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Shopping in the Shadow of the Tour Eiffel

Dear Diva Readers,

tour-eiffel.jpg”>tour eiffel” src=”” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”340″ />

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Our friends at Perfectly Paris posted on my Facebook wall, sharing this fantastic news that I could not help but to share with you.   From now until the 29th May, you can literally antique shop in the shadow of the Tour Eiffel at Le Salons Antiquaires et Galeristes taking place at Pont D’Iena and Quai Branly in Paris 7eme arrondisment!  Talk about chic shopping!

And while this Antique Market is only on for a week, don’t forget that the famed Paris Flea Market in St Ouen is on every weekend!!!   Baron’s has recently posted an excellent article calledA Guide to Merchants at the Paris Flea Market”, sharing their top picks!  The article is a good resource if shoppers want to shop the market without a Diva on their arm – but don’t forget, for those of you who would like to shop hand-in-white-glove-hand with one of 4 great Paris-based Antiques Diva Guides don’t forget to reserve your summer Paris flea market tour!  

tours/france/” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva® popular 1 Day Paris Tour will take you by the arm, starting the day at “The Other Paris Flea Market”, visiting Porte de Vanves to pick up some perfectly-packable treasures and then just as your stomach starts to grumble we’ll stop for a typical brasserie lunch in a restaurant crowded with locals.   After a bite to eat, we hop on the metro and head to the pièce de la résistance, the famed Puce de Paris St Ouen – but this isn’t a typical flea market filled with makeshift tents.  Instead, it’s well-organized permanent structures housing millions of euro of inventory complete with 13 districts, 2,000 vendors and 7 miles of alleyways! It’s easy for one to get lost in the maze of alleyways and streets, but with The Antiques Diva® Guides by your side, we’ll weave into nooks and crannies you’d never find on your own, introducing you to our favorite vendors, and showing you the hottest items in the market today – plus pointing out a few frauds! While we stop often on tour for coffee breaks as needed to give your feet a break, at the end of the day it’s time to stop yet again – this time for a parting coup de champagne or vin! 

Our tours were recently mentioned in a variety of summer travel sources – including a great article in Independent Traveler on 8 Tours for People who Don’t Like Tours as well as Travel + Leisure’s website listing of 134 Things to do in Paris!

Bonne Shopping,
The Antiques Diva®  (seen below shopping with one of my Paris Diva Guides – Kim)

Haven in Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>At The Antiques Diva & Co we’re swooning over the delicious vacation apartment rentals available at Haven in Paris!  If you’re looking for a unique place to stay on that magical trip to Paris, Haven in Paris is our TOP recommendation!

All the photos below are from a spacious and elegant two-bedroom luxury rental located between the peaceful Parc Monceau and the vibrant Champs-Elysée.

Sweet Dreams!

The Antiques Diva®

My Top 3 Fav Brocantes in Paris!

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Each fall and spring you hear me wax on about the famed Foire Nationale à la Brocante et au Jambon in the Parisian suburb of ile de Chatou, but I fear I’ve been neglecting my duties.  While I love the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham, I have 2 other Parisian brocantes – traveling flea markets – that also get my blood pumping with the same degree of diva fever – and you’re in luck, they’re on soon in Paris! 

Top 3 Paris Brocantes:
1) Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambon (next dates 23 Sep-2 Oct 2011)

2) Antiquities Brocante at Place de Bastille (THIS WEEK May 19-29, 2011 and Nov 4-13, 2011)

3) Antiquities Brocante at St Sulpice (Next Month: June 8-19, 2011)

That’s right – one of my all time favorite markets is on RIGHT NOW in PARIS – The Antiquities Brocante at Place de Bastille is THIS WEEK May 19-29, 2011! If you’re in the city of light, you’d best get shopping!!!  To find out all the diva details read my column “tory/ask-antiques-diva-salon-des-antiquities-de-bastill/” target=”_blank”>Ask The Antiques Diva” in the Bonjour Paris newsletter to find out what sorts of treasures you’ll find at the 480+ vendors selling at this fair!

And should you miss this event, have no fear! Mark your calendar for the fall when the fair is back again this Nov 4-13, 2011! 

And speaking of marking your calendar, next month on one of the chicest squares in town – the Place St Sulpice (of Da Vinci Code fame) –  there will be a smaller but oh-so-lovely flea market fair with about 110 vendors selling perfect pieces from Paris from June 8-19th.  An antique dealer friend (who shall remain nameless lest I give all his secrets away) swears by this fair as his source for the best items in his store – plus, he claims that he’s rubbed shoulders on more than one occasion with the squares most famous resident, Madame Catherine Deneuve, whose penthouse apartment overlooks the fair!

Now readers, I have one question for you – Do you have any favorite Brocantes in Paris?? If so, share the details!!!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva®

BONE-jour: A Diva Reader Comments of Café Dogs

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>An Antiques Diva reader recently left a comment on a blog I wrote about Flea Market Dogs and her comment so captured the essence of Paris that I asked if I could share her comment as a blog post!

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Rebecca writes:
On my first trip to Paris (circa 1976), while enjoying dinner at Le Train Bleu, I noticed a beautiful Bull Dog at the next table – he was known by the waiter and his service dishes were on the table  – not under it!  He sat at the table as proper as any human could, and sad to say, better than most people I know today.


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On another day we stopped to have lunch at a small crowded sidewalk café.  I squeezed into the back seat of a tiny table (I could squeeze into things back then!).   For the entire time we were there, a red Dachshund doggie, being held by his mistress, snoozed with his head on my shoulder.

Photo credit above:  from one of my favorite blogs, “Paris at a Certain Age”

On my more recent trip to Paris – in particular those to the flea market – I was amazed to see a dog wandering thru and lifting a leg on a high-end antique.  I fully expected to hear a proprietor scold as only the French can do… but there was no reaction.  It was eventually wiped off the furniture but no one appeared distressed.  I came to the conclusion that perhaps this only added to the patina!! 


Flea Market Dogs - The Antiques Diva


My trips abroad are short because I have animals I don’t want to be away from. At the time of one of my trips, I was owned by a little Rat Terrier named RT (see photo at top). RT was a handful! When I spotted the beautiful little creature in the shelter, I knew he would be back and forth to the shelter unless I to the shelter, or worse, unless I took him home. I still have the image of a little “RT” in Paris trotting down the street and wishing how my RT could be there too! I think Paris would have been his kind of town!

Today’s post is in memory of RT. As Rebecca explained in an email to me about her adorable rat terrier, “He would be so pleased to be remembered in this manner. I had to put him down due to diabetes – it nearly killed me. He was such a character. He also perked up when I practiced my few words of French; in particular “BONE-jour”!

To all dogs full of French Spirit regardless of which side of the Atlantic they roam, I wish you “BONE-jour”!


The Antiques Diva
(seen below in my alter-doggie-ego)

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Flea Market Dogs

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>If I believed in reincarnation I would want to return to this next life as a dog in Paris!!  They live the good life – Parisians carry their dogs in their Louis Vuitton hand-bags as they dash across the city, going from chic locale to chic locale.  Restaurants in Paris not only allow les chiens to accompany their owners to the table but they’re often given their own plate and water bowl under the table!  On top of that, the average French dog visits the spa more times per year than I do… and if that wasn’t enough to have me interested in living my next life as a French dog, they also flea market! Today in honor of the Spring Semester of my favorite flea market in France – La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons going on this March 11-20, 2011 – I want to share with you a few snap shots of these furry French friends I’ve taken over the years at this famed flea market in the Parisian suburb of Chatou.

I think some vendors simply bring their pets because they look so darn cute cuddled underneath their inventory!  This pup would certainly convince me to buy that basket!

Other dogs are put to work guarding the antiques and vintage pieces in their master’s stall… or perhaps, rather than guarding they are used to lure customers into the stall with their cuteness!

Meanwhile some of the dogs at the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham are for sale! You could take home this English Victorian Dog Pitcher or this charmingly naïve painting of a French bow-clad puppy!


But sometimes it gets to be too much – As you can see, all this shopping is exhausting for the poor dogs! 

Sometimes they simply have to take a break!

And when the dogs find something they really want at the flea market – like these gorgeous gilt chairs… they plead and whine in hopes of getting their way!  With those puppy dog eye’s I’m a goner… I’d give into their whims every time!

When the day is the done, the dog knows it and he takes his master home!  After spending the day at les puce, I’m happy as a dog!

The Antiques Diva®

The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou

Dear Diva Readers,

tou – Antiques Diva” src=”” alt=”” width=”628″ height=”466″ />

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>The fair coordinators who organize my favorite French flea market –” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons in Ile de Chatouwhich is going on in the Paris suburbs March 11-20, 2011, have compiled “Les 10 Commandements du Chineur a la Brocante de Chatou” or “The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou” to help customers shop the fair.   

Because their version is only available” target=”_blank”>in French, I thought I’d provide you with a rough translation (and a few ad libs) to let you know what the French fair coordinators have to say about what to do – or more importantly what not to do – when shopping this National French Fair of the Flea Market and Ham.  Now that’s what I call the inside scoop à la française!

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1) Se lever tôt et venir en semaine.  Get up early and shop during the week (to avoid the crowds).

2) Ne pas hésiter à revenir souvent: la marchandise se renouvelle pendant la durée de la Foire.
Don’t visit the fair just once; return often as many vendors put out new inventory as the fair passes by.

3) Avoir l’oeil vif et la curiosité en éveil.
Shop with a keen eye – ask questions and let your curiosity be aroused by all the treasures Chatou holds!

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4)  Prendre son temps: fouiner, chiner, chercher inlassablement pour dénicher la pièce unique. Take your time to snoop, digging thru the piles.  If you seek tirelessly from vendor to vendor, you’ll be rewarded with finding that oh-so-unique piece!

5)  Montrer que l’objet ou le meuble vous intéresse.
Tell the vendor what you’re interested in – show them the items in their stall you like.

6)  Discuter gentiment, personne ne doit perdre la face.
When negotiating, be nice.  No one should “lose face” during the discussions.

7) Rester courtois, pas d’offre ridicule ou de capitulation honteuse.
This point is so important that the fair coordinators make it twice – “Remain polite, don’t ask for ridiculous or even insulting negotiations.

8) Ne pas dénigrer la marchandise, le brocanteur connaît les défauts de ce qu’il propose et ajuste son prix en conséquence, donc il faut savoir doser habilement ses réticences.
Do not disparage the inventory – the dealer is already aware of his inventories defects and has probably already adjusted its prices accordingly.  While asking for a discount is always expected at the market, you need to know “how to balance a vendor’s reluctance skillfully”.


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9) Faire appel aux experts présents pendant toute la durée de la Foire en cas de litige.
The fair has experts on hand to evaluate and give estimates on inventory at the fair, should you need an outsider’s opinion, get the experts to give their advice. 

10) La rigueur n’est pas de règle, c’est la loi de l’offre et de la demande et celle de la mode. Le prix est basé sur la qualité et la rareté de l’objet. Aussi faut-il beaucoup regarder, questionner, marchander, savoir dire non et quitter avec gentillesse, ne pas se presser.
Price is based on any number things – from supply & demand to fashion.  The antiques are priced based upon their quality and the rarity of the object for sale. Check prices from stall to stall, ask the vendor questions about the piece, always haggle and if the price isn’t interesting to you thank the vendor for his time and carry on shopping les puce!

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva
(Seen below last March with my Chatou steal – I paid only 150E for this giant antique mirror!)

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Smells Like Bacon – National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham

Dear Diva Readers,

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Your olfactory pied piper isn’t leading you astray… Paris is starting to smell a lot like bacon!  That’s because my tory/favorite-french-flea-market-interview/”>favorite flea market in Paris – the twice annual”>Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons is back!!!   


When:   March 11-20, 2011
Attention Antiques Dealers Get to Shop Early on March 10th!

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What: More than 800 vendors selling the best antiques from the whole of France.  As if that weren’t enough to get you drooling, add a smorgasbord of vendors hawking jambons & produits du terroir

Where:  Just outside Paris proper in the suburbs – take RER A to Chatou-Croissy, direction St-Germain en Laye

How Much: Entrée Charged: 5E per person


Least you be worried about over-packing your suitcases with all the loot you buy at the National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham,  fear not – the vendor coordinators have thought of everything!  International shipping services are available on site!

Make sure to read tory/favorite-french-flea-market-interview/”>my interview in Bonjour Paris newsletter about this market!  Or to get a man’s perspective read a Guest Blog from tou/# “>The Professor a few years ago – he’ll have you rolling the aisles with laughter!

Last but not least, don’t forget you can always book an Antiques Diva® Guided Tour of the Paris Flea Market and The National Fair of the Flea Market and Ham by emailing”>

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva®

Do It Yourself Diva – Eiffel Tower Shower Hooks

Dear Diva Readers,

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top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>This weekend while I’m in Paris meeting the sensational Saxon Henry of Roaming by Design, I had to write to share with you a tres chic et simple Diva Idea! I’d like to claim the idea was my own but must confess the credit goes entirely to Ms. Parisbug!  Why not line your shower curtain hooks with Eiffel Towers?  While I think these shower hooks came equipped with their own Tour Eiffel’s you could “Do It Yourself” Diva by buying key chains and hooking them onto your shower curtain hooks at home!

Now that’s what I call a Diva Idea for decorating your bathroom!   

The Antiques Diva®

(seen below with Saxon Henry and Patty Otis Abel last year, “Doing the Paris Puce”)

Diva-scovery: Tapisseries de la Bûcherie, Paris

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Around the corner from Notre Dame, hidden in a quiet street away from the tourists, happens to be the best needlepoint workshops in ParisTapisseries de la Bûcherie – where you can find the most gorgeous needlepoint patterns available. Should you not be traveling to Paris soon, have no fear – La Bucherie offers an online store, bringing Paris to your front door!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Tapisseries de la Bûcherie furnishes decorators as well as private clients tapestries made to order and embroidered by hand. They have a large choice of designs of all French styles for covers for seats, armchairs, banquettes, fire screens, folding screens, chests, stools and wall panels, card game covers, as well as smaller designs for cushions, curtain loops, etc. Better yet, they can also reproduce a design you furnish! The guide for making an Eiffel Tower needlepoint is a standard favorite among friends and clients I take to this store.

But I must confess for me Notre Dame is my first choice!

to 10px; WIDTH: 358px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Each Needlepoint Kit sold on their site or in the store comes with (unless otherwise indicated):

  • Hand painted designs on monofil or penelope, or printed designs on penelope.
  • DMC Medici wool and/or hand-dyed wool at Aubusson, France
  • Needlepoint needles.
  • Instructions for the stitch to be used according to the canvas you pick.

The Gobelin or Aubusson stitch on a penelope canvas imitates the old tapestries and is quite easy to learn. They put instructions and drawings in each kit. If you have a problem, email them and they will assist you.

Diva Tip: Perhaps my favorite feature of the store is that if you have an antique armchair you’d like to recover Tapisseries de la Bûcherie gives you instructions on to-make-armchair-needlepoint.asp”>how you can create your own needlepoint pattern for your armchair!

Contact Details:

Tapisseries de la Bûcherie
2, rue du Haut Pavi
75005 Paris

Hours: 2pm-7pm daily except for Sunday
Or shop online

Do you plan on visiting the shop soon? Print directions and a map!

Bonne Shopping,

The Antiques Diva™

Pretty in Pink in Paris’ Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” />Dear Diva Readers,

top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While every client at The Antiques Diva™ European Shopping Tours is special, this summer I had the opportunity to travel with an extraordinary client – my 16 year old niece, Tessa! On her first European adventure I initiated her into The Antiques Diva™ Lifestyle by taking her to my favorite French flea market in Paris – Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

One of the things I love most about my job leading travelers around the flea markets of Europe is what my clients teach me as they introduce me to their passions and collections! Each client inevitably is unique – with a different interest, different hobby and different collections they’re looking to add to while out and about, shopping in the European flea markets. My 16 year old niece was no exception! With her pink head pulsing thru the market, vendors simply adored her, pointing out perfect Parisian pink treasures for her to take home. Ever the fashion plate, she picked up this gorgeous 1960’s French silk gown (above) shortly after we arrived at the flea market for a mere 36Euro. It fit as if it were made for her and a few days later she wore it to lunch at Café Marly nearby the Louvre!

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She also fell head over heels for these vintage French frames at 12 Euro and sported them around Europe for the next month!

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Of course, she was crazy for this Daisy Necklace picking it up for a friend as a souvenir de Paris for 6Euro!

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I’m not certain whether it was she or me who noticed the stuffed camel first – but we knew that it said exotic travel décor with a 20 E price tag!

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She decided against buying this Charlie Chaplin hat for 30E but was sorely tempted by it!

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In general, the French hats were of great interest and we spent a good 30 minutes digging thru this box where all the hats were marked 10E or less!

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But perhaps the catch that got away was the magnifying glass paperweight. We decided against purchasing it at 45E, but in retrospect perhaps we should have! Where else could she have been framed so perfectly in Paris?

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After all that hard work shopping, we were ready for a break. So we hit a local café to have a Diablo Fraise! A Diablo Fraise is a typical drink you’d order on a sunny day in Paris – it’s carbonated lemonade with strawberry syrup that just so happened to match Tessa’s perfectly pink hair!

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When the waiter noticed this, he decided that Tessa would make an ideal art installation on the Parisian streets! And he artfully arranged colored straws in her hair!

Tell me – where else but Paris would a waiter make you into street art?

From time to time I’ve had clients on Diva Tours tell me that their teenage sons and daughters wouldn’t be interested in antique shopping, preferring instead to antique/vintage shop solo. But I have to tell you, my 16 year old niece loved the Paris Flea Market! Tessa found nearly ever souvenir she purchased in Paris at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market – so for your next trip abroad, forget the typical souvenir t-shirts when shopping for a teenager in Paris, consider instead vintage fashion and fun French antique accessories!

Until next time, Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with The Little Diva – Tessa at the top of the Tour Eiffel)

Paris Travel Files!

Located in the 14eme arrondisment at the avenue Marc Sangnier and avenue Georges Lafenestre, “The Other Paris Flea Market” is located near the Porte de Vanves metro stop. to 10px; width: 297px; height: 299px; text-align: center;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” />The market is open year round e
very Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1pm – though experience tells me vendors aren’t really ready for customers until 9am, so take advantage of a “late start” and sleep an extra hour before shopping the fleas!

Bonne Shopping, Diva Style!

Book a Tour

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