The Canny Collector and a shaken Martini…life is good!

Dear Diva Readers,

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;”>Here lately my husband – aka The Wine Guy – has been on the quest for making the ideal martini (note:  he wanted to say “perfect” martini but feared the backlash from any ardent mixologists in the audience).  He’s spent long hours researching gin – Plymouth seems to be his favorite for martinis – and considering the attributes of vermouth.  While I like to merely wave my glass in the direction of Italy my mister is a sucker for Dolin.

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After the martini is made we turn on some Verdi (Rigoletto is my favorite) and curl up in the living room with a good book to sip our martinis.

My favorite book this fall is Mark Hill’s latest tometor/” target=”_blank”>The Canny Collector.

It’s the perfect read for every collector, and covers a vast range of topics from what really drives the market today to how to spot the ‘next big thing’ to how to display your collection.  You’re sure to find plenty that’s fascinating and helpful, as well as learn something new, regardless of what you love to collect or whether you are, or someone you know is, a new or an experienced collector.  Crammed with practical and useful help and advice, it’s divided up into thoughtful yet easy to read chunks, a little like today’s social media. You’ll find plenty of opinions, hints and tricks of the trade drawn from Mark’s personal experience that can’t be found elsewhere.  Chapters including ‘Buying’, ‘Selling’ and ‘Fakes, Copies & Reproductions’ are joined by charming illustrations by artist Simon Watson, quotes about collecting from the rich and famous, and special features on key topics such as nostalgia, identification, specialist terms, and historic and celebrity collectors.    But act quickly – The Canny Collector is a special, individually numbered hardback limited edition of only 1,500 copies.  Price is  £18 + postage & packing. 

If antiques celeb Mark Hill isn’t yet on your radar you’re missing out. In addition to simply being an all around good guy and one of the nicest members of the trade, he is also positively brilliant.  Mark Hill was a specialist in the collectors departments at Bonhams and Sotheby’s in London before joining an internet company where he became a director, forming and running its ground-breaking alliance with eBay Live Auctions. He is now an author, publisher, TV presenter, and dealer in postwar Czech glass.  His publishing company, Mark Hill Publishing Ltd, specializes in producing ground-breaking and innovative books on new areas in 20thC design and decorative arts. He is the co-author of the bi-annual international Miller’s Collectables Price Guides, and also writes regular columns for The Daily Mail and BBC Homes & Antiques magazine.

Mark is an expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, and has appeared on the BBC 20th Century Roadshow and Priceless Antiques Roadshow. He was also co-presenter of BBC Two’s landmark primetime antiques and interior design shows Cracking Antiques and Antiques Uncovered.

He is also a member of the vetting committee for major international fairs including the Olympia Fine Art & Antiques Fair, the BADA Fair, and Antiques For Everyone.

Whether you take your martini with extra olives or prefer a classic twist of lemon after the shaking – or stirring – is done, do what we do Chez Diva and curl up this winter with The Canny Collector and Mark Hill’s riveting tales on collecting – diva style!

Happy Reading and Cheers,

The Antiques Diva®

Wrap Yourself in Velvet with Nella Vetrina

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 30px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>As the leaves fall from the trees and autumn breezes whoosh in I’m in the mood to nest, nest, nest, diva style.  I want nothing more than to snuggle up inside with a roaring fire and a good book.    The perfect place to sit would be a chair from Nella Netrina’s newest collection – the Lusso CollectionIt’s got velvet, velvet and more velvet!




In case you’re not familiar with the brand, Nella Vetrina is an Italian powerhouse in the interior design world, showcasing products from the best of the best in classic and modern Italian furniture and Italian lighting.  Created by world-renowned Italian designers and local craftsmen their Lusso Collection is super chic line with a sexy, understated regal vibe!  Their new line ensconced in velvet has  just the perfect dash of over-the-topness for the diva (or George Costanza) in all of us!

So grab a book – I recommend Mark Hill’s newest, The Canny Collector – and curl up in diva style with Nella Vetrina and their Lusso Collection this fall!

The Antiques Diva®