I intermingle antiques with modern art.

Alek, the brain behind the aforementioned blog, encourages readers to boil the photo & their style down into 3 simple words – for me, it’s Antiques, Modern, Glamour.

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The Antiques Diva’s Style is all about Art & Antiques juxtaposed against Modern Glamour.

  • I love intense dramatic colors that pop, calling your name and demanding attention. Black is bold yet clean, modern and edgy and if I had a place in my home for it now I’d do it in a heartbeat. As it stands, our apartment is so light and airy I hate to ruin the ambiance so in deference to our historically-listed home I’m bowing towards a traditional white and hoping for a chance to someday exercise my artistic bent elsewhere with black in the future.
  • I love outrageously over-the-top, heavily-gilted, marble-topped antiques, heavy with scrolls and embellishments contrasted against the straight lines of modern art.
  • While Modern Art speaks the language of my heart, giving expression to feelings words cannot articulate, Antiques speak the language of my soul.
  • The Object d’Art makes this ensemble – the bronze statue, Gothic miniature chest and piece of coral – evoke memories of Grand Tour souvenirs. In my own home, my art de la table is composed of an eclectic mish-mash of shells picked up on Girls Trips to Florida, Art Deco statues scavenged from flea markets and art salons throughout Europe and I’ve even a wooden box of similar size, if not similar origin. Mine is a wooden box made by my father-in-law when he was a young boy, handed down to my husband, sitting proudly on my own Louis XV commode*. My home is a mix of the precious and the priceless, the latter being made in MasterCard fashion entirely of memories!
  • My chosen photo above was taken in Holland at Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch April 2008 in the booth of the fair coordinator, Jan Roelof, a master who mixes this modern+antiques recipe.
  • AF’sH is next scheduled for April 18 – 25, 2010. See The Diva Website for more information on upcoming tours!

That’s it for now, but in the meantime, why don’t you take From The Right Bank to The Left Coast’s Challenge – What’s Your Style in One Photo?

The Antiques Diva™

* Remember: commode means chest of drawers – not toilet – in Europe!

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The Savoy Hotel Auction!

to 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ /> he world famous Savoy Hotel, built in London in 1889, is shutting its doors for 18 months, starting December 2007, for a !

My husband, WG, tries to stay at The Savoy whenever he’s in London on business. Upon hearing the news of their temporary closure, he was so depressed, claiming that he never sleeps as well as he does when at The Savoy. I think this might have more to do with the dinner he eats downstairs at their Michelin-starred restaurant, The Savoy Grill, than the actual beds themselves, but his comment did get me thinking… What will the hotel do with all their furniture and decorative items when they redecorate?

A little investigative shopping revealed that on Dec 18, 19, and 20, 2007 – through Bonham’s Auction House – The Savoy is selling more than 3,000 pieces of their hotel – including their “oh so comfy” bespoke beds!

Regardless of the fact that WG sleeps like a rock at The Savoy, purchasing a used hotel room bed seems a little gross – even if their beds have been slept on by the world’s most powerful people. Nevertheless, owning a piece of The Savoy is owning a little piece of history. So perhaps I’ll bid on something less personal. The 3-tier planter from the front of the hotel, which sits next to the only road in London where traffic flows on the right side of the road, would be an absolute treat. And I know WG likes The Savoy’s Art Deco fixtures, silver plate and hallway chandeliers. For those of you with a bigger budget than me, you might consider snapping up the parquet ballroom dance floor or the giant, white, grand piano!

Whatever you buy, it’s certain to be a steal, for The Savoy is setting no reserves in an “everything must go” type of auction. Entry to The Savoy Sale preview and auction days will be by catalogue ownership only – so you’d better hurry and order your’s today! But don’t forget that, prior to bidding, you will need to register with Bonham’s and this process can take several days.

As I’ll be out of town, I’ll be bidding on-line, but they also accept absentee ballots and telephone bids. Best of all, should you not be able to whisk off to London to collect the purchase yourself, Bonham’s has thought of everything and already contracted a shipping company! Crown Worldwide Ltd, the relocation company that has handled my last two moves, is servicing Bonham’s and will be able to provide quotes for shipping your items to your chosen destination. They do, however, advise that you inquire on shipping estimates prior to bidding – saving yourself from any unsavory surprises later!

Going, Going, Gone!

The Antiques Diva™

Reader Question – What do you do with your TV and Audio Visual Equipment?

Dear Antiques Diva,

e met briefly at an AWCA coffee club a few weeks ago. I checked out your blog and I love it! Your writing is so readable and funny. But now, I have to contact you on a more serious matter. We are Americans living in Holland and have just received our moving shipment with all our furniture belongings from the USA.I need to buy an antique armoire or cabinet to hold my husband’s vast flat screen TV and all of his electronics equipment. I always find it funny that men think electronics should be displayed – they think they’re so beautiful! But not surprisingly, I disagree. Hence the need for a cabinet. Is it okay to convert an armoire? What do you do with your TV? Do you proudly display it or tuck it away? Could you offer some suggestions on where I might go armoire shopping in the area around Laren? As I have a baby I can’t do much lengthy browsing. I know more or less what I want, dimensions, wood color, etc. But other than that, I am totally clueless about where to start… do you have any recommendations?

Karla from Laren


Dear Karla from Laren,

ou pose the age-old question housewives have been asking since the 1950’s when started replacing fireplaces as the typical living room focal point. Maybe more to the point, your letter brings to mind one of the many differences between men and women. Man’s view tends to be “he who has the most toys wins”, so in an effort to prove himself he creates an electronic altar proudly displaying his wealth and gadgetry. “Les femmes”, the so-called weaker sex, tend to tuck the unsightly wizardry away as they go about their home fluffing pillows and making their abode comfortable and attractive. We ladies are wired to nest, while men are just wired.

Help! What should I do with my TV?

The question remains – How do you deal with TV’s and audio visual equipment when decorating your home? For the sake of argument, let’s consider leaving the television in full view. As your man has purchased a flat screen TV you can wall mount it above your mantel making a temple to the silver screen.

I’ve seen some of my favorite designers (and numerous friends) use this technique to much success. Adding an interesting screen saver to turn the TV into art when it’s not in use always seemed a little cheesy – à la the television fireplace – but there are some great television art DVD’s available that have made me reconsider my stance. If you’re a frequent television viewer you might consider this option. If you tuck your TV away into an armoire, the doors will have to be open each time you watch the telly – frequent viewing means the armoire doors are frequently open and in the way.

My ideal television center would be a plasma lift “pop up” television fitted into a converted antique buffet. As I haven’t convinced my husband to dole out the dollars for this, I’ve simply vetoed television in our living room! That said, we have three TV’s elsewhere in the home – one in front of the treadmill, another small one in the kitchen that can easily be tucked away when entertaining and the third is my personal “Dilemma TV” located in the master bedroom. I call this “the Dilemma TV” because I’ve been looking for the perfect armoire to house it for the last 2 years. Though I’ve found plenty of armoires I like, I have found none perfectly proportioned for the room that have also been able to accommodate the girth of our television.

My “Dilemma TV” illustrates one of the many problems of converting an antique armoire into an entertainment center. As I’ve been struggling with this same issue for years and don’t have a good answer to your question on my own, I immediately sent an email to a few Roving and Regional Reporters asking for their help! Lady Lotus was the first to respond and she is definitely not a fan of converting an armoire to an entertainment center. She writes, “ It substantially devalues them, so unless you are planning on never re-selling your armoire, it’s a bad move. It just seems weird to me to take a gorgeous piece and always have it hanging open for TV viewing. But I guess if the piece is a really good deal and/or the change will improve the look (i.e. the shelves were already in bad shape), then what’s to lose? I did add some extra shelves to one of my armoires to hold my husbands clothes! I bought the expanding shelving at Wal-Mart and they fit on top of the original wooden shelves. When I remove them, there will be no damage to the piece.”

Upon seeing Lady Lotus’ reply, La Reine, who loves the look of her converted armoire-cum-entertainment center immediately shot back with an opposing view: “Personally, I like TVs and stereos in armoires. Leaving the door open doesn’t bother me! I did it for 6 years when we lived in Paris (although it is interesting to note that, upon returning to live in the USA, La Reine now has her flat screen wall-mounted). You simply close the doors whenever you want. My armoire came with big strong heavy shelves so it was not an issue. Our ebonist (a French furniture repairman/carpenter) took out one of the back panels for the cabling so we didn’t have to drill holes. He also told me the single armoire, “le homme debout”, was becoming scarcely available on the market becau
se everyone wanted them for TV cabinets. They also often have an upper and lower door, rather than 2 side-by-side doors, and a drawer beneath the upper shelf which is convenient for cable boxes, etc.”

The net boasts numerous tips on how to best convert an armoire for use as an entertainment center. So now, Karla, after hearing a few of the pluses and minuses you’re ready to go shopping! In your letter you mention that you are limited by time and location – and asked for tips nearby the town where you live. For readers who aren’t familiar with Laren, this is a positively posh, Dutch village packed full of the type of shopping you’d expect to find if you were in St. Tropez or St Moritz rather than a sleepy Amsterdam suburb. But then again, this isn’t any suburb – it’s quite possibly the best suburb in The Netherlands! Unfortunately for Karla, I couldn’t remember one outstanding antiques shop in town that would suit her needs, but if she asked me where to buy sexy lingerie (Wolford), great clothes () or household decorations (KA International or Flamant) I’d have a plethora of addresses! With a black book void of antique addresses in Laren, I called upon my friend, Ms. Holland, who first introduced me to Laren, and even she came back empty-handed!

Ms. Holland, ever resourceful, suggested hitting the internet to limit Karla’s time outside the home. “In my opinion, she should check out the local auction houses — Zadelhoff in the nearby town of Hilversum and de Zwaan in Amsterdam. The site Kijkdag (listing the auction houses viewing days) might be helpful. I was surprised to find so many antique armoires at the recent auctions at such low prices.” Hopping on Ms. Holland’s suggestions, I did a little research and discovered that both Ebay and Marktplatz had a decent selection of armoires and cabinets worth browsing. In my online search, I used “Meublen” and “Antiek Kast” as my search words.

Ms. Holland continued with a few addresses that are slightly further afield, The Spiegelkwartier is one stop shopping as it is Amsterdam’s Antiques District.” The prices aren’t always the best, but the quality is! As Laren is located between Amsterdam and Utrecht, you can also consider going to this other lesser-known city. I was thrilled that Ms. Holland turned me onto Daatselaar and Godhelp Antiquairs on the Korte Jansstraat, a high-end antiques dealer who will be presenting next month at PAN Amsterdam.

Fearful that some of their gorgeous items might be higher priced than you’re interested in paying for a TV cabinet, I also want to suggest a few shops with lower prices in the ‘t Gooi area where you live. In Hilversum, I like the shop Ons Winkletje Antiek. They have a beautiful William III antique mahogany armoire from circa 1850 – at 1,475 Euros, the price is fair as far as I’m concerned. Also in Hilversum, you could try , M. Siegers Antiek en Kunst or La Vie Brocante in Huizen and Over Gooi in Kortenhoef. I also love the antique shop De Weldaad, located on a farm off a tiny road near a windmill outside the town of Abcoude. This shop has a very specific Swedish Country/French Country feel and most of their items are painted pine coming from antique scavenging trips the owners have made through Eastern Europe.

Though The Belgian Beauty was away on holiday when I emailed asking for help, I’m certain she’d agree with me that antique armoire shopping might make a great excuse to take a weekend getaway! The best part of living in Holland is that Europe is your playground – hop in the car and head 3 hours south to the , Belgium for the weekend. If all else fails, I suspect your best bet in quickly finding an armoire is at a large flea market such as this. Getting your desired armoire home to Holland might take some serious negotiation, but it’s worth the trip! Besides, you’ll be able to photo document your baby’s first trip to Belgium antique shopping making great memories for the scrapbook! In the center of the Tongeren flea market there is a so you and your husband can take turns popping out to the flea market one by one or come home to the hotel frequently should the baby not be agreeable to the shopping plans!

As you’re new to Holland, Karla, you might not yet be familiar with the magazine Antiek & Verzamel Krant, containing the most complete antique and collectors information f
or Holland. While the magazine is only written in Dutch, addresses and dates are quite easy to decipher even if you don’t speak a word of the language! If we’ve any readers with a shop suggestion to help Karla in Laren find an Armoire, please post your comments below (or email The Antiques Diva ™ at ).

Lastly, remember my “Dilemma TV”? I’m aghast to admit that it temporarily resides on an IKEA TV stand awaiting my final purchase. Between you and me, after two years of searching for the perfect armoire that can not only house my TV but will also suit my bedroom décor, I’m considering chucking the whole idea of buying an antique and heading to the Woon Mall.

Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva ™