The Antiques Diva™ & Co is proud to announce we are now offering art tours in select cities in Europe and Asia, launching with our Paris Art Gallery Tours. AD&CO CEO Toma Clark Haines explains:
Our philosophy at The Antiques Diva is ‘the design is in the mix.” In my own home, I display my global design viewpoint #MixAntiquesAndModern by integrating modern art with my Asian and European antiques, while in other rooms my antique art collection juxtaposes beautifully with my very modern furnishings and loft-style interior. Many of the interior designers and dealers we work with have long been requesting that we coordinate art gallery tours, both to add to their inventory and for design inspiration. I have waited until now to launch our very 1st curated art gallery tour in a city renown for its art, Paris!
Exclusive Galleries and Private Rooms Our expert Guide meets you at your hotel and takes you to “behind-closed-doors” galleries. While some art galleries are open to the public or offer appointment-only access, our Guide has relationships that can gain you entry to exclusive galleries and in many cases, even to back rooms where works aren’t on display to the public. This tour specializes in modern and contemporary art galleries, mostly grouped in the Marais district and Belleville.
While each tour is customized for the client and based on what exhibitions are on at the time – often a mix of lesser known and established artists – there’s always the chance that the galleries can arrange private viewings of particular artists that they represent but don’t necessarily have on view. For the seasoned art buyer, our guide could arrange to take you to the suburbs where some galleries have larger spaces in which they show monumental works. To complement this tour, we can also finish the day with a museum tour.
Our Paris Art Gallery Tours are highly customizable based on the client’s interests but expect to see some of the biggest, museum-grade names in modern/contemporary art such as Rauschenberg, Kiefer, Cragg, Gormley, Cattelan, Murakami and JR as well as Picasso, Buffet, and more!
If you purchase artworks, The Antiques Diva offers our own in-house fine art and antiques shipping services, AD&CO Logistics.
Half Day or Full Day Tour, Available Saturdays Our Paris Art Gallery Tours are available on Saturdays, for a full or half day, by appointment only. Custom curated art gallery tours will be launching soon in Venice, Bangkok and London.
What can one expect to find at the Paris Flea Market? In short, everything under the sun! Ok, maybe not EVERYTHING, but close to it. From fine 18th century French furniture to Mid-Century Modern pieces to lighting, rugs, artwork, sculptures, vintage linens and even Chanel, the Paris Flea Market has so much to offer antiques hunters. With all these options, how do you know what to buy at the Paris Flea Market? My answer is to let your heart – along with an Antiques Diva Guide – guide you! Meandering through the vast markets which make up Les Puces is overwhelming. Getting there, knowing where to start, and navigating the specific sections of the market to find exactly what you’re looking for is our specialty. That’s why we’re thrilled to be the only official approved Tour Guide of the Paris Flea MarketsPaul Bert Serpette!
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How Do You Shop?
Everyone shops differently and that’s why we custom plan all of our tours based on your needs. Some clients prefer to browse, looking for that perfect piece, soaking in all the Parisian shopping experience has to offer. Others treat flea marketing like a hunt—looking to score as much game as possible in the least amount of time! We love doing it both ways! Our Guides get a high from seamlessly maneuvering down hidden alleyways, getting you to the perfect dealer, and then translating & negotiating on your behalf. But the process of shopping flea markets is so much more than just buying pretty things.
The Antiques Diva & Co is the only official tour guide of the Paris Flea Market Paul Bert Serpette
It’s about knowledge, which is power. Knowing what pieces are available and what’s in high demand allows our Diva Guides to pinpoint what a good piece and price is. When it comes to sealing the deal, it’s all about letting them offer a better price first. In the French culture, you don’t want to offend a dealer by offering too low of a price, but this is flea marketing after all, and most people expect to barter. The key is personality! Talk to them about their pieces first and perhaps find something in common which will establish a connection between you and the vendor. Our Guides are all conversationalists, so they love playing matchmaker between dealer and customer—even if the relationship only lasts the duration of a few minutes until the deal is made. C’est la vie! It’s all about handling negotiations with grace and charm!
Another great way to determine what to buy is to look at an item and come up with a figure you would be willing to pay for it. Do this before you look at the price tag! Then when you check the price, you will know whether it’s too high or just right for you. Having a set figure in your mind before you even start negotiations allows you to buy smartly and avoid buyer’s remorse later. As with anything, timing is extremely important. Looking for garden furniture and statues? Buy them in the off-season and you’re sure to score a better price.
What to Buy
Want to know what we think are the Best Things To Buy At The Paris Flea Market – check out another blog we did on this topic! We consistently see clients coming away with chandeliers, mirrors, linens, Art Nouveau pieces, vintage jewelry, scarves, bedside tables, taxidermy & horns, vintage postcards, and many styles of antique chairs!
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>If you’re planning to be in Paris for Maison & Objet – Mark your calendars!!!! As if my The Antiques Diva & Co Paris Flea Market Party at Paul Bert Serpette on January 24, 2016 wasn’t enough diva action during Maison & Objet, just wait there’s more!!! I am delighted to be joining Cathy Whitlock of Ruby LUX along with Jake Baer of Newel Antiques in a special event coordinated between Andrew Joseph PR and Beth Dempsey PR at the POP UP SHOP Ancient & Modern on Saturday, January 23 at 4pm.
We’ll be discussing how trends come and go but style lives forever. Learn about the ins and outs behind investment pieces that will not only add taste to a home but eminent value that grows as time passes. Our group of panelists will also be discussing the differences in buying trends when seeking antiques, shopping online vs brick & mortar, and offer industry insight on what to look out for this year in 2016.
Where: 16, rue Guénégaud, Paris, France 75006
When: Saturday, January 23, 2016 4pm
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Some people may think that I’m difficult to buy for, but the truth is, all I want for Christmas (or any time of year!) is vintage Chanel! Check out some fabulous pieces offered by one of our favorite vintage fashion source in Paris, Les Merveilles de Babellou. And if you should happen to feel generous, you can send any of these lovely pieces to my flat! And by the way, Les Merveilles de Babellou has so much more than just Chanel pieces—peruse their website for some seriously drool-worthy vintage goodies!
Now let’s talk prices! What’s it cost to buy vintage Chanel?
A timeless Chanel bright red quilted patent leather bag decorated with a CC clasp and a silver metal shoulder strap chain interlaced with red leather. Simply perfect! 3800 Euro
These Chanel clip earrings made of gilt metal and adorned with blue, red, and green glass paste cabochons would be perfect for the holiday season! 530 Euro
Chanel by Gripoix atelier, a necklace made of several rows of faux pearls with an arabesque element in blackened gold metal with multicolored cabochons and four chains of red glass beads. A true stunner! 3800 Euro
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>When being interviewed one of the questions I am most frequently asked is “If you had to choose one favorite place in the world, where would it be (and why)?” Such a tough question, but there are things I love about each place I travel.
As an American who has lived in Europe nearly 14 years (5 in Paris, 4 in Amsterdam and currently reside in Berlin) I have to say Europe is my playground. As the owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring company I travel in 7 or 8 countries each month. Waking up I never know which language to greet the day! Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” If that’s true my life is a well-read novel… to choose only one favorite place feels quite simply an impossibility.
I love different places for different reasons. I grew up in Oklahoma – and I love the serenity of slipping a saddle on a horse and riding across the salt plains. In Paris I slip into my European life like someone else does their favorite little black dress. I was born for Paris and it is here I feel most at home. I dream in French.
And I love New York. The excitement. The lights. The feeling that I’m in the center of the world that’s really just a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else. Meanwhile Tuscany takes me out of the city and reminds me of my country girl roots.
But to escape from reality I go to Asia which feels like a mysterious wonderland so foreign, pushing me out of my comfort zone and out of my own skin. My husband and I area heading back to Thailand for our big vacation this year to go elephant trekking in the Golden Triangle and shopping in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. (Note: Watch this space – with the help of some of our locally-based Thai design and antiques industry friends we’ll be sharing some shopping tips this summer on Where to Antique and Shop in Thailand).
All said and done, at the end of the day, it would be impossible to choose one favorite place. There are too many pages in the book of life to read.
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Here at The Antiques Diva & Co we love nothing more than shopping for antiques all across Europe, but one thing that helps make the Antiques Diva experience so special is our wonderful Guides! Jennifer is one of our local Paris Guides and we sat down with her recently to discuss a few of her favorite things about Paris and the tours/france-antiques-tours/paris-antiques-tours”>Antiques Diva Tours in this City of Light! The best part about having locally based Guides is getting all the inside scoop concerning the antiques industry, trends, and where to get the best bargains. With that in mind, let’s chat with Jennifer…
What is your favorite piece you’ve found while shopping the Paris Flea Market?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
My favorite piece would be a bould de rampe / boule d’escalier. My father collected them while I was growing up so they are special to me, and are hard to find now. Often they are Baccarat or Saint Louis, so of course French. Think ornate crystal ball that goes on the top of a newel post for decoration. Like bling for your stairs! One time I found a pretty grass-green one that was an unusual color so of course it had to be added to the family collection.
What type of pieces would you say a client could find for a bargain in Paris?
Diva Guide Jennifer: I find that you can often get a bargain on bigger/heavier pieces; things that are harder to get home and not as easy to fit in with today’s scale (smaller rooms with lower ceilings). Most people can make room for a desk (bureau) or commode (bureau), but a large armoire or bonnetiere (with one door) can be harder to place. I find that some of the darker and carved pieces in the Louis XIII or even Louis XIV style can be too visually heavy for a lot of people. They just aren’t as popular as the Louis XV or Louis XVI pieces, therefore you can pick them up for a better price.
What makes the Paris tours special in your opinion?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
First of all the Paris tours are in PARIS, and who does not want to go to Paris?! Beyond the incredible city that we are in, I think the particular history and folklore of Les Puces adds to the charm and allure of the tours. The sheer size, variety, and selection of what is available is truly something to behold. The proximity to Paris is also a plus. If you know where to go and what is really worth seeing, the markets can easily be seen in half a day. You don`t have to be a dealer to enjoy the experience. To me it is like the other monuments in Paris; something that should be seen by everybody. I have had many clients spend many hours at Les Puces and then still be back in Paris to enjoy a kir near the Eiffel Tower later in the afternoon.
What type of pieces can one expect to find in Paris?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
I think Paris has a great scene for some of the big names in Parisian couture. Chanel fans will be amazed at the selection of clothing and purses and collectors will be impressed with the choices and variety of jewelry. We also have some excellent sources for vintage Louis Vuitton luggage or trunks. Goyard is also a favorite but not as well known.
Do you have any secret sources in Paris that may not be available to the public?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
While not really secret, I think the Drouot (Parisian auction house) has amazing bargains. It can be intimidating and complicated for foreigners, but the bargains can be shocking. This is where I always take family and friends if they want a real Parisian experience without the Parisian prices. We do offer Paris Auction House tours!
What’s the biggest myth/misconception about shopping in Paris?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
From personal experience I have found that it can be cheaper to buy something here and ship it abroad than to buy the same thing in the US. I have also found that it pays to know what you are doing. While not common, there are fakes and copies out there.
What’s hot in vintage Chanel right now?
Diva Guide Jennifer:
What is Diva-hot in Chanel (i.e., what our clients seem to like) is jewelry. Clients have been amazed at the prices and selection compared to what they can get in the US. Plus there is something for everybody ie you don’t have to spend a fortune on a pair of earrings or something smaller. I was interested to learn about the older jewelry, who made it and how the quality was so much better. It is not all big ‘C’s and crosses!
Thanks Jennifer for sharing some of your favorite things about the Paris Antiques Diva® Tours! If you would like to book an Antiques Diva Buying Tour in Paris or any of our 8 tour countries, email us at to:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com.
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 40px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>You keep hearing this term Mid Century Modern. What exactly does it mean? While the term was coined in the 1950’s, describing the developments in architecture, interior and product design from the 1930’s to 1960’s, Cara Greenberg reaffirmed the term in the title of her 1986 hit book Mid Century Modern Furniture which showcases furniture from the 50’s. Proving that everything old is new again, those styles I grew up with at my grandma’s house are hot right now. Coast to coast in the USA (as well as in Europe) designers and dealers are craving sources for buying mid-century modern in Europe. And at The Antiques Diva & Co we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the design world. Bring on the boomerang-shaped coffee tables, biomorphic furniture and industrially sleek cool metals because Mid Century Modern is Hot!
Our Diva Guides will be out in full force at the Puces du Design from May 15th to 18th, helping clients source midcentury modern pieces at this special French antiques fair which features nearly 100 exhibitors. This fair specializes in high quality midcentury pieces and is sure to offer unique and highly sought after inventory.
Thursday, May 15th from 14h to 18h / Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 May from 10h to 19h.
While this Paris Vintage Fair is practically guaranteed to please mid century purveyors, you can also shop the famous Puce de Paris to find a slew of antique dealers not only selling French mid century pieces but also Scandinavian and Italian. We’re also offering some sensational back road tours off the beaten path in ITALY AND SWEDEN sharing secret sources for Mid-Century modern for some of our top clients.
When you book a tour, our buying guides don’t just take you on tour. We custom plan the route and we translate as well as negotiate on purchases saving you time and money. And then to help you get your purchases home, we liaise with a shipper.
Now if you’re drooling over these divine designs from the Mid Century such as the Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia or the Eames Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames – but aren’t planning a trip abroad… have no fear. Even if you can’t come abroad to shop, The Antiques Diva & Co offers Buying Services for trade professionals helping you source antiques from afar. We’ll source the perfect pieces for you!
As for now I’m going to curl up in an Egg Chair by Arne Jacobson and start day dreaming how I can incorporate a couple of these fabulous pieces in my own home.
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 40px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Our Antiques Diva® Paris Flea Market Tours are so popular that we have several guides in Paris! In addition to tours” target=”_blank”>Danielle, Jennifer and Debbie there’s Katie, our latest shopping guide, specializing in Paris Flea Market Tours as well as the Chanel Tour. Today we’re interviewing Katie featuring her as our Diva of the Day!
Antiques Diva: Tell us a bit about your background.
Katie: I grew up in London, which I still considered to be the most hipster city in the world with 24 hour supermarkets, crazy clothing, underground parties, food from all continents, the list is endless. I studied history of art in both London and Leeds and after spending hours dreaming in front of the Manet paintings at the Courtauld I’m now living in the city of art, Paris!
Antiques Diva: Why did you move to Paris?
Katie: My reason for moving to Paris is one of two that you hear when talking to expats in Paris – love or work; in my case love. I fell for the French charm, that cute accent and the chance to swan around Paris on a scooter – how Audrey Hepburn! What girl could resist?
Antiques Diva: Tell us about your career background.
Katie: I’ve had various jobs – from running a restaurant to fine art transport the consistent theme has been customer service. With The Antiques Diva® & Co I enjoy sharing my passion for fine art, antiques and a good bargain as well as showcasing why Paris is the best shopping city in the world.
Antiques Diva: What type of things do you enjoy doing?
Katie: I love traveling, shopping (what woman doesn’t), sipping a good glass of wine or an intricate cocktail, snuggling up with a good book and the dog on the sofa and especially wandering around the Parisian flea markets.
Antiques Diva: Give us the low down on Paris from your perspective.
Katie: Everything you’ve ever heard about Paris is true – the food is delicious, the shopping is a burden on any credit card and the Parisians are rude! But I’ve been an expat in Paris for over 5 years now and Paris is still a city full of surprises and I’m still stumbling upon hidden gems.
We’re so excited to have Katie on board with The Antiques Diva® & Co and look forward to seeing what fun finds she helps our clients discover in Paris. If you would like to book an antiques buying tour in Paris or any of our other tour locations- France, England, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands or Germany- email to:firstname.lastname@example.org” target=”_blank”>email@example.com for more information.
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 40px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>O ne of our most popular Antiques Diva® Tour destinations is The Paris Flea Market. People come from all over the world and ask us to help them navigate the HUGE Les Puces, which encompasses 15 markets. It can be intimidating not knowing which areas to go to, how to speak the language, and how to negotiate with French antique dealers.
We believe that education is the first step in the process so our Diva Guides will brief you on all you need to know before hitting the streets – we try to teach you how to do it yourself – but we’re also there to translate, negotiate, and will help you liaise with a shipper to get your purchases home! In the spirit of education, let me share with you the history of this famous market!
HISTORY OF THE PARIS FLEA MARKET
The Paris Flea Market’s origin dates back over two centuries. It all began when men would pick through the garbage at night, collecting “junk” that still had value. They would set up temporary stalls within the Paris walls and sell their finds in less than desirable neighborhoods. These areas were full of thieves and pickpockets, and as a result the pickers were chased out of the city and forced to set up just outside the city walls in areas like Clingnancourt, Montreuil, and Vanves.
Eventually these “vendors” formed groups of stalls to attract more customers. You might think of it as a “one stop shop” with a variety of merchandise. In the spirit of entrepreneurism, some of these hawkers began selling higher quality goods, allowing them to gain customers such as collectors and antique dealers.
In 1855, the streets were paved and the area of Saint Ouen was cleaned up by order of the authorities, leading to the first year of Les Puces. Certain areas were designated as official market space and vendors were required to pay a fee if they wanted to set up a stall there. The Marché Vernaison came about when Monsieur Romain Vernaison built a series of covered huts on the acres he owned. Then an Albanian named Malik bought a building on rue Jules Valles and turned it into 100 stalls, forming the Malik Market. In 1925 the Marché du Biron was formed, consisting of 2 long rows of stalls. It is known to be the more expensive market today.
Knowing the history behind the different markets is not only interesting but also helpful when deciding which section of the Paris Flea Market you want to shop. Some markets in Paris offer higher end items, while others are the bargain hunter’s dream. The market is massive – it’s 7 miles of antique filled alleyways and 15 districts. Knowing where to go can feel down right intimidating. We’re going to share with you a map of the famous Puce de Paris so you can see the various markets in the Paris Flea Market and get a feel for the lay of the land.
As always, if you would like to book an Antiques Diva Tour of the Paris Flea Market or any of our tour countries- Italy, England, Sweden, Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, and Denmark, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about your custom made private antiques buying tour.
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;”>As The Antiques Diva®, owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying services company, my job is to help clients – antique dealers, interior designers and mere shopping mortals – source antiques abroad. Last week we attended Maison Objet – the most important international industry event for interior design, held in Paris – to spot the design trends for 2014, helping keep us – and you – au courant in the world of interiors.
BOLD POPS of COLOR reigned at Maison Objet with a clear move away from the use of neutrals. We were seeing Greens, Fushias, Oranges, Yellows, Chartruses, but also Navy and Earthy Browns or Ocean-inspired Blues. Pantones color of the year, Radiant Orchid, was also well-represented.
Accents were embellished with Gold and, again this year as with last year, all-Black rooms with Gold embellishments stole the show, being the most dramatic and eye catching décor on display. But everything that glitters is not gold. If Gold was King, Copper was Queen and being used in abundance on all surfaces. Bling was big overall! Oversized or beautifully sculpted hardware on case goods shone bright like a diamond, reminding me that drawer pulls and hinges really are jewelry for the home. Speaking of bright shiny objects – mirrors and glass (especially black glass) that reflected the rooms in which they were placed were de rigeur. Crystal graced both the chandeliers and the table tops. Lighting fixtures were oversized and extravagant. If bigger is better, HUGE was HOT!
We saw a lot of use of mixed medias whether in lighting fixtures or home furnishings. Fabric wasn’t just showing up in the linens, walls and on traditionally upholstered goods but also in unexpected places, embellishing chest of drawers exterior and interiors or wrapped around the arms of chandeliers. The mixed medias verged near the theatrical with sequins and hand-embroidered embellishments showing up in unexpected places.
Overall and across the board, the look was eclectic and lent itself towards opulence. We are still seeing lots of mid-century modern inspired interiors but more and more it was being mixed with Napoleon III. There also was a flash back to the future with traditional craftsmanship and decorative items showing up in vendors all across the fair. Hand-painted porcelain has gained a new appreciation and blue and white is back – though in my mind it never went out.
Maison Objet January 2014 had a dialogue with the 18th Century – with traditional Louis’ pieces in warm woods and sexy lines reinvented, utilizing modern fabrics. The Grand Tour was also reflected in the way interiors were styled – curiosity cabinets were everywhere as were taxidermy and objects from nature. And I hate to say it but the Laura Ashley look with florals circa 1980 was making its way back into home décor but this time the florals were more embellished, more modern, with larger, cleaner patterns.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the show to me was the emphasis on Surrealism – an entire section of the show was a voyage through space style, circa 1960. Irregular shapes or geometric shapes repeated themselves throughout the show. And while resin furniture has made definite inroads in this millennium, there is definitely an emphasis on natural fibers – rattan, leathers, silks.
See you at the next show!
The Antiques Diva
(Seen below with part of the Antiques Diva team from Paris and Italy)
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