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Salon in Venice by O&C Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

Do you have plans for Halloween? If not, you are officially invited to join me in Venice! I’m thrilled to be the special guest at the 2nd Salon hosted by our Venetian Diva Guides, Orseola and Chiara of O&C Antiques. The first Salon event they hosted in Berlin last year was themed around “Drama,” and showcased a wide range of antiques and modern art including ancient textiles, precious jewelry, works in mixed media, and photography. This Salon which will take place on October 31 at 6:30 PM is called “FOHAT,” and will be in a gallery space in Venice. Guests will have the exclusive chance to see and buy gorgeous pieces of contemporary art and antiques showcased together for the first time.

firma o&c

Salon in Venice by O&C Antiques Italy Antiques Diva guides Chiara and Orseola

The Salon will feature a selection of antique art objects (O&C Antiques, ANTICHITA’ MARCIANA, Antichita’ Pittarello, Trame d’incanto – Venice), contemporary art (John Kleckner – Berlin, Marco Thiella – Venice), photography (Costanza Gianquinto – Venice) modern art (Gino Morandis, Alberto Gianquinto) design (Mariska Meijers – Amsterdam, NO WÓDKA – Berlin) and a music permormance (Francesco Enrichi – Venice), in an extraordinary visual and conceptual dialogue between objects and time. The event will be curated in collaboration with Venice Actually and Luca Caldironi.

Salon in Venice by O&C Antiques invitation

If this sounds like the type of event you want to attend, RSVP to info@antiquesdiva.com to be registered and to have more details about the event. Of course, if you’d like more information on future Salon events or if you’d like me to source pieces for you, please contact me! These international Salons are a truly unique way to acquire one of a kind artworks and antiques. I cannot wait to spend the evening sipping champagne, discussing unique objects, and possibly purchasing something for my own collection!

Ciao for now,

The Antiques Diva®

Weekend in Venice Antiques Tours

Dear Diva Readers,

Who hasn’t dreamed of spending a weekend in Venice? Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we are so excited to have two local Venetian Diva Guides who have insider connections, knowledge of antiques and style to boot. If you find yourself pining for a few days in this magical city, keep reading because our locally-based Venetian Guides Orseola and Chiara have put together three different ideal weekend tours that could satisfy any discerning Diva client!

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Venice Tour 1. “Antique Venetian Textiles Tour
This tour starts with a visit to a private fabric factory (not open to the public) to visit one of the most important manufacturers in Venice as it is the last textile workshop in town that still weaves traditional velvets and brocades on the original 18th century handlooms. From there take a Gondola through the Grand Canal to the nearby Rialto to try some typical “Cicheti” (Venetian small appetizers) and a glass of prosecco/spritz which always flows in abundance here. After the “aperitivo”, go shopping for antique fabrics in the historical shops in Santa Maria del Giglio and then visit an antique dealer that is actually the only place in Venice where you can find original Fortuny fabric. After having seen this shop in San Maurizio, visit an antique dealers personal residence nearby, where you can have the unique shopping experience of buying exquisite, museum quality antiques of any kind in the magical setting of an historical private palazzo. There are also great dealers in that area that offer absolutely beautiful carpets.

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Venice Tour 2. “Antique Venetian Glass Tour”
For the antique glass lovers who are passionate about the authentic art of glass, we can offer a special tour that starts from Venice and ends up in Murano, where glass is designed and produced. First we’ll visit our dear friend Giuseppe, a young dealer that together with is father offers a great selection of vintage and antique glass and much more in his shop close to the Arsenale. From there we’ll take a private boat to reach Murano island. During the trip we will offer a glass of Prosecco in true Diva style!  Once we arrive in Murano, we’ll have lunch there and then visit only historical glass factories and special places which are closed to the public where it is possible to buy dream chandeliers, vases, lamps, glasses by Pauly, Seguso amongst others, from the beginning of the century till 1980. Of course this is our secret source so they make special prices for our clients.

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O&C Antiques, Things to do in Venice, Antiques Diva & Co, Buying antiques in Venice, Sourcing Italian Antiques, Italian Tours, Venice Tours, Antique Venetian Glass Tour,

Venice Tour 3. “Antiques” (can be planned also upon specific requests)
Start the morning by meeting in San Barnaba, where we start the shopping tour visiting the historical “bottega” of an “Indorador”, that restores and sell antique frames, sculptures (think gilded antiques). Then we proceed by going close to the Accademia, at our friend Silvana’s shop, where you can find museum quality stone sculptures, some dating back to the 14th century, along with objects d’art and architectural salvage. This is Italy which means Mamma Mia, we must stop for lunch… we’ll make it fast at  Fiore, with cicheti and wine, and finally reach one of the most famous antique dealers of Venice, David, a dear friend of ours who sells just amazing antiques of any kind–real collectors items, and antique carpets. One of his very special shops (his family has sold higher quality antiques for generations) is located in a beautiful palazzo in the Canareggio district. With a water taxi then, we will bring our clients to Giuseppe’s shop close to Arsenale.

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Can’t Get Enough of Us in Venice? How about doing some Diva Lifestyle Venetian Tours?
As an extra, we’d be glad to plan a trip to Mazzorbo, a very special island in the Venetian lagoon, where it is possible to have a wine tasting of the amazing wine they produce there, from an old variety of grape that was historically growing in the islands of the lagoon (and in Venice itself). This is a very hidden and beautiful little paradise in the middle of the lagoon. In their restaurant, “Venissa” you can enjoy the best creative cuisine made with local products. This is one of our favorite places to eat. Coming back to Venice city center, we love to go to “Estro”, an “osteria” where you can have great wine, cicheti and creative cuisine, perfect for lunch and “Pensione Wildner”, where our friend Luca always advises with the best fresh ingredients of the day and with the best wine pairings, to have a perfect dinner.

If you have an interest in taking an Antiques Diva Venetian Tour, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to custom plan your dream tour and show you Venice through the eyes and footsteps of a local!

Ciao,

The Antiques Diva®   

Venetian Textiles

Dear Diva Readers,

Every antiquer has their little obsessions… pieces that capture their imagination and their mind.  For me it’s antique textiles.  I have a weakness for them, running my fingers over pieces I shouldn’t touch, fascinated with texture and patterns.  While I love French and Belgian fabrics, it’s the Venetian textiles with their rich 1000 year long history that most captures my imagination.  Famous fabric weavers like Bevilacqua, Fortuny and Rubelli represent three different stories of a 12th Century tradition which turned Venice from an importer of luxury Eastern goods exported to the Western market into a producer of lavish fabrics. Woven on enormous and complicated looms, the production was regulated and protected by a strict legislation. The earliest precious textiles, the “samites,” were inspired by the East, especially Byzantium. The decoration was reproducing wheels with symbolic animals like lions and parrots and were enriched by other details that were brought to Venice from China by Marco Polo at the end of the 13th Century.

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O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

And while we always think of the east influencing the Venetian textile design in fact one of the most important contributions to Venetian style actually came from within Italy.  The weavers of Lucca sought refuge in Venice for political reasons in the 1300’s – with them they brought and shared their traditions, cultural styles and creative talents, weaving them – if you will – into their adopted culture. This unique sharing of practical knowledge made possible the production of velvets that incorporated spectacular motifs and designs.

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

In the 15th Century new floral patterns came from the East and inspired fresh Venetian designs. This combination of East and West is always present in Venetian textiles and is what makes Venice’s art, architecture and products special and unique. Our local Venetian Guide Orseola  explains, “We were the gateway to the East.  The Serenissima Repubblica – as Venice was known in the past – imported Eastern luxury goods.  Not just art and architecture but they imported carpets and textiles and different ideas and ways of thinking.  Venice is very different from the rest of Italy.  We’re not just divided by our canals, but rather we’re divided by our mindset –  we always look outward for inspiration.” 

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy,

Today, gorgeously preserved textiles can be purchased and incorporated into traditional or modern homes. One of my favorite sources for textiles happens to be our Venetian Diva Guides antique business O&C Antiques that they run in addition to leading our Veneto Antique Buying Tours.  They’ve taken fragments of a highly ornamental Venetian textile and framed them in contemporary, minimal ways making antique textiles some how feel modern and relevant.  Appreciating antiques textiles as art is an excellent way of incorporating them into your home.  While I’ve always had a passion for textiles I’ve found over the years I tend to pick up little pieces here and there… but they get tucked away in a cupboard.  Thanks to O&C Antiques I’m thinking outside the box with my antique textiles.  Do you have any ideas on how can you display them as art.

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If you’re as interested in Venetian textiles as me – consider booking our Venetian Textile tour that not only allows you to shop but delves deep into the local culture and historical traditions.  But don’t stop there… moving beyond in Tuscany you can continue this textile tour in a sensational way, exploring the culture of Italy through art, politics and local traditions.  Our Tuscan Guide Susan has some amazing secret sources up her sleeve that we can’t wait to share with you.

O&C Antiques, Venetian Textiles, Italian Textiles, Antiques Diva, Antique Textiles, Tuscan Antiques Tour, Buying Antiques in Italy, Toma Clark Haines

Ciao Bella,

The Antiques Diva®

Revival of the Salon

Dear Diva Readers,

My love for antiques got me into this business and being surrounded by like-minded people and sharing this passion with clients, vendors and colleagues is part of what makes my job such a joy.  When I first met Chiara Zanella and Orseola Barozzi Rizzo  – who later became our Antiques Diva Venice Antiquing Guides – they confided, “We want to create a different concept of selling antiques and of antiquing in general; we’d like to bring antiques to a younger target of collectors.  We believe people are beginning to reflect more on what they will buy for their home décor. We all need more personal spaces, reflecting our personalities and taste.”

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

O&C Antiques, Salon, Drama, Antiques Diva & Co, Venice Antiques, Chiara Zanella, Orseola Barozzi Rizzo, Design network, Artist network, Berlin Salon

These two ladies who not only lead our Venetian and Veneto antique buying tours also co-own O & C Antiques.  They are filled with youth and vigor and the kind of energy that makes one think they could singlehandedly stop Venice from sinking.  Explaining to me about their store, they said, “The world today is so connected on the internet.  It sometimes feels people have stopped living real life in lieu of an online life.  We think the future of antiques is in Salons  – real life meetings of the minds.”

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At the mention of the word “Salon” my mind immediately races to the salons hosted by Ayn Rand in New York in the 1950’s but I am quickly reminded the would-be Americans such as Rand weren’t the ones who invented the concept.  Orseola explains, “The Salon is an Italian  invention from 16th century Italy when circles formed in the smaller courts with patronesses such as Isabella d’Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga.  Later the movement moved onto 18th century France with some of the last Salons hosted in the 20th century by Marie-Laure de Noailles with guests such as Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali.”

Chiara continues, “Women were always the center of the life in the Salon and they carried a very important role as regulators. They could select their guests and decide about the subjects of their meetings. Those subjects could be social, literary, or political. They also had the role as mediator by directing the discussion. They were called Salonnières.”

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Orseola cries…. “We’re bringing back the Salon.  We host mobile events in our homes.  While we’re in Venice this could be held in any city of the world – gatherings  in private spaces with  sellers, artists and designers combining discussion with antiques, contemporary art and vintage furniture.” During these events Salonieres educate their guests about cultural topics, all the while enjoying antiques, art, music and scintillating conversation meant to enhance the participants’ taste and increase their knowledge. These gatherings consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry, “either to please or to educate” (“aug delectare aug prodesse set”).

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And you, dear diva readers, are invited to the first of their salons…..  Chiara and Orseola have teamed up with their friend Jens Soneryd to organize the first of their Salon style evenings on October 31 in Berlin, Germany.

The theme of this inaugural Salon is “DRAMA”— a word which relates to any aesthetic experience—that through visual art, poetry, music and literature translate intuitions into beauty. The goal is to have these Salon evenings in several different cities throughout the world, almost as an international movable Salon!

The evening will be more the launch of a different way to meet like minded people, giving the chance to make a network in several different cities, between interior designers, antique dealers, designers, artists and collectors. In the frame of a private space that for the occasion, will be used as the visual platform where people can have the experience of distinct elements combined together in the same “exhibition” concept. The meaning of this gathering is also to provide collectors with a different way to look at art, design and antiques, and to make an ideal background for discussion for all guests.

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For that, the hostesses have selected artworks and photography (by artists based in Berlin, NYC and Warsaw), some objects from a contemporary design store in Berlin, some pieces of O&C Antiques inventory and guests will be delighted by an Opera singer and nice Italian wine.

The entrance to this exciting evening is free (although a donation is encouraged). If you’d like more information on the Salon concept, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. Whether you’re interested in attending the inaugural Salon or if you wish to come to or host a future Salon, we’d love to hear from you!

The Antiques Diva®

Venetian Glass Chandeliers

Dear Diva Readers,

Venetian glass has long been a highly sought after commodity, adding artistic touches to interiors not only to Italian residences but also all over the world. Perhaps one of the best known and most appreciated products made of Venetian glass is the chandelier. These intricately detailed pieces seem to float when hanging and they create an atmosphere of fantasy, whimsy and grandeur all at once.

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Many clients that take an Antiques Diva Buying Tour in Italy will stop and stare when they first see these marvelous creations. They’re mesmerizing! The skill of Venetian craftsmen leaves you speechless when you think about each tiny piece being made by hand!

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Sometime around the year 1700, Venetian glassmakers began making chandeliers from Murano glass. Murano glass comes from the island of Murano in Venice and had been used to make lovely items for centuries before this. Being known as the most beautiful and pure glass in the world, Murano glass would be molded and sculpted into flirtatious forms often incorporating flowers, vines and leaves. Glassmakers also used various shades of colored glass to enhance these chandeliers and make them look even more like bouquets of flowers.

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Whether transparent or colored, many Venetian glass chandeliers have arms covered with blown glass. This requires tedious attention and many hours to craft each small piece by hand to seamlessly fit together. While these chandeliers are still crafted in Venice, purchasing an antique is most certainly a good investment that not only retains but gains in value. Often these antique chandeliers come with provenance, having previously hung in palazzos, theaters and other important historical buildings. On our Venetian tours we’re able to visit palazzo’s where you can buy chandeliers straight from the palazzo’s frescoed ceiling…. In essence it’s magic. Diva Style.

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If you would like more information on our Antiques Diva Buying Tours or Buying Services, email us at info@antiquesdiva.com. We’d love to help you source the perfect antique Venetian glass chandelier!

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The Antiques Diva in Venice with Venetian Diva Guide Orseola

Ciao Bella!

The Antiques Diva®

Bringing Antiques into the Present

Venetian Antiques, Italian Antiques, Decorating with Antiques, O&C Antiques

While in Venice researching an article I was writing on O&C Antiques I had the opportunity to spend time in the Venetian home of Orseola Barozzi Rizzo. Visiting her family home tucked away near the San Toma Vaporetto stop I was reminded of how Europeans live everyday with the past a part of their present. In one corner of Orseola’s living room, on the edge of her 13th C courtyard which was once part of the local convent, she assembled a collection of pieces from the past used for the present. The Italian Chair is from the 18th C nestled against a 17th C armoire from Bologna. Positioned behind the chair on the radiator cover an 18th C Venetian Ecclesiastical alter candlestick shares space with a 16th C copper Tuscan Amfora – a jug once used for carrying water. Beside it sits an Indian gilt pedestal and above the setting – crowning it – Fritoer hangs on the wall. This 19th C plate from the Veneto was used originally for serving sweets. I loved how in one corner of the room each item came from the past but was very much a part of the present.

The Antiques Diva Shops Venice

Dear Diva Readers,

Venice, Buying antiques in Venice, the Antiques Diva, O&C Antiques, Where to buy antiques in Italy, Venetian Culture, Antique Textiles,

Mamma Mia… When an assignment to go to Venice to write about the local antiques scene arose, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And while I was looking forward to my trip  – who wouldn’t be? – what I didn’t expect was the arsenal of antiques that awaited me. I was surprised to discover a varied inventory, ranging from museum quality antiques, statues and paintings to 16th, 17th and 18th C painted furniture, Venetian chandeliers and mirrors as well as gorgeous antique jewelry and antique textiles.  And the kicker? I didn’t just find tourist prices.  These pieces were selling at market value when you entered with a local. I shopped in private palazzos and in by-appointment-only antique stores deep on back canals and calles I’d never heard of in districts where you found quiet spots the tourists hadn’t discovered or wandered off the beaten path.

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Venice, Buying antiques in Venice, the Antiques Diva, O&C Antiques, Where to buy antiques in Italy, Venetian Culture, Antique Textiles,

On the arm of 2 local antiques dealers – Chiara and Orseola, the latter of whom happens to be from one of the 6 noble families in Venice (and an ancestor of the doges) – I visited local antique dealers, friends of her family and was invited in as if I, too, were a friend of the family. I found myself surprised at every corner that this is not a city just for the tourists to shop – but that some of the top dealers in the world are sourcing at antique shops you’d never discover without an insider making an introduction.  (Between you and me I’m utterly convinced I found more than one of Axel Vervoordt’s secret sources though the dealers had complete discretion).

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While these ladies were helping me rediscover Venice for an article I was writing, I realized this discovery was too big for simply a magazine feature with a word count limited at 1000.  This was my 6th trip to Venice – yet I had never felt so embraced by the city as I did when I visited it with insiders.   I wanted to be able to share what Chiara and Orseola  had taught me. It wasn’t just about sharing the antique address… but was about giving insider access to the Venice only a local knows about.  Plus, when antiquing, Chiara and Orseola give the kind of access that happens when a local calls instead of one of the millions of tourists who come each year.  You will show up in a tiny shop and be invited to the vendor’s home on the nearby campo to see more of the collections. Only a small part of the inventory in Venice is kept in store fronts where the space is limited.

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After antiquing in Venice several days with Chiara and Orseola I asked these ladies – the dealers who choreograph the amazing collection at O&C Antiquesto join my team as our newest The Antiques Diva & Co Guides leading antique buying tours in Venice and to my great pleasure they said “Si! Si! Si!”, delighted by the opportunity to share their world.

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Thanks to a partnership between The Antiques Diva & Co and O&C Antiques, Venice – The Queen of the Adriatic – has just become Antiques Diva Territory!  Stay tuned for more details as along with Chiara and Orseola we share more details on how you can bring Venetian Antiques home.

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Ciao Bella!
The Antiques Diva®

 

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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.

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