Mercanteinfiera and The Antiques Diva in Parma

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I had to write to tell you about my recent trip to Parma, Italy with a sensational group of clients on a VIP Tour.  As you know we normally do private one-on-one tours; however, every once in a while, we get together with a group of VIPs for a meeting of the minds.  Where better to get together than Italy’s largest Antiques Fair – Mercanteinfierato paint the town red!

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The fair covers five pavilions and is the largest of its kind in Italy with over a 1000 dealers from all over Europe, including Britain, France and Belgium. Together under one roof they offer a vast array of furniture and decorative pieces from ancient Roman & ecclesiastical artifacts to fabulous antiques prints and decorative arts, 18th century furniture to Italian modernism and collectables. The pavilions or ‘Padiglione’ as they are known in Italian are divided into styles; of main interest are #6 which houses jewellery, both precious and costume, 20th century Furniture and Decorative Arts, Vintage and Repurposed.

Antiques Diva and Lynn Yaeger

Antiques Diva Justin Shaulis

Mercanteinfiera Parma Antiques Diva

Mercanteinfiera Parma

Mercanteinfiera Parma

Mercanteinfiera Parma

As Susan, our locally-based Italian Guide explains,

“In Italy there is a little bit of everything but perhaps of most interest are lighting, mirrors and huge amount of paintings and prints (some with great mattes and frames) varying in style from the classic landscapes and still life to contemporary; some are purely decorative others are great masters. There are of course Roman artifacts but if they are genuine one can’t pretend that they go for a song, however some of the religious pieces are a bargain. Italian country is a very different style to French country, cleaner and simpler lines perfect for both a modern and traditional home. There are also lots of fun agricultural pieces which are great finds, for both decoration and repurposing. On the central-eastern side of the country there are many painted pieces; both Florence and Venice were famed for its artisan painters, many of whom moved east towards Le Marche. One can’t dispute that Italian 20th century design was highly innovative and creative, these pieces are still not totally appreciated by Italians and so are good finds too.

In short Italy probably has much more than you ever imagined, it just takes a little time to get to know the country, the people and the business… we know too that half the fun is finding merchandise but when time is short – and time is money – a little help goes a long way! And that my dears, are why we at The Antiques Diva & Co are here to help you.”

Mercanteinfiera Spring 2014 dates:

1-9 March, 2014

To book an Antiques Diva Italy Tour – any time of the year – email to:toma@antiquesdiva.com”>toma@antiquesdiva.com

Ciao Bella!
The Antiques Diva ®
(Seen here with a few VIP friends @ Mercanteinfiera)

Mercanteinfiera Parma

The Diva Does Paris with Travel + Leisure

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Shortly after moving from Amsterdam to Berlin this Spring, I received the nicest email from one of my favorite bloggers, Claudia Strasser – author of The Paris Apartment book, blog, Paris shopping tour operator and NYC boutique of the same name. Claudia invited me to join her in Paris in April, collaborating behind-the-scenes for a few brocante visits with clients from the West Coast of the United States and it just so happened that Travel + Leisure would be along for the ride, documenting the French antique shopping fun!

Claudia and I are of one mind when it comes to Paris – we are both gaga over everything French, from antiques to l’art de vivre, and it was an utter delight spending time in the city of light with Claudia – a woman who has Taste with a capital “T”. The fact that the legendary writer to/Lynn+Yaeger” target=”_blank”>Lynn Yaeger was on hand to write about the event added glamour, panache and the type of style that only Lynnie can add to a certain situation. Upon meeting Lynn, I must confess I was a little nervous – this is, after all, a woman with her own Wikipedia listing and a quintessential voice of New York City, but as the day evolved, my nerves went to the wayside and as we sat giggling on the metro I felt like I’d known her for ages! We had a ball! It was an honor to join Claudia Strasser & Lynn Yaeger in Paris and now you can read all about it in the October 2009 Travel+Leisure.

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Lynn Yaeger writes:

“When I am in the City of Light, I rarely set foot in a gallery unless it has a gift shop. My favorite place to dine is the department-store café, with the frites stand at the flea market a close second. But recently it dawned on me that even a world-class compulsive shopper like myself has a tendency to visit the same markets, the same charming boutiques, the same venerable department stores. So on my latest trip I decided to consult three shopping gurus—two natives and one honorary citizen—about their favorite local haunts….”

the article goes on to say:

“When Claudia Strasser sweeps into the café across from the Vanves Métro stop on Sunday morning she has quite an entourage with her—three members of the B. family, whose 15-room mansion in Seattle she is helping to furnish, along with Toma Haines, an Oklahoma native who calls herself The Antiques Diva™. Before we hit even the first booth, Strasser and The Diva are unloading trade secrets: Did I know that the traveling fairs that set up in different neighborhoods on summer weekends are listed at the Vide-Greniers website, and that there are three keywords to look for: antiquités (for items at least 100 years old), brocante (for classic flea market merchandise), and vide-greniers (what in other cultures is commonly referred to as junk)? Was I aware that the best time to go to markets is the last weekend in July, before the whole of France goes on vacation, when dealers are desperate to empty their booths and want quick cash?”

Continue reading Lynn Yaeger’s Travel + Leisure article here and while on the Travel + Leisure site make sure to check out some of her other great articles on topics as wide ranging as Touring Coco Chanel’s Old Haunts to Dutch by Design.

Do make sure to visit Claudia’s blog The Paris Apartment – she has some of the best Parisian photography in one locale featured on her site as well as an incredible inventory of French antiques for sale in her online shop and if you’ve not bought her book The Paris Apartment be sure to order a copy! Rumor has it she’s working on her next book… and I can’t wait to read it!

Click here to read what Claudia had to say about the adventure in Paris with Travel + Leisure!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with Claudia Strasser of The Paris Apartment)