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Quintessence and Stylish Shopping By Susanna Salk Take an Antiques Diva Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

As an antiques & design blogger myself I’m often asked what design blogs I read… and one of my favorite is Stacey Bewkes’ Quintessence Blog.  From art and architecture, interiors and design, fashion and jewelry to books and movies, food and wine, travel and more, Quintessence has become a trusted source for well-researched, original content in the online world.  I love that she takes us behind the scenes to some of the world’s most gorgeous properties and gives us a peek into some of the very best shops all over the globe.  We get to tag along as she attends exclusive events, meets design icons and tastemakers and connects the dots to bring you the story behind the style.  In addition to blogging, Stacey was revolutionary in the blogosphere when she teamed up with Susanna Salk to produce and edit one of the best design video series.

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Imagine my excitement when these two dynamic women confirmed that they wanted to take an Antiques Diva Tour of Mercanteinfiera with me! I couldn’t wait to get these ladies to Italy and show them the ropes of navigating Italy’s largest antiques fair which takes place twice a year in Parma. With over one thousand vendors and several buildings, it can be tricky to weave your way through the thousands of international shoppers – but don’t worry, we know the fair and its vendors like the back of our hand!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Once we started shopping, I could see why these two women are known as international tastemakers. Their eyes are trained and I watched as they gravitated toward piece after gorgeous piece! Some of their favorite finds were a large mirror, a stately lion statue, a rustic armoire, architectural ornaments, and a pair of oversized urns. They also pointed out that attending fairs like Mercanteinfiera is a great way to get styling ideas as the exhibitors create interesting displays. I couldn’t agree more!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

In a blog they wrote about their Antiques Diva experience, they write, “In our two days at the Parma antiques fair, we effortlessly wove through the multiple massive buildings, following Toma and Susan (our charming and knowledgeable Italian Diva) to meet special friends and dealers, from Toma’s favorite purveyor of Murano glass to the creative couple from Florence who fashion chic new treasures by blending antiques with modern artistry,to her dealer friend Maurizio from Sicily (now located in Florence).”

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Read the entire blog and watch the fun video they shot in the video series Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk.

Thanks ladies for coming over and living La Dolce Diva for a few days! We certainly had a blast giving you just a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis all across Europe. When you’re ready for round two, why don’t we hit Les Puces in Paris… or The Decorative Fair at Battersea in London… or hop in the car and let us introduce you to our secret sources in the Belgian countryside… So many options, so little time!

Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Susanna Salk, Stylish Shopping, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair, Sourcing Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines,

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva® 

Villa Necchi Campiglio

Dear Diva Readers,

When shopping recently for antiques at Italy’s largest antiques fair, Mercanteinfeira with VIPS John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash and Caleb Anderson, we took time out of our busy antiquing schedule to soak in some serious design inspiration by visiting one of the best kept secrets in Milan – Villa Necchi Campiglio.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

The villa was built between 1932 and 1935 for the wealthy Lombard industrialist family made up of Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi, and her sister Nedda Necchi. It is situated in a very well-to-do part of Milan and was designed by Italian architect Piero Portaluppi. Both architect and client paid close attention to detail to create a house that would be the backdrop to a life well-lived in Milanese high society.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

The home isn’t so much a gaudy “look at my wealth” statement—as many mansions of the gilded age were— but rather it is a mixture of architectural styles of the 19th and 20th centuries. The house is made up of an enfilade of rooms, each flowing into the next, but able to be separated by sliding doors. It is almost as if Portaluppi imagined the day-to-day life that would play out in the house and designed each space to be used at a certain time of day. Thought was given to the fact that there needed to be intimate spaces for everyday life but also larger, open rooms that could accommodate social functions.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

The house is set in a large garden which includes a swimming pool and tennis court. Inside, the sculpted ceilings are an interesting feature as is the collection of 20th century paintings and sculpture. With no corridors, one must pass through each room to get to the next which creates a theatrical atmosphere, particularly if you imagine the sliding screens being shut and then suddenly opening to reveal the dining room with its table set for a dinner party.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

While it’s not ostentatious, the villa is most definitely the epitome of luxury. From the grand veneered staircase which greets you to the goat’s leather paneling of the dining room walls, the attention to finishes and detail is paramount. There is even personalized crockery in the staff quarters that was designed by Portaluppi himself. Now that’s what I call understated decadence!

Villa Necchi Campiglio, Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Art and Antiques Fair, John Eason, Jennifer Mehditash, Caleb Anderson, Milan Architecture and Design, Portaluppi, Italian Design

If you happen to be in Milan, you simply must visit this inspirational house museum – it’s one of Milan’s best kept secrets. It certainly is a lesson in architecture and design as it successfully mixes impressive 19th century style with progressive 20th century design. Perfection!

Ciao Bella!

The Antiques Diva® 

Wrapping Up 2014 with The Antiques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

As we wrap up 2014 and I reflect on this year I’m reminded of words by Charles Dickens,“it was the best of times and…” well, the best of times! I cannot help but think “Wow!” It’s been a fabulous year of growth for us here at The Antiques Diva & Co.  We’ve grown to being the largest antiques sourcing company in Europe, offering customized buying tours in 8 countries (and counting) and working with a team of 18 locally-based guides.   If I could sum up the year in three words they would be Clients, Collaborations and Celebrations!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Party, Maison Objet, Deco Off, Editor at Large, Timothy Corrigan, Paul Bert, Serpette, Michael Boodro, Elle Décor,

We kicked off 2014 in January with our first ever Antiques Diva Paris Flea Market Fete coinciding with Maison et Object and Deco Off.   With over 150 mega VIP guests in attendance the event received great media coverage and we were able to film a special tour of the Paris Flea Market with Editor at Large.  Such was last years success we’re doing it again this January 25 2015 for our second annual fete at the Paris Flea Market in conjunction with special guests Michael Boodro, Editor in Chief of Elle Décor, one of my favorite “Frenchy” interior designers, Timothy Corrigan and the owner of the Paul Bert/Serpette, Jean-Cyrille Boutmy (RSVP now for details toma@antiquesdiva.com! You’re invited!!)

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call, Mark Cutler, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Jon Call, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Stacey Bewkes, Quintessence, Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk, Mercanteinfiera, Parma Antiques Fair,

In February (and again in September) we were able to once again take VIP groups of American Interior Designers to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Attending this large antiques fair is always a treat, but most especially when the clients are as fun as Tobi Fairley, Denise McGaha, Jon Call and Mark Cutler!   Later in the fall we were delighted to film Stylish Shopping with Susanna Salk along with Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence for an upcoming episode on antiquing in Italy, Diva Style at Mercanteinfiera!   Watch this space! Both trips were filled with antiques sourcing, photo shoots and copious quantities of food & wine.  This month I was also delighted to add a new member to our team at Diva Headquarters – Andrew Skipper!

Then in March I hopped on a plane and headed to the USA to speak alongside Michael Bruno founder of 1stdibs at the Design Bloggers Conference. It was such an honor to meet so many talented design enthusiasts and to be able to share my story of turning a blog into a business.  Again, many lasting relationships were forged at this fantastic conference!

Just days later I was back on a plane headed for the UK. Our lovely Diva Agent Gail and I met up with Antiques Expert Judith Miller who gave our group of clients a private tour of The Bath Decorative Fair, which happened to be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Champagne fete.  Yes, Champagne does tend to follow me around.  At the end of the month, I headed back to NYC to speak at the IFDA New York Design Center. What a jam-packed month!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, San Francisco Cottage & Gardens, Joy Venturini,

Criss-crossing the USA, I then flew to Atlanta to speak at ADAC and then spoke in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (special thanks to Kneedler Fauchere for hosting a fete in my honor).  I was also delighted to attend the launch party of San Francisco Cottage & Gardens where I befriended fashion icon Joy Venturini who moments before this photo was taken officially told me I was the “best dressed” for the event!  What a treat it was to see so many clients and make new friends!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, High Point Market, Antique & Design Center, Mad Cap Cottage

Then it was time for High Point Market which is THE MEETING PLACE for all my clients and colleagues.  Here I hosted – what else? – a Champagne tour of the Antique & Design Center after leading a Style Guide lecture on the Louis (lest you think antiques are boring… this talk involved plenty of sex and scandal to spice up the antiques and history!!!!).

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Blog Tour Milan

But I couldn’t stay long at High Point – I had to jet back to Milan, Italy for Salone to meet my Italian Diva Guide, Susan, to lead a VIP tour for Blog Tour Milan! Our lovely clients enjoyed this gorgeous city with us culminating in our party at the famous Campari Bar. After all that jet-setting, it was time to meet my husband in Tuscany for some much needed down days of relaxation at the Villa Bordoni.   I’ve been fortunate my husband has been able to travel with me on some business trips as I criss-cross the globe and we met in exotic destinations.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Spring Market, D&D Building, Antiques in the 21st Century,

May brought along plenty of client tours, including taking The Antiques Roadshow Magazine on tour throughout Belgium. But then in May it was back to the States for Spring Market at the D&D in New York where I spoke on a panel about Antiques in the 21st Century. Then in June a life-long dream of mine came true! We kicked off our first Antiques Diva Venice Tours with our new Diva Guides Orseola and Chiara! Exploring this enchanted city on the arms of two locals has given me access to a world I never thought I’d know as an insider.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Las Vegas Market, Antique Trend Forecast, Design Tastemaker,

July took me to The Windy City of Chicago for a speaking engagement at the Randolph Street Antique Market where I did a promo spot on ABC in Chicago! Then it was off to Las Vegas Market where I spoke on Antique Trends and was delighted to be named one of their Design Tastemakers!!

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Anantara Elephant Camp, Golden Triangle,

August brought some much needed down time in Thailand as my husband and I traveled to Thailand together to spend time at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok followed by shopping in Chiang Mai (Watch this space for upcoming Diva News! Will the Diva Do Asia?) followed by an amazing week at the Anantara Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle learning to drive my own elephants.  Taking in this magical place was truly what we needed after all the hustle and bustle of this whirlwind year!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Steve Nobel, Nobelinks,

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Decorative Fair, Battersea, Traditional Home, Antique Markets in London

In September I was back in London, leading a VIP tour alongside industry sage and icon Stephen Nobel. Taking in exciting inspiration and sourcing unique antiques was the name of the game—along with lots of bubbly, bien sur! By the end of the month I was back again in London, taking a lovely journalist from Traditional Home on a special tour which coincided with The Decorative Fair at Battersea.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Gotha Biennale, Fall Market, Darcy Fulton, Jackson McCard, John Rosselli, Bunny Williams, Treillage, Art and Antiques Fair Parma Italy

Then in October after spending time in Italy for Mercanteinfiera I flew back to the Big Apple to speak at the D&D Building for Fall Market. But I couldn’t stay long because up next was High Point Market where I spoke yet again about my Antiques Diva Style Guide. High Point is always like a reunion! Such a pleasure to see so many familiar faces.  Before I knew it, I was back to Italy for another VIP event – attending the opening night gala at the Gotha Biennale with special VIP guests Darcy Fulton of John Rosselli and Jackson McCard of Bunny Williams’ Treillage!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Olga Granda-Scott, The Highboy, Doris Athineos, Traditional Home Antiques, Jonathan Burden, Antiques in the 21st Century

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, Holiday House New York, Justin Shaulis, Gallery Hopping in Miami, Louis Navarrete,

In November we capped off the year with our last Antiques Diva event as I returned to NYC, speaking alongside the grande dame of antiques Judith Miller, Traditional Home magazine antiques editor Doris Athineos and Olga Granda-Scott of The Highboy at Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art. I was also able to go to the opening night gala of Holiday House New York with my dear friend and client Justin Shaulis whose room “Gallery Hopping in Miami” was simply a show stopper!  I was also particularly partial to client Louis Navarrete’s Bohemian Rapsody!

All these events… and I’ve not mentioned the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS YEAR.  As a company my 18 guides and I served more clients than ever before! Our busiest week of the year  we had more than 25 clients spread across 6 of our tour countries!!!!  Thank you for your support, your love and…baby, we quite simply could not do it without you.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Year in Review, ICEHOTEL, Arctic Circle Dog Sledding, Reindeer Sledding in the Arctic, Northern Lights, New Years Resolutions

And that brings us to December where I’ve fallen into a pile of exhaustion as we entered our slow season,  as I spent my holiday in the Arctic Circle.  You must add the ICEHOTEL to your bucket list. It’s amazing.  I’ve spent the last week dog sledding in the tundra, reindeer sledding (and making one too many sightings as those buggers crisscross the roads in the Nordic) and stargazing while watching the Northern Lights. All in all I’d say it’s been a full, fun and fabulous year.

As we prepare for 2015, I can’t help but think that the BEST is still ahead!  This past year has had many highs (and a few lows as well) and the lesson here has been on priorities. In January 2014 I told my husband my goal for the year was to jump off cliffs…. free falling to see where these risks I was taking would take me.  The year has yielded more returns than I ever expected.

Thank you to all of my clients, friends, family and followers for everything and I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015!!! Let’s make it a great year!

Happy New Year,

The Antiques Diva®

 

Decorating with Antique Books

Dear Diva Readers,

While I love to shop (and take clients on shopping tours), I also love to decorate! I think a great way to add personality and a sense of history to any space is by using antique books in your decor. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also are practical—you can actually READ them! When my husband started collecting first editions he made a promise to himself that he would always read the books regardless of how many zeroes were included in the price tag.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Now whether you’re placing antique books on shelves or using them as art in themselves, I’ve got a few easy ways that you can incorporate antique books into your home.

Of course if you have built-in shelves or even just a bookcase, books are the perfect way to fill these spaces. You can mix up the colors or color block them in groups of green bindings, red bindings, etc for more of a statement. I recently had the opportunity to visit Ashley Hicks – son of designer David Hicks – at his home in the English countryside and was able to sneak a picture of his famous father’s red office fitted with gorgeous antique red leather books.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Make sure you intersperse some books that are stacked horizontally so you can sit a small object d’art on top of them. This is a great way to show off a special piece.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

If you come across antique books that aren’t in the best shape, consider bundling them together with twine and sitting them on a table. It’s a cost effective and fun way of displaying tired books almost as sculpture. You could also remove the bindings and just use the monochromatic pages lined up on a shelf as a modern take on the classic library. In Designer David Hicks’ personal bedroom at his house, The Grove, his books are all white toned and rumor has it that when the famous designer had insomnia he would wash the spines of his books keeping them shelves spic and span in lieu of counting sheep!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

If your table lamps are sitting just a bit too low, perch them atop a stack of antique books.   In David Hicks’ office I loved his specially designed “library lamp”  in which the shade is cut in half in an updated modern version of the Italian shades to shine light on the books behind it.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

The principle of using books as risers can apply to any object you’re wanting to elevate. Place a beautiful bowl on top of a stack of books or sit a sculpture on top of the stack. It will make the object seem more important, as if on a pedestal of its own!  In my own secretaire in my living room at home in Berlin I’ve stacked a giant inkwell on the shelf.  These books were a gift from an English friend – which reminds me – antique and vintage books make great presents! You can be really creative in picking books that have to do with your friends interests, travel plans, or even use their name in the title.

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Regardless of how you use antique books, they are sure to add personality to your space. Books tell people about your interests and they create dimension in interiors. While my husband collects first editions from Parisian expat writers in the 1930’s – I collect interior design books – both vintage books such as David Hicks as well as current day books from friends such as Ronda Carmen’s book Designers at Home to Judith Miller’s latest tome.  On my reading list at the moment is Susanna Salk’s Decorate Fearlessly.  We’re traveling together in Italy this week doing some stylish shopping at Mercanteinfiera and I’m excited to get to spend time IRL with a favorite author shopping by her side!

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Whether an antique or vintage book – a brand new book from a favorite designer – I want to know what are you reading?

The Antiques Diva®

 

The Antiques Diva, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating with Antiques Books, Shelfie, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks, The Grove, Ronda Carmen, Susanna Salk, Judith Miller, Mercanteinfiera

Photo Credit: Laila McCubbin Jones

Facciamoci un aperitivo

Dear Diva Readers,

Buongiorno…. No, make that Buona Sera!  When the day is done – to close out the work day and start the evening – the Italians like to indulge in an aperitivo before dinner.  While technically the purpose of the aperitivo is to stimulate the appetite, (how else would a European’s stomach know it’s time to eat dinner?) it’s really just a wonderful excuse for friends to gather from between 6:00 to 9:00pm to socialize whilst partaking in a few savory snacks before commencing with a 3 course dinner. I still wonder how they stay so thin!

422-L

Antiques Diva Italy

Aperitivo’s are simple – you’ll find a variety of olives, cheeses, and breads being served alongside a dry cocktail or prosecco, which is a favorite pre-dinner sparkler in Italy.  In some cases, meats and cheeses paired with puff pastries and other finger foods are set out as tempting treats that could very well spoil dinner if you’re not too careful!

 Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

Mercanteinfiera in Parma

In the spirit of opening our three day VIP tour in Italy, The Antiques Diva & Co embraced the Italian phrase, “Facciamoci un aperitivo” (Let’s have an aperitif!).  Each night on our recent VIP TOUR in Parma, Italy we hosted a Prosecco Aperitivo at the Grande Hotel de la Ville for our guests before dinner!  Plenty of Prosecco and savory snacks were served while lively conversation ensued as we we discussed the days purchases and plunderings.  Some of our VIP designers on this special VIP tour included Tobi Fairley, Mark Cutler, Jon Call, and Denise McGaha.What a fun group we had!

When we bring clients on an Antiques Diva Tour, it’s not just about the shopping, it’s about the entire European experience!

Antiques Diva Italy

Evviva! (Cheers!)

The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email info@antiquesdiva.com

Mercanteinfiera and The Antiques Diva in Parma

Dear Diva Readers,

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 – Mercanteinfiera – to paint the town red!

Mercanteinfiera Parma and Antiques Diva and Co

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 toma@antiquesdiva.com

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

Mercanteinfiera Parma

2013 AVENUE Antiques, Art & Design at The Armory

Dear Diva Readers,

I had to write and tell you about the 2013 AVENUE Antiques, Art & Design at The Armory which starts today in the Big Apple.   It runs October 9 – 13, 2013.

For the last week I have been in Parma, Italy at Mercanteinfiera leading a group of VIPs on an Antiques Diva Tour.  Among those VIPs is Marion Harris who will be exhibiting at the Avenue Show.  In the photo below Marion is located just behind me with the black hair.

Italian Antiques, Parma

Hanging out with The Antiques Diva & Co Crew after a hard day shopping Mercanteinfiera.  Dealer Marion Harris, who will be exhibiting at the Avenue, was shopping in Parma to prepare for the fair!

Marion bought the most amazing things and she’s bringing them back to New York to share at the fair!!!

Each year, the Avenue show boasts a diverse selection of fine and decorative arts spanning various eras and genres, including English, Continental and American furnishings from the 17th century through Art Deco and Mid Century Modern, not to mention Fine Art, Contemporary Photography and Estate Jewelry.  Offerings can be previewed on the Show’s Pinterest boards.

According to Show Director Barbara Goodwin this much-loved “shopping show” is supported by designers and collectors who appreciate the diverse inventory and price points.  Renowned interior designers serve on the event’s Design Committee with Co-Chairs Ellie Cullman and Mario Buatta. The show also offers a full program of original lectures and events that enhance the shopping and collecting experience.    Make sure to check out the Show and Special Events Schedule www.avenueshows.com/rsvp 

 armory antiques diva

LOCATION
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue @ 67th Street, NYC

PRIVATE OPENING NIGHT PREVIEW BY INVITATION ONLY
Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 pm – 9:00pm

PUBLIC SHOW HOURS
Thursday, October 10 through Saturday, October 12
11:00 am – 7:30 pm

 Sunday, October 13
11:00 am – 5:30 pm 

ADMISSION
$20

INFORMATION
www.avenueshows.com 

 

Happy Shopping! And if you see Marion Harris do stop by and say  Buongiorno and tell her The Antiques Diva® sent you!

Ciao Bella,
The Antiques Diva®

Get Thee to Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy

Dear Diva Readers,

Get Thee to the Mercanteinfiera Antiques Fair in Parma, Italy where over 1000 vendors set up shop twice a year in the spring and fall.

 

Parma Fair Antiques Diva

For the last decade I’ve wanted to attend Italy’s most popular antiques fair but my plans have been foiled time after time by life, work and other unmovable circumstances and I am aghast to admit this was my first time to come to Parma’s famous fair. Literally anyone who is anyone shops here and I was  afraid if I didn’t attend soon I’d have to turn in my title of Diva.  This year I decided come hail or high water I was going to make attending Mercanteinfiera my top priority for the fall.  When I was invited by the fair to participate as a VIP in their Top Experience it was the icing on the cake… serendipity stepped in, taking me by the hand and paving my way to pleasure, plundering Parma.  As they say, good things come to those who wait, but “Mio Dio”, don’t wait too long!  Consider this your invitation to join me and my locally-based Diva Guide Susan Pennington next year at my new favorite European antiques fairMercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy!!

Mark your calendars and book that airfare baby because the next time the peddlers come to Parma is  the 2-10 March, 2013 and 5-13 October, 2013.

What I liked about the fair – aside from its unbelievably convivial atmosphere, abundance of antiques conveniently corralled in one locale, down-right delicious Italian food for every meal and wide variety of inventory at all price points – were the people I met at Parma.  In addition to locals and tourists shopping this sensational antiques source  I was surprised by the number of top American antique dealers shopping the fair during the trade days.  I couldn’t turn around without bumping into someone I knew – or wanted to know – stocking their stores.    A highlight of my recent trip to Parma was attending a special dinner at Cordial Verdi with the fair coordinators. I was beyond honored when asked to be on their advisory board to share my advice on how to make this fair more accessible for dealers and tourists wanting to shop the fair.

Antiques Diva

Having the chance to shop next to the top antique dealers in the USA, including legends such as Marion Harris Carl Moore Antiques and Alhambra Antiques as well as a slew of designers, architects and “personalities” (such as Seymour Stein), gave me a rush that was better than caffeine or Prosecco…. neither of which were in shortage at the event.

In addition to having great inventory for sale, the fair really worked towards simplifying the process for exporting antiques from Italy, putting a system in place to help foreigners shopping the fair obtain the appropriate export paperwork.   On site English-speaking shippers certainly helps in this regard.

Following you’ll find a few highlights of photos taken this weekend at the fair – for more photos make sure to follow me on Facebook @ The Antiques Diva & Co or visit the fair’s Facebook site in English The Merchants Fair Parma Italy or in Italian Mercante in Fiera.  The fair continues to run until October 7th so if you’re in Italy at the present moment, drop what you’re doing and Get Thee to Mercanteinfiera!

Antiques Diva

I’ll look forward to seeing you in the Spring at the Mercanteinfiera!  Email toma@antiquesdiva.com for more info on private tours of the fair with locally-based Diva Guide Susan .

Ciao Bella!
The Antiques Diva®

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London’s Calling…

Antiques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

London is calling!!  Forget the Olympics there is a new game in town!

The Autumn Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair will be held from 2-7 October 2012 in the purpose-built marquee in Battersea Park, London SW, affectionately known as “Battersea” or “the Decorators’ Fair”. Perhaps the reason I love this fair so much is that it is aimed at a knowing audience decorating either their own home or that of a client and looking for a certain eclectic style from metropolitan chic to classic country house English and Continental furniture, period mirrors and lighting, works of art from all periods to the contemporary. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!! All this and more, including a tempting selection of one-off, individual accessories with an enviable choice for the collector, from tribal works to pictures, treen, ceramics and glass will be holding up the walls in marquee this autumn.

Why don’t you pop over to my locally based England Diva Agent’s website Antique News and Fairs and read what more she has to say about it!

Picture

You can also get more information by visiting the Decorative Fair website.

Now with all this information on the upcoming fair you might be downright disappointed that with late notice you can’t pop across the pond to attend the fair! Have no fear – the Decorative Fair will be back again – see details below.

Winter Fair: 22-27 January, 2013

Spring Fair: 23-28 April, 2013

Autumn Fair: 1-6 October, 2013

Planning your Antiques Diva England Tour to coincide with the plan would be brilliant! If you’re interested in either a Girls Getaway or a To The Trade Antique Shopping Tour in England, you could start your tour by attending the fair shopping like a world famous interior designer – using sources those same designers would rather you not know about. And then the next thing you know we would bebop you around Britain hitting more decorators sources in Britain. Whether you’re looking for cerebral or academic antiques, the old school decorative look beloved of England’s Country Houses or the quirky brave look of the modern dealer, booking an Antiques Diva Tour to coincide with the Decorative Fair would guarantee you saw the Best of Britain! Go Team GB!!

Diva Bags

Stay tuned for my Facebook and Twitter pics coming Live From The Fair!! This year I will be touring with fair with a group of London Design Bloggers on a special behind the scenes tour. Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone but I’ve already had these bloggers custom-made Antiques Diva shopping totes prepared for their tour! Aren’t they gorgeous? These bags are for our VIP tours – when you book your tour make sure you ask about how you can qualify to be a VIP – no, make that VID – Very Important Diva!!

Last but not least before I close and go catch my plane to Parma to attend Mercanteinfiera , I want to tell you about one more special offer. While our tours run year-round and can always be catered to your travel dates, we are starting to offer special tours on set dates available exclusively to our trade clients. We’ve got some trade dates available this fall – email me me toma@antiquesdiva.com to find out more and join us in England for special trade tours between October 15 and 22 and again in November 7 til the 14.

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva®

Toma Clark Haines

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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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