The Better To See You With – Part Deux

Diva-scovery: Brilmuseum Amsterdam
to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 304px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Photo Courtesy of the Hollister Hovey blog

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Lest you think I’m suggesting a bit of culture in Amsterdam sans shopping opportunity, shame on you! In the BrilMuseum (or National Museum of Spectacles) you can get culture and BUY the museum exhibits at the same time! Select from over 100 years worth of unworn eye attire in a reconstructed 1930’s optical shop with help from manager Mike Teunissen, a 4th generation specialist in glasses.

Whether your man’s looking for some authentic Buddy Holly frames or if you’ve thought you’d look quite the sexy librarian with some of the timeless century-old Schubert spectacles, this is the place for all your antique optical needs.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 194px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />For those of you who don’t have a trip to Amsterdam planned but have been bitten by the antique or vintage spectacle bug, never fear: the BrilMuseum also sells online! Of course, buying in person is always more fun… as I’m always looking for an opportunity to chat about my travels, I must add that this is one of those perfect opportunities to share details about your trip. Inevitably people will comment on your new frames and when they do you can waylay them with the purse-sized scrapbook of your trip you made just to bore – I mean entertain – unsuspecting inquirers.

to 10px; WIDTH: 394px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 253px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Diva-scovery: Brilmuseum Amsterdam
Gasthuismolensteeg # 7
1016 AM Amsterdam

Phone/Fax: 0031 (0)20-4212414



Hours: Wed – Fri 12pm to 5:30pm and Sat from 12pm – 5pm

Seeing is Believing,

The Antiques Diva™

P.S. Father’s Day is just around the corner. Why don’t you look at the Mantiques available at my online Brocante “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva and SEE what you can find?!

Diva-scovery: Bric-a-Brac in Prague

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The Diva in Prague – wearing my “new” vintage Moravian scarf purchased at Bric-a-Brac

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>My darling husband surprised me with a trip to Prague so he & I could have a little R&R; and1-on-1 time after I’d been out of town for an extended period during my Antiques Diva tours. We went to Prague to take long walks holding hands, to drink copious quantities of Czech beer (his intent, not mine, as even living in Germany has not converted me to being a beer drinker) and to nibble our way through the winding streets of Prague.

Achieving our goal, we sat for long periods in dark, candlelit cafes discussing Kafka and pondering Bohemian thoughts and, though this trip for once was one planned without intentions of visiting an antique shop one, we stumbled out of a café one late afternoon and into a sensational antiques shop called Bric-a-Brac. And while I considered turning away, not wanting “work” to interfere with our romantic interlude, my husband pulled me inside. For you see, something you might not know about The Wine Guy is that he might as well have been nick-named The Antiques Guy for he shares my passion in European antiquing. This, along with many other traits, makes him a sensational traveling companion as he’s always ready to stop, drop and shop!
to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />You can see The Wine Guy already ahead of me stepping into the courtyard where we found our favorite Prague antiques shop – Bric-a-Brac located at Tynska # 7.

While the alley leading to the shop was tempting, stepping inside the store was even more so…

Won’t you join me on a quick tour?

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Can’t you just see the room overflowing with potential?

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The deeper you dig, the more interesting the finds!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Perhaps one of these is the key to my heart?

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Something you may not know is that my husband, The Wine Guy (the man who could be called The Antiques Guy), could also be called The Pilot. For when he’s not crunching numbers as a CFO, he’s a private pilot flying the friendly skies and thus has an avid interest in anything aviation!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />And of course there was a little something for me! Vintage bags, baubles and beads!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The tables were laden with Czech glass and porcelain!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />These antique canes caught my attention – reminding me that I’m dying to do a post on Antique Canes of Amsterdam!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />My husband and the Bric-a-Brac vendor in deep conversation! The vendor was a delight, answering questions and chatting with each and every customer who walked through the door!

Next time you’re in Prague and looking to do a little antique shopping, pop into Bric-a-Brac! You never know what you might find!!!

Bric a Brac
Týnská 7, Prague 1
Phone: (+420) 222 326 484
Metro: Staromĕstská (line A) or Námĕstí Republiky (line B)

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

(seen right on Charles Bridge in a self-photography attempt with The Wine Guy!)

Berlin Art Market – Kunst und Nostalgie Markt

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>One of the things I love most about living in Berlin is Saturday mornings in the city. While on rainy days my husband, The Wine Guy, and I love nothing more than to sleep in, snuggling with the cat, but when the sun shines we get dressed and wander out in the city to explore our surroundings. We live in Mitte – which literally means the “center” of the city – and within minutes of stumbling out of our front door we’re at the Unter den Linden, basking in the shadow of Brandenburg Gate or lingering on the lawns at the Reichstag. If we’re in the mood for brunch we might head over to the Oranienburger Strasse and if we’re in the mood for a stroll along the river we hold hands and weave in and out of the joggers fencing the Spree. Inevitably, these strolls detour to the Berliner Kunst Markt (Berlin Art Market) at Museum Island.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />The contents of the art market tend more towards tourist art than serious collector pieces, but the paintings are quirky and colorful and fun – the type of painting you might hang in your bathroom, a child’s bedroom, guest room or hall so that each time you pass by you just have to smile and remember your trip to Berlin. Paintings are sold alongside polish pottery, art glass and cute tiles commemorating local landmarks.

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />My friend, The English Rose, visiting me in Berlin and picking up a souvenir on her trip!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />A closer look at those tiles… The English Rose bought the tile of Brandenberg Gate.

You can visit the Berlin Art Market every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm… and if it’s a sunny day you never know… you might bump into The Wine Guy & me making our Saturday morning rounds in Berlin!

Kunst und Nostalgie Markt
Am Zeughaus
Berlin – Mitte

Have a Happy Saturday!

The Antiques Diva™

(Seen right with The English Rose opposite the art market and across the river in front of The Berliner Dom)

Visit Dolf D Van Omme at PAN AMSTERDAM

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Long-term readers have heard me sing the praises of Dolf D. Van Omme – a specialist in 19th-21st C European Fine Art. If you haven’t visited their Amsterdam gallery at Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 19, now is the perfect time to mark your calendar to visit their stall (#146) at the upcoming PAN Amsterdam to get a tiny taste of what’s in store before you walk in their gallery door!

This year at PAN, as always, Dolf D. Van Omme will have some excellent artists on display! I can’t wait to lay my eyes upon one particular piece of their collection premiering at PAN Amsterdam – a pastel by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) titled Paris la Nuit. Of particular interest as well is the work of artist Jan Sluijters (1881-1957). Dolf D Van Omme will be displaying 5 of his modern water colors from the Esser collection.

I received Dolf D Van Omme’s invite to the Nov 22nd opening day of PAN Amsterdam and was devastated to discover I’m out of town for this sensational first day event. Alas, I’ll be returning that evening from a house hunting trip to Berlin and fear that I won’t make it before the doors close at 9pm. Nevertheless, a day later I’ll be joining the masses when the fair opens to the public! Needless to say, stall # 146 Dolf D Van Omme will be first on my list of stalls to stop and visit!

Mark your calendar for PAN Amsterdam!

23 – 30 November 2008Amsterdam RAI-Parkhal
Daily from 11 am-7 pm
Thursday 27 and Sunday 30 November11 am-6 pm

Until Next Time,
The Antiques Diva™

The One Minute Diva: The von Trapp Family Villa – A New Salzburg Hotel

Breaking news! The Villa Trapp website is now up and running!! Click here for all the details!

to9xmAQ/s1600-h/villatrapp.jpg”>to9xmAQ/s200/villatrapp.jpg” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I am a huge fan of Cal Simmon’s blog, The Informed Traveler, which is hosted by The Five Star Alliance, the world’s leading luxury hotel reservation service. I frequently use their blogs to plan my vacations with great tips on where to stay & what to do while visiting exotic locations around the globe. Today’s Informed Traveler blog has me looking at my calendar trying desperately to arrange a trip to Salzburg this summer simply so I can stay in a new hotel that has just opened! Perhaps I can squeeze in an Austrian getaway in between a trip to the Loire this June & a Med cruise this August! According to The Informed Traveler, the hills are alive again with The Sound of Music – of course, this time the music might be merely the trickle of laughter and cries of joy from delighted guests who are now staying in the von Trapp Family Villa!

The Trapp Villa, as the hotel is called, opens this July and is quite surprisingly reasonably priced at 100E per night including breakfast(approx $ 155 USD). The Informed Traveler writes “Visitors will have a chance to relive scenes from the movie. Sip coffee at the gazebo where Liesl, eldest daughter of the von Trapp family, and her boyfriend, Rolf, had a secret rendezvous or dine at the von Trapp family table.”

tory/2008/5/13/195317/112/hotels/Movie_Set_Hotel_The_Von_Trapp_Villa_in_Salzburg” target=”_blank”>Hotel Chatter provided even more information on the hotel, providing history buffs with those details that make the stay even more intriguing. “The von Trapps lived (at Trapp Villa) from 1923-1938. When the Nazis stormed Austria, the Baron and his family left for Italy and the villa became the home of notorious SS chief Heinrich Himmler and his butler. Leave it to the Herr to build a huge white wall around the property, which remains today, and to turn the beautiful chapel into, what else, a beer hall. When the war ended, the property was returned to the family who then sold it to a peaceful Catholic missionary order”.

While the internet seems to be all a chatter about this new hotel, I can’t find their hotel website and am at a loss for how to book it! I’ve sent Informed Traveler an email hoping they’ll help solve this mystery! Dear Readers, if you solve the mystery before IT does, please let me know!

This seems like an utterly diva-worthy hotel experience! And I can’t wait to go to Salzburg at my first opportunity! I will however have to use the utmost of self-control to keep from ripping down the Villa Trapp’s draperies and making them into a pair of lederhosen fit for a diva!


The Antiques Diva™

A Diva’s Work is Never Done!

Dearest Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It seems a Diva’s work is never done and these last three weeks have nearly ran me into the ground! I’m in serious need of some R & R for all the champagne & caviar of this past month has me in desperate need of a detox program with my health guru Vardit Kohn! After hosting two sets of guests back to back these last two weeks (as well as making 2 trips to Antwerp leading The Antiques Diva™ Shopping Tours), I woke Tuesday morning, hopped in my car & drove to Rotterdam where I took to/pickwick” target=”_blank”>The Pickwick Women’s Club on a “tourframe.html” target=”_blank”>Grand Tour” – figuratively speaking that is! In case you didn’t realize it, The Antiques Diva™ makes public appearances, sharing all her diva-licious European shopping tips & giving enough Grand Tour addresses to fill two little black books.

toinette.bmp”>toinette.bmp” border=”0″ />No sooner than The Pickwick Ladies closed the meeting in a round of applause, the Volvo was thrown into high gear and I raced four hours south to Paris where I was meeting two of my friends, The Belgian Beauty & Ms Holland, for an overnight excursion to Sotheby’s Paris for the Important Meuble & Silver Sale and a date with Marie Antoinette in the Grand Palais.

We’d planned the trip ages ago, but I had to cut it short when a diva-licious opportunity popped up – fortunately my friends forgave me for departing a day earlier than planned. One of my favorite antiquaries in Amsterdam, Robert Schreuder, delighted me with an invitation for a Fashion Show and Pre-Preview for Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Fashion Designer Frans Hoogendoorn presented an amazing collection of gowns fit for a diva, while the pre-preview at AF’sH left me drooling for more – and with a shopping list a mile long!

Luckily for you & me both, the Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch has just gotten underway. It runs from April 11 – 20, 2008 which means I’ve another week to convince my husband to return with me to close a few Antiques Diva sales! But you’ll be reading about that later this week as I list my 10 favorite dealers at AF’s-H! In the meantime, make time to attend this sensational antiques show held at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch!

By the way, you’ll also get to benefit from my presentation to The Pickwick Ladies as they’ve given me a list of questions they’d like me to answer this month in a short blog series called “Pickwick Express”.

Stay tuned for more Diva Details,

The Antiques Diva™