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Hi Ho Silver at AFSH!

Dear Diva Readers,

High Ho Silver!

It’s antiques fair season in Holland and that means it’s time to saddle up and attend the “Art & Antiques Fair ’s-Hertogenbosch April 15 -22, 2012.

The two floors of the venue will be transformed into a fresh, modern springtime setting accommodating some 70 participants from the Netherlands and abroad. Visitors can explore a wide range of artistic periods, including medieval, baroque, Renaissance, modern, and contemporary collections.  

One of my favorite vendors will be on hand, the world’s leading silver expert Jacob Roosjen.  One of the many interesting items in his collection that sparked my fancy is this gorgeous pair of Dutch silver stirrups made around the year 1800 and struck with the maker’s mark of Nicolaes Swalue, a Frisian silversmith from Leeuwarden.  In the 18th century a typical Frisian fair usually started off with horse racing. At the local inn the winners used to be honored with appealing silver objects, varying from silver mounted whips and stirrups to silver coffee pots and tobacco pots. So these stirrups also might have been given as an award to the best equestrian. 

If you plan your visit to AFSH between 19 and 22 April 2012, you can stop by Indoor Brabant afterwards for the World Cup Dressage and Jumping Finals.

AFSH Opening hours

Art & Antiques Fair ’s-Hertogenbosch will take place at the Autotron Rosmalen, Graafsebaan 133,
5248 NL Rosmalen. Opening times: Sunday 15 to Wednesday 18 April 2012, 11.00 to 18.00; Thursday 19 April to Saturday 21 April 2012, 13.00–22.00; Sunday 22 April 2012, 11.00–18.00.

Admission: €15 per person. For more information, please visit the AFSH website.

The Antiques Diva®

Fine Paints of Europe

Dear Diva Readers,

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top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I’ve always thought that the doors of Amsterdam were the most beautiful and welcoming in the world.   The front door puts the smile on a building, setting the tone of the home inside.  It serves as a calling card, inviting the visitor in for cup of tea on a rainy day – and in Holland, there are lots of rainy days!

I’ve studied Dutch architecture – wondering at the tiny gables, the clusters of deep red bricks, the windows and doors – and have decided that what makes the Dutch home so magical is the paint. 
The Dutch woodwork has a cheerful brilliant finish resulting from using the world-famous Dutch enamels. 

What many people don’t realize is that the Dutch often use those high sheens on interior surfaces as well, whether it on the base boards and doors, moldings and decorative trims or even the wall itself. I love a high sheen! It makes such a dramatic statement. 

In this month’s House Beautiful (Feb 2011), contributing editor Frances Shultz encourages her readers to consider using high gloss paint on their interiors.  She explains, “I always hear that high gloss should be used only on pristine walls.  And I’ve always ignored it.  I like its reflective quality.” 

For today’s Diva-Discovery I wanted to share with you a brand of paint that’s going to have you itching to do your next DIY project!

I’d like you to meet “Fine Paints of Europe”, which happens to be a paint company that specializes in “real paints from Holland.” 

The Netherlands has led the world’s paint industry for more than two centuries. Although Holland is about the size of the state of Rhode Island, it has over 120 paint manufacturers.  In the late eighteenth century the largest colony of European artists resided in the Netherlands and these artists, led by Rembrandt and Vermeer, were demanding paints that would retain their color and endure for centuries. It was this domestic demand for artist oil paints which led Dutch entrepreneurs to focus on the development and production of paints in a broader sense. By 1790, Dutch paintmakers were successfully combining oils and pigments from the Dutch colonies to produce artist oils and even today, the paints of Holland are the best because they are formulated with expensive resins which are carefully combined with high concentrations of finely ground pigments, inexpensive fillers are never used.

Until Next Time,

The Antiques Diva®

(seen right at my home in Holland)

P.S.  If you’re itching to do a little DIY, why not check out Fine Paints of Europe’s Primer

 

 

ArtAntique: New Dutch Antiques Fair To Be Held April 2010

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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.

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ArtAntique will take place in Jaarbeurs Utrecht from 11 to 18 April 2010. Fair entrance costs 15 Euro.

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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.

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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!

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  • 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

More on Miro

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Miro Pozar is a Czech sculptor whose work has appeared throughout Europe and North America. His face and torso are as chiseled as the sandstone sculptures he makes from rock culled from nearby quarries. Miro studies the stone in its rugged raw state and he sees what is not there, but could be – crafting the breast of a woman or the weary face of an old man in the veins of the stone. From time to time, the stone cries out for something different – to be made into more abstract art – and Miro creates from the past the future – making sculptures that appear both medieval and modern in their simplicity.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/ScFE7zetVjI/AAAAAAAACyM/NkjtiM_913M/s320/divas+statue.jpg” border=”0″ />When my husband WG & I stumbled into Miro’s gallery in the charming Bohemian village of Cesky Krumlov, he stood like a Czech god with the sun shining only on him as tourists and customers circled in the shadows. As we studied the sculptures, something about Miro’s work niggled and wiggled in the recesses of our minds, reminding us of another artist whose work we had fallen for while visiting Toronto nearly 10 years prior for my 25th birthday. For years we had regretted not purchasing that piece that haunted us. From time to time WG would comment, “Remember that artist in Toronto?” and I would nod claiming this piece was “the one that got away – our great travel-shopping regret.”
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Crowds stumbled in and out of the gallery and when the tourists thinned, Miro sat on the step next to us and started talking, sharing his life story as we shared ours. He told how before the fall of communism he’d been granted a visa to live in the USA and Canada. He spoke of the cold Toronto winters of where his work had been exhibited and WG’s eyes caught mine as we read one another’s mind – “Could Miro Pozar be the artist that got away? Whose work we’d coveted for so many years?”
to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/ScFE8od-0mI/AAAAAAAACys/kUWsAlvlOV0/s320/miro+pozar+4.jpg” border=”0″ />We’ll never know. Much like reading a book and remembering the main character’s name, but not the author’s, WG & I had over the years forgotten the name of that Toronto-based-artist while the art lived on in our memories. Whether Miro was the mystery artist might have been serendipitous, but it was oddly a moot point in the purchase decision, for upon seeing his chiseled work it was a foregone conclusion that we’d return home to Holland with something from his atelier. We wouldn’t pass a second chance with “coup de foudre” – he wouldn’t be another artist whose work we’d regret letting “get away”.

Miro, upon seeing our joy at his work, offered us a discount for paying in Euros instead of the local currency and smiled as he said, “You are young. The young, they never buy art. It is always the old who buy art. They, of course, can better afford it, but I make art for the young, for the future, not for the past.” He attached the bust we’d chosen to a rolling cart, giving us a stand upon which to display it as a gift with the purchase. As we chatted, he offered to roll the statue to our car which it turned out was parked opposite his atelier and warehouse.

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As we drove away, WG released his grip on the steering wheel and reached over to rub my neck, “Do you feel we bought a piece of history?” he asked and with a nod and graze of his leg, I smiled “Perhaps even a piece of our own history” as I thought of that trip to Toronto years prior when we were young and didn’t buy art.

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The Antiques Diva Expatica Resource Guide

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When we accepted our first expat assignment, I orchestrated the move while my husband went ahead to start his new job in Paris. When our shipment arrived months later with only a forth of our furniture in tow, my husband was baffled at my choices. As he sought a chair on which to sit in our living room, he incredulously asked, “Why didn’t you bring all our furniture?”

Realizing for the first time the consequences he faced as a result of not sharing in the coordination of our international move, he was given an answer that would define nearly a decade of expatriate life, “As an expat, Europe is now my playground. A person’s home should reflect not only who they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going.” By bringing only our favorite possessions, I gave us room to grow into the people we’d become through living abroad.

Needing a table on which to dine, as well as the china to set on it, we began searching the flea markets of Europe, letting our travel choices dictate our décor. “Darling,” I rang my husband’s office one day, “We need a buffet and I’ve just read an article on the selection of antique side boards available in the Costa Blanca. Shall we go to Spain this Easter to see the procession and to stop by an excellent source for richly carved chestnut chests?” Weekends were passed flea marketing in the French countryside as we filled our home and stomachs while sampling the specialties of the regions. As our waistlines expanded, we’d return to 6eme Parisian apartment with a shabby chateau canapé that would groan when sat upon and Napoleon III side tables lacquered and adorned with mother of pearl embellishments.

When we moved to Holland, Belgium became our favorite getaway as it brought back memories of France with its abundance of French antiques, but better Belgium prices. Trips across Germany have filled our home with the type of knick knacks we never knew we needed until they completed a tableau. While visits to see friends living in Switzerland resulted in us starting a new collection of antique globes found at their many brocantes and led us to purchasing a politically incorrect vintage fur throw straight from a chalet at a bargain bin price.

Guests visiting us in The Netherlands nearly a decade after our expat journey began tour our home and comment on the eclectic international décor and when I point out a pile of plates that I peddled home in a box tied with a bungee cord to the back of my bike, they exclaim, “It’s just so you!”


By The Antiques Diva

PS: To read the country overviews I wrote for Expatica, simply click on the links below!

to-antiques-shopping-Expatica_country-wide.html” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva™ Expatica Resource Guide

France

Belgium

The Netherlands

Spain

Germany

Switzerland

Bon Voyage to Moi!

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Dearest Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Just a quick blog to say “à bientôt”! This August WG & I are running away for a deliciously long holiday. We’ll set sail on a Holland America Mediterranean Cruise next week after taking a short driving tour through Italy and visiting two of our favorite places – Piedmont and Tuscany. We’ve never a done a cruise and perhaps it wasn’t the brightest idea to book our first cruise for 20 days, but my suitcase is packed and I’m ready to hit the sea! Speaking of suitcases, you should see mine… stuffed to the seams with cocktail dresses, gala gowns, giant straw hats and a sundress for almost every day on board!

Our itinerary looks like something out of a James Bond movie, starting from Civitavecchia to Livorno, on to Monte Carlo before docking at Barcelona and Palma De Mallorca. Then it’s La Goulette, Palermo, Napels and back to Civitavecchia where it all began. While the 10 day passengers disembark, WG and I will sip cocktails in the shade, dreaming of Dubrovnik and the other ports of call in part two of our cruise – Corfu, Katakolon, Santorini, Kusadasi, Valletta and Messina! It’s going to be a vacation to remember.

But don’t worry dear diva readers, I haven’t forgotten you. While I’m away on a dream vacation, I’ll still be thinking of you. In fact, this past month I’ve been thinking of you double time as I wrote not only my July blogs but also pre-blogged and pre-posted for the month I’m away. In addition to featuring some reader questions this next month, you will also find that I got a little help from my friends. La Reine and Lady Lotus take the helm a few times, writing on subjects such as Des Moines, Kimono Shopping in Japan, Hungarian Baby Bath Tubs and they even embark on a Coleslaw War to see whose slaw is the tastiest! So stay tuned for more Antiques Diva previously-prepared postings this August.

I’ll return to you this September sun-kissed and ready to set sail on a Fall filled with adventure.

Yours Truly,

The Antiques Diva™

Diva News Network Video – The Hague

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Today on The Antiques Diva ™ we’re kicking it up a notch and doing something special. Sit back, prop up your feet and press play to watch the first of many upcoming episodes of The Diva News Network. Come along with me as I visit my favorite town in The Netherlands – The Hague, home of Parliament, The Queen, Embassy Row and the best shopping in Holland. We’re filming on the Lange Voorhout where you’ll find a bric-a-brac market every Thursday and Sunday, May through October. Don’t miss the upcoming Art and Antiques Weekend in The Hague, August 30th and 31st, 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

Last Minute Diva – Salon Authentique

Greetings Dutch Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I just wanted to write a quick blog to remind you about an upcoming fair in Holland which I told you about a few months ago! Should you not yet have plans this weekend, then pack up the car and take a drive to the country to visit Salon Authentique in Apeldoorn this April 17 – 20, 2008. More than 70 vendors from The Netherlands and Belgium will set up a lifestyle fair at The Paleis Het Loo, bringing you an assortment of art, antiques, interior design & decor. Should that not be enough to lure your husband out the door, perhaps the gourmet specialties or wine, whisky & cigar tasting will!

Have a Happy Weekend,

The Antiques Diva™

Around the World Travel Tip

he first time I heard my friend, The Gourmet Goddess, mention that she was taking an “around the world” trip, I was gobsmacked thinking that she must be shelling out a fortune! She was accompanying her husband on a month-long business trip that started in Amsterdam, moved on for several stops in the USA before heading across the Pacific and hitting Singapore and several locations in India. At this point, they were so exhausted from their whirlwind travels that they said “the heck with it all” and took a few days vacation in Dubai before returning home to Holland only a month after it all began. It was such an extravagant journey that I couldn’t imagine what it must have cost!

When I discreetly made a comment about how expensive this trip must have been, the Goddess replied, “No, Not really! An ATW ticket ( around the world ticket) is the best bargain in travel”.

I couldn’t believe this was true, so I did a little research of my own. Lo and behold, she was right! So right, in fact, that I’ve booked my husband, WG, on his own around the world trip.

You know he is in China right now, but in fact his travels are taking him from Holland to London to China, and then on to Japan before landing in Dalls the week before Christmas where he and I will meet up to celebrate with family and friends in Oklahoma. Three weeks later he’ll return from Dallas to London to Holland, having proven that the world is indeed round! Christopher Columbus has nothing on WG!

His airfare for this entire journey cost only 1,600 Euros (or $2,300), a fraction of what it would have cost for WG to travel roundtrip business class from Amsterdam to Beijing. Admittedly, that would have been a much more lavish journey compared to being cramped back in coach, but it was so much more logical and convenient to travel around the world rather than backtracking to Amsterdam only to catch a flight the next day to the USA for the holidays.

Next time you’re in the mood to travel and can’t make up your mind on where to go or what to see, why don’t you do as WG did and fly around the world!

Author Judy Wolf gives great tips on how to book an ATW (also called RTW) and who to book it with! She advises that both One World Alliance and Star Alliance “allow for travel ranging from 10 days to 12 months. While you’re required to set your itinerary in terms of destinations (that’s how they know how much to charge you), both alliances let you decide or change travel dates freely as you go.” Check Judy’s Adventure Travel website (or subscribe to her newsletter) to see how you can live a life without borders!

Happy Travels!

The Antiques Diva™

Book a Tour

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.

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