Dear Diva Readers,
The HighBoy on a whirlwind VIP tour of England—and when I say whirlwind, I mean it! We were constantly jetting from one antiques fair to another, working our way from London to Wiltshire and back, stopping off at secret sources and private houses in between. Our UK Diva Agent, Gail McLeod, set the agenda and added in a very special stop near Bath. She arranged for us to spend an afternoon with renowned antique textiles dealer Elizabeth Baer at her lovely home.e recently took
Gail has been involved in the Bath Decorative Fair for years and that is where she first met Mrs. Baer in 1989 where she was a vendor. As a star attraction at this and other fairs, Mrs. Baer would sell textiles like hot cakes, often to top U.S. dealers who would wait in line to see her. She’s sold to just about every Hollywood name and supplied textiles and costumes for countless films – I was completely smitten by the fact that Anna Wintour has been a long-term client. Now in her late 80’s, Mrs. Baer is still active in the trade and sells inventory by appointment only in her gorgeous house, which is a “miniature” Georgian manor house in the heart of Bradford on Avon.
As you would expect, this quintessential English lady has a beautiful garden which welcomed us when we arrived. Seeing the large, heavy front door open, we knocked and made ourselves known, and seconds later the lovely Elizabeth appeared from around the corner. She greeted us warmly and asked us to come inside the spacious foyer, where a few bolts of fabric lay on the entry table, hinting at what was in store for us.
A tour through her home revealed generously proportioned rooms, one connecting to the next, filled with antique furniture, textiles, and special bits and bobs, all telling the story of a life well lived. When in the living room, she noted the relating color palates of a painted antique blanket chest and two pair of curtain panels. “Rather than try to invent new color combinations, look for old color recipes that work. They’ve been around a long time for a reason,” Elizabeth advised. As we made out way to the sitting room, decorated in mostly pink hues, she informed us that every piece of furniture was upholstered in old curtain fabric. While stroking a velvet cushion, she shared another wise piece of advice. “The key is to enjoy what you’ve got and not be envious of what anyone else has got.”
Climbing the stairs, we got a peek into the private life of this stylish lady as she invited us to see her bedroom and extremely chic bath/dressing room. The use of antique textiles was perfection—the bed canopy, the yards and yards of drapery panels, the upholstered furniture just begging to be lounged on—all gorgeous. We even got to see her small work room where she makes everything from totes and cushions to padded hangers and basket liners—always with bits of remnant fabric and trim.
To end the afternoon, we went to the lower level of the house where she keeps her stock for sale. After being served coffee on a tray—she is, after all, a gracious hostess—we perused shelves of fabric, trims, and remnants. We settled on a few table cloths and tea towels, finding that one was not enough according to Elizabeth, “You must have one on the table and one in the wash.”
If you’re interested in antique textiles, you must check out her blog. She tells stories of her business ventures, offers up worthwhile advice and entertaining anecdotes that are sure to leave you inspired. For more information on our English Antique Buying Tours or Antique Textile Tours in general email us at email@example.com.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
The HighBoy, we hopped in the car and headed from London to Henley for Salvo Fair for opening trade day. Antiques Diva UK Agent Gail McLeod met us at Fawley Hill, Henley on Thames, the estate of Sir William and Lady McAlpine which was the venue for this year’s fair. Salvo is the largest architectural salvage fair in the UK.o close out a recent week-long VIP Antiques Diva UK tour with Olga Granda-Scott, co-founder of
Dealers at Salvo offer a wide variety of architectural salvage, ranging from very affordable tiles and hardware to reclaimed building materials such as a huge bridge which held court at the center of the fair. As we perused the grounds, we spotted a nice mix of garden antiques including sculpture, fountains, and repurposed items which are in high demand right now. There were also plenty of retro signs, decorative antiques, and vintage pieces. I especially liked the variety of industrial items which could be used in new construction. A pleasant surprise was the affordable prices at Salvo. Our Creative Consultant Andrew Skipper even picked up a fun antique door knocker shaped like a fox for less than half the price he would pay in the USA.
Aside from the inventory, the set up of the fair was everything you would imagine when you picture a country antiques fair in England. Old fashioned tents with bunting (strings of colorful flags) strewn from side to side set the stage for a picturesque day. There was even a charming tea tent where we attended a private party with the local Lord and Lady and the “county set” after the fair closed. Complete with champagne, roast lamb, quail eggs, smoked salmon, and scones, the evening was a quintessential English one—and the ideal way to complete a Diva tour of some of the UK’s top antiques fairs.
If you would like information on our UK Antiques Diva tours, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you find the antiques you’re looking for while also giving you a truly unique experience of culture, travel, and the Diva lifestyle!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
The HighBoy on a whirlwind Antiques Diva UK experience to introduce her to a few of our favorite fairs and dealers, we attended opening day of the renowned English antiques fair Masterpiece in London. Offering museum quality pieces, this fair is one of the best in Europe, comparing often as a smaller TEFAF.hile taking Olga Granda-Scott of
Before heading to the fair we checked out Antiques News & Fairs to find out what the must-see booths were. Discovering that the Empress Eugenie’s pearl earrings would be on display, we headed straight to Siegelson’s booth upon arrival at the fair. This pair of natural grey pearl earrings appear on Empress Eugenie’s ears in a portrait of her which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York so being able to see them first hand was quite a treat! The only disappointment? They wouldn’t let me try them on! And darling… I would have worn them well! 🙂
After meandering the antique filled aisles and stopping by the bar for a glass of champagne to sip while we shopped, we spotted one of our favorite pieces at the fair. It was a George Hepplewhite gentleman’s social table from Apter-Fredericks LTD. This rare table, one of only two known to exist, was made for social drinking. Drinking in the 18th century was prevalent at all levels of society and was so socially acceptable that by the end of the century specialized furniture was being made especially for drinking. With space for multiple champagne bottles and glasses, it’s perfect for a Diva!
Speaking of tables, we also came upon a stunning center table with a specimen marble top from Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. The overall booth was stunning and really drew us in, but this special table – complete with its original documents – is a stand out piece.
It was also fantastic to have a quick chat with Robert Young in his booth. Robert is one of the founders of Masterpiece – and is a leading folk art dealer in the UK. What I loved about his booth – and inventory in general – is that it was entirely different from anyone else’s at the fair. Surrounded by dealers offering polished furniture and glitzy jewels, Robert’s inventory celebrated the unpretentious creations of artisans, adding a creative depth to the overall feel of the fair. Because the fair is not segregated, it makes for an exciting experience to shop the fair – Russian jewels are in stalls next to English Folk Art opposite a stall filled with Neo-Classical busts. Each turn of the neck gives an experience to another land, another time.
All in all, the fair was a glamorous experience with museum quality pieces at every corner—net, net, Masterpiece is Diva-Worthy and if it’s not already on your social calendar consider it a Must Go on the London Antiques Scene! My only regret (beyond not getting to try on those darn pearls from Eugenie) was that I wish we could have stayed longer, but a Diva’s work is never done. We had to jet off to the hotel to get some sleep as the following day we traveled to the country to attend Salvo Fair, but more on that later! Stay tuned to the blog to hear about the rest of our week-long journey through antiques fairs of the UK!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
The Highboy, for a week of antiquing in London and beyond!n honor of Father’s Day, we want to celebrate by sharing some of our favorite “mantiques.” Every man needs his own space or man cave, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish with a dash of diva, er make that divo, thrown in! See our top picks for Father’s Day gifts from our friends at The Highboy’s website below! It’s rather appropriate we’re giving a shout out to The Highboy for today I’m off to London to meet Olga Granda-Scott, co-founder of
This pair of vintage brown French club chairs from the 1970’s are fantastic. Done in the Art deco-style, they’d be the perfect place for Dad to sit back and relax at the end of a hard day. Covered in a two tone brown leather with single piping trim and removable cushions, these very comfortable chairs are also right on trend.
2- Desk Sets
Desk sets are the perfect accessory for the study—a place Dad spends many evenings. This 20th c. Italian Leather Desk Set is in superb condition and will add that pop of color to a dark-paneled room. We’re just picturing a distinguished gentleman sitting down to write a note on this desk set—very sophisticated!
3- Bar Carts
Ok, we must admit that a bar cart is an essential for any home. But this sleek Italian model from the 1950’s is perfect for Dad with its ebonized mahogany wood frame with antique brass fittings and smoked grey and black glass tiers. It’s masculine, modern, and begs the question, “Shaken or stirred?”
4- Cuff Links
A beautiful and practical gift for Dad would be this pair of 14K yellow gold and reverse painted “Essex Crystal” nautical flag cufflinks. Essex crystal is a process where rock crystals are cut as a cabochon and carved on the flat side, then painted on the back to produce a three-dimensional effect. Even when he’s not wearing them, cuff links look great just laying on a desk or side table.
Travel accessories are so on trend right now. But they are also masculine, which makes them perfect for the man cave. This original copper plate engraving with original hand color by British artist Robert Wilkinson (fl. c. 1768 – 1825), titled “An Accurate Map of the West Indies” published June 2nd, 1794 is an amazing decorative piece. The tentative British claims in Belize and on the Mosquito Coast, where English buccaneers, pirates, and privateers set up makeshift unofficial colonies from which to raid Spanish treasure fleets, are noted. As this region was highly important to British maritime commercial and military interests, Wilkinson also identifies various shoals and other undersea dangers throughout. What an exciting piece that Dad would love!
For more mantiques, check out The Highboy here.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there! And to my own “Papa Bear” Happy Father’s Day!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
e love taking clients on antique buying tours, scouring the continent and British isles in search of European antiques and decorative items. There is something about the physical hunt that all antique lovers seem to crave – we like to see antiques in real life, verify their patina, touch them, hold them. But in this age of the internet – through our antique sourcing service – we are also able to email clients photos of specific pieces in which they may be interested. The advantage to the buyer in receiving emailed photographs from us is that we are able to personally verify these objects – seeing if they’re as good in real life as the photo and we’re able to negotiate with vendors whom we have long term relationships, helping you to get the best price.
The internet has become an invaluable tool in our business and many antique dealers all over the world have embraced its power. Today I want to share a bit about the International Antiques & Collectors Fairs new project LoveAntiques.com. The IACF have been organizing Europe’s largest antiques fairs for over 25 years and we’ve come to expect the best from them! With LoveAntiques.com, the IACF is offering a place for qualified dealers to sell antiques to a broader audience. This is also good news for buyers since having all of these trusted vendors in one convenient place allows you to view thousands of items without leaving your desk (though we all know that visiting the fairs and antique warehouses in REAL life is always more fun!).
Items on this website are updated daily, which makes it like a brand new shopping experience each time you visit the site. Of course, there are many websites out there that sell antiques, but we have our few trusted online marketplaces where we feel they are doing a fabulous job selling antiques online. LoveAntiques happens to be one of those alongside The HighBoy and Antique Young Guns.
If you happen to see something you are interested in on LoveAntiques.com, you are able to communicate directly with the dealer who is listing that item. You can also purchase pieces directly from the dealer via PayPal, making buying antiques even simpler.
With a vast array of pieces available—from jewelry to furniture to china and glassware— LoveAntiques.com is another fantastic online source whether you want to sell or buy antiques.
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
s 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!
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 email@example.com! You’re invited!!)
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!
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!
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!!!!).
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.
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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®
Dear Diva Readers,
The HighBoy’s Olga Granda Scott, I asked our friends at The HighBoy to share some of their favorite items for sale on their site right now. Consider this your Holiday Gift Guide and get shopping for unique gifts for your loved ones…or even yourself!ith less than a month until Christmas, the count down has officially begun! While I tend to buy presents all year long on my travels, the big gifts tend to be those I save until November and December. After recently speaking on a panel in New York about The Future of Antiques with
1. Set of six Swedish leather-bound antique books. Who wouldn’t want to receive this lovely set of antique books with marbled papers? Both useful and decorative, antique books always make a lovely gift.
2. American mid-century solid lucite clock in style of Charles Hollis Jones. For the sleek and sexy design lover, this extraordinary Mid-Century lucite clock is magnificent in quality and design. And since the clock mechanism has recently been replaced and it works perfectly, the recipient of this piece will not miss a beat.
3. Set of 3 apothecary jars. A lovely set of three turn of the century, porcelain labeled apothecary jars would be a beautiful decorative gift. While this style of jar has been reproduced and is widely popular now, owning an original set would be quite special.
4. Rene Lalique “Rampillion” vase with blue patina. This lovely “Rampillion” Vase with a blue patina would be an ideal present for a collector or anyone with discerning taste. Divided by thickly cast glass diamonds and a floral pattern, the effect is one of visual texture. This vase still retains it’s beautiful blue patina that stains the floral pattern. Fill it with flowers all year long for the gift that keeps on giving.
5. Hollywood Regency glossy black and gold ice bucket by Drulane. This lovely Hollywood Regency glossy black and gold ice bucket is by Drulane – c. 1960-70 – and, a must-have for the upcoming holiday party season. It is a class act with a gold handle accented by black insert and a very regency ribbing design! It offers a glossy black exterior, gold trimming around rim and handle and a clear lucite lid topped off with gold ball- the ideal piece for the elegant hostess!
6. French gilt bronze mounted turquoise blue earthenware jardiniere. This elegant jardiniere in style of Theodore Dek would make a very special gift. With it’s classic style, it certainly will become an heirloom to whoever receives it.
7. Pair of leather and brass horse head bookends signed “Asprey”. For the man who appreciates quality (or the equestrian lady), this pair of stately bookends would be the perfect gift. In the study, den or at the office, this pair will add instant class.
8. Grand Tour “Antiquity” Greek oinochoe form vessel with black painted figures. This beautiful and highly decorative European Grand Tour pottery wine vessel with black hand painted figures from Greek mythology is certainly a unique piece. The vase has been intentionally damaged and pieced back together using rather overt restoration techniques in order to give it a more “authentic ancient” feel. Interestingly, it was probably originally sold to an unsuspecting American tourist in the late 19th c. as a genuine antiquity. However it would make a great gift to someone who appreciates history.
9. 1950’s Sandor bracelet. Give the gift of elegance with this 1950’s Unsigned Sandor Bracelet in Bronze/Gold tones. Woven metal chain makes up the base of the Bracelet, with the center holding a Topaz colored stone surrounded by Clear Rhinestones. The sides of the Bracelet have a raised band of Clear Rhinestones as well.
10. Fine Art Nouveau figural bronze of a “Scantilly Dressed Woman” by P. Tereszczuk. For the person who appreciates beauty, this Art Nouveau bronze with outstretched arm holding a pair of game birds would make a nice addition to a collection.
I hope this Gift Guide from The HighBoy inspires you to start your Christmas shopping! This year, make gifts personal and buy antiques!
The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Moderator DORIS ATHINEOS is Senior Antiques and Art Editor, Traditional Home magazine. She writes about fine and decorative arts, artisans, design, and collecting. Her job involves tracking down culturally significant one-off designs, whether a Chippendale chair, a Tiffany lamp or a freshly-made Moulthrop bowl. Prior to joining Traditional Home, Athineos served as an editor at Forbes magazine, where she covered the art market. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer, Architectural Digest, Wine Spectator, Art & Auction, and other publications.
Perhaps the Queen of the Antiques Scene is JUDITH MILLER, – Antique Expert & Author, Miller’s Antiques & Collectibles. She is one of the world’s leading antiques experts and has authored more than 100 books, including the newly published Arts& Crafts: Living with the Arts & Crafts Style and the international best-seller, Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide, founded in 1979. She appears regularly on British television, pens an antiques column for Forbes, and lectures around the world including the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
OLGA GRANDA-SCOTT is the Founder of The HighBoy a curated marketplace for Antiques & Fine Art. As an antique dealer herself for over a decade at Alhambra Antiques in Miami, Olga was frustrated by the lack of technological innovation in the industry, and thus The HighBoy was born. Dubbed “a hip contender to the antiques throne” by The Wall Street Journal, The HighBoy marries the beauty and sophistication of antiques, decorative arts, and jewelry with the innovations of 21st century technology.
While you probably already know me since you’re reading my blog – I thought you might enjoy finding out a bit more about me too! I’m TOMA CLARK HAINES – founder and entrepreneur of The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours. Since opening in 2008, The Antiques Diva® & Co. has become Europe’s largest antiques touring company, offering customized, private one-on-one antiques buying tours in 11 countries to both private individuals and to the trade. When I’m not on a buying tour, I’m also a freelance travel and design writer and an international public speaker.
Join us in NYC!
Thursday November 20, 2014 7:00-9:00pm
At Jonathan Burden, Antiques and Works of Art
180 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013
RSVP is required – email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
All attendees will receive complimentary tickets to The Pier Antique Show on November 22 & 23 – where if you didn’t yet know it – The Antiques Diva & Co is delighted to be a sponsor!! Admission is free for all attendees who confirm their attendance at futureofantiques.thehighboy.com.
See you in NYC!
The Antiques Diva®