Archives August 2019

Bonhams New York sold two Tiffany Studios lamps at their Modern Decorative Art + Design sale, June 7, 2019

Bonhams New York sold two Tiffany Studios lamps at their Modern Decorative Art + Design sale, June 7, 2019

Now that Labor Day has passed, I will resume publishing every Monday.


Bonhams New York held a Modern Decorative Art + Design sale on June 7, 2019. Included in the sale were two Tiffany Studios lamps, the topic of today’s post.

Tiffany Studios Swirling Leaf floor lamp, Bonhams lot #12

Lot #12 was a huge Tiffany Studios Swirling Leaf floor lamp. It was moderately rare, but not terribly appealing nor important. This was one of those cases where the base probably had more value than the shade. Regardless, it sold near its high estimate of $90,000, realizing $106,325, including buyer’s premium — the fourth highest price paid at the sale. My guess is that someone had a more important shade and wanted the base for it, but that’s totally conjecture on my part.

Tiffany Studios Spider table lamp, Bonhams lot #6

Lot #6 was a 15″ diameter Spider table lamp on a complementary Mushroom base — a fairly desirable model. I had interest in the lamp until I found out that it had been completely repatinated. Regardless, it sold for approximately double its high estimate of $30,000, realizing $68,825 including buyer’s premium. My guess is that the bidders were unknowledgeable novices. Discriminating collectors just wouldn’t have bid.

Tiffany & Co. water pitcher, Bonhams lot #9

The fifth highest price in the sale went to a gorgeous, Art Nouveau, mixed-metal, sterling silver, Tiffany & Co. water pitcher from 1880. It easily exceeded its estimate of $40,000 – $60,000, realizing $93,825 including buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Our next show will be Antiques + Modernism Winnetka, November 8-10, 2019. It’s held at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. In the meantime, we’re still very much in business so please email or call to buy, sell or trade.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:59:14 +0000

Woolley & Wallis sold a collection of Martinware ceramics at their Arts & Crafts auction, June 19, 2019

Woolley & Wallis sold a collection of Martinware ceramics at their Arts & Crafts auction, June 19, 2019

Now that Labor Day has passed, I will resume publishing every Monday.


Martin Brothers Wise Owl tobacco jar, Woolley & Wallis lot #78

Woolley & Wallis held an Arts & Crafts auction on June 19, 2019. Included in the sale was a nice collection of Martin Brothers ceramics, including several birds.

The top lot of the group was #78, a Wise Owl bird tobacco jar, 11½” tall, with restoration. Estimated to sell for £15,000 – £20,000, it realized £24,700 ($31,064), including buyer’s premium — a pretty handsome price for a restored item.

Martin Brothers spoon warmer, Woolley & Wallis lot #82

The only Martinware spoon warmer in the sale sold within its pre-sale estimate of £12,000 – £18,000, realizing £20,800 ($26,159), including buyer’s premium.

Martin Brothers grotesque bird vase, Woolley & Wallis lot #56

Of the many Martinware vases offered for sale in the auction, lot #56 sold for the highest price. It was a 9½” vase, with goofy birds that collectors admire. It sold for its high estimate of £8,000, without buyer’s premium, or £10,400 ($13,080) with buyer’s premium.

For the complete results of the sale, click here.


Our next show will be Antiques + Modernism Winnetka, November 8-10, 2019. It’s held at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. In the meantime, we’re still very much in business so please email or call to buy, sell or trade.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 29 Jul 2019 07:00:46 +0000

Designing A Life Less Ordinary

Designing A Life Less Ordinary

When I was in my 20’s and had first moved to Paris, I opened a new journal and I wrote one sentence. I’ve started a million other journals since then, living a million different lives, as my journey took me the last two decades from living in Paris to Amsterdam and Berlin before making Venice home – but in that particular journal, there is still only that one sentence. The rest of the journal is blank. I didn’t know what words would follow – but I knew I was writing my manifestation. My mantra. The life I would live.

I want a life less ordinary.

Venice: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva 0036

My mom often reflects, “Your life is interesting, but it’s not easy.”  She sees past the glamour of my life to the day to day toils of living abroad. Here there are inconveniences you don’t face in Oklahoma where I grew up. Radiators that never seem to heat the apartment causing me to sleep under fur coats in the winter. She sees me carrying groceries home in the rain over bridges and up flights of stairs. She’s regaled with stories of the acqua alta filling my magazzino and me frantically elevating storage items so they’re not ruined by the famed Venetian floods. More than once our Skype has been interrupted when the electrical fuse blows because I turned the tea kettle on forgetting I was running the washing machine. She sees the minor – but yet –  practical – inconveniences of my life abroad. And while my life may not be convenient by American terms, darn it’s sexy.

I joke I can tolerate anything but two things – ugly decor and to be bored. And – my life is many things – but it’s always beautiful and it’s always interesting. 

Venice Biennale

It’s this sentiment that made me smile when I saw the theme of this year’s Biennale di Venezia – “May You Live In Interesting Times.” The quote refers to 1966 when Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech saying, “There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” Anything is possible.

I found myself reflecting on this sentiment during the opening week of the Biennale as I attended the #DiorBall- also known as the #TiepoloBall – organized by the Venetian Heritage Foundation for their 20th anniversary. Held in the Baroque 17th-century Palazzo Labia, the ball was a reenactment of the 1951 Beistegui “Bal Oriental” – dubbed the ball of the century. Both in 1951 and this month at the event, all of European society floated down the Grand Canal clamoring to get in. Among the original guests in 1951 were Christian Dior, Salvador Dalí and Orson Welles. Now, the guests were Sienna Miller, Tilda Swinton and Sandro Kopp, Peter Marino, Monica Bellucci… and… uhm… me?!?! alongside my dear friend Steven Moore of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. At times like this, I pinch myself. How did I get this life I’m living? With 380 guests in attendance, it was a formal sit down dinner catered by the Gritti Palace. And just as at the original event, the guests were charged to dress as if in a Tiepolo paintingtableaux vivants – so they became part of the decoration. As we climbed the stairs after being dropped by our water taxis and private boats at the palazzo we were presented in the main salon of the palace in the room where Giambattista Tiepolo painted his masterpiece The Banquet of Cleopatra. It was magic… (You can read more about the night in Vogue.)

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Behind the scenes at the Venice Biennale Dior Tiepolo Ball

When debating what to wear to a ball hosted by one of the world’s greatest fashion houses where everyone I knew was going to be wearing haute couture… I decided to focus on the accessories. After all, “if” as Oprah says, “there’s one thing I know” – I know it’s all about the accessories. My dress was pretty – an emerald green empire waist strapless gown that I’d worn once before but on my head – I wore a swan. Yes. You read that right – but don’t take my word for it, watch Paris Mode TV to catch a glimpse of my feathers! 

The jewelry was all my own design, Republic of Toma. Around my neck, I wore a ring of interconnecting pearl frogs with black diamonds for eyes. In life – not just in romance – you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get what you want. That means sometimes you have to go through failures and times in your life that things don’t go your way to get what you want.

The Dior Tiepolo Ball in Venice: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
My dress was pretty – an emerald green empire waist strapless gown that I’d worn once before but on my head – I wore a swan.

At my table in the SeaRoom, I sat at one head of the table with my escort Steven across the table parallel me. At the very moment the Frenchman from Van Cleef & Arpels sitting to my right asked, “Why do you live in Venice?” and I responded matter of factly, “Because it makes me happy,” a photo was snapped. On my face is a look I rarely see. A look of quiet contemplation. I manifested this life. I build this life. A life less ordinary. I have found my home. Ca’ Toma. 

In Dior’s autobiography, he wrote about the 1951 event, describing that evening as “the most beautiful” he had ever seen and that he “would ever see” and the event “a true work of art.” As my friend Steven Moore was on the water taxi heading home after an amazing week in Venice to England he texted me, “No detail was left unattended. No matter how small. We seemed to float along as if in a dream. I kept thinking I was going to wake up, but sometimes dreams do come true.”

You and only you have the power to make your dreams come true.
What are you dreaming?

Antiquing in the South of France

antiquing in a WWII era Ulta motorcycle in the South of France: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Antiquing in a WWII era Ulta motorcycle in the South of France

Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Two photos, taken a week apart capture the essence of me. In one I’m wearing a White Swan fascinator on my head at the Dior Ball in Venice. In the other, I’m wearing a white motorcycle helmet while sitting in a sidecar of a WWII era Ulta motorcycle antiquing in the South of France putting finishing touches on our newly revised Antiques Diva Provence Tours. (lol. Sidecar optional :). #WatchThisSpace we’re working on organizing our next training program for antique dealers held at a special retreat in the South of France. The photo is not about the helmet – though that is a great accessory – It’s about the adventure. We’re visiting Carpentras and Ville Neuve les Avignon, Aix en Provence and of course Ile sur la Sorgue. The deballages – in Avignon, Montpellier and Bezier – are still at the top of our #mustshop Provence list for antique dealers – but we’re also adding in appointments in private homes, and a surprising amount of chic new concept stores that show you that antiques can be super sexy. I’ve fallen in love with Marseilles recently – a city that wasn’t my favorite and now suddenly feels like home. It’s a city where Europe and Africa meet, allowing you to take a journey within a journey.

Provence Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Journeys in Provence
Provence Flea Market

Journeys Ca’ Toma

Perhaps that journey within a journey is also what I like about reading. Summer is coming and we’ve our cabana booked in Lido and my stack of summer reads is mountainous. My bookshelves are overflowing with biographies, business books, travelogues and simple inspiration/motivation. It can take me months to finish a book as I don’t want to reach the end of the author’s journeys. I’m sad when it’s time to say goodbye, like parting with a dear friend who I don’t know when I will see again.

The last few books on the list start revolving around Venice… As Joann Locktov writes, “I Dream of Venice.” (If you’ve not read Joanne’s books then you must add her newest book to your reading list.) Hmmm… this makes me ponder…  Joanne is another American woman making a mark on Venice.  

As an American woman living here, I find it fascinating is that Venice has a history of being influenced by American women. There is Peggy of course. But the Countess Elsie Gozzio saved Fortuny, allowing it to become what it is today. And it’s practically impossible to write a chronicle of the 20th C without including the salons of Princess Winnaretta Singer de Polignac – yes, that Singer of sewing machine family fame. When she married her husband Edmond she bought him the Palazzo Contarini Polignac as a gift. And then there was Isabella Stewart Gardner who of course rented the nearby Palazzo Barbaro in 1890 becoming a patron of the arts. Today these American women who left their mark on Venice surround my home here. I live across the Grand Canal from the Guggenheim and the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac. My grocery store stands in the shadow of the Palazzo Orfei (today known as the Palazzo Fortuny on the Campo San Beneto) and the Palazzo Barbaro is a mere stone’s throw away.

Living Room Abbey Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Living Room of the Abbey

Colnaghi: Private Exhibit at Abbazia di San Gregorio

During the Biennale Opening Week, I attended countless parties – but one of my favorites was the invitation from Parisian interior designer Chahan Minassian, Richard Nathan and Jorge Coll, the Spanish art dealer, and the CEO of Colnaghi, one of the world’s oldest and most significant art galleries. In the historic Abbazia di San Gregorio, Chahan Minassian created his signature atmosphere incorporating Colnaghi master paintings with vintage and modern furniture and design showing how one lives with art and antiques. The collaboration is “the home of a 21st-century traveller” illustrating the lifestyle of a modern-day collector. And much like the Rothschild home I featured in last months blog, the Abbazia di San Gregorio encapsulates the timeless spirit of the Grand Tourist in a contemporary setting. Just as in love and in science, in interiors opposites attract. The juxtaposition of contemporary furnishings set amidst medieval architecture and art spanning the centuries is simply sexy.

While the exhibit is private, Colnaghi will take private appointments to shop the exhibit where all the art is for sale. Of the Grand Tour connection, Jorge Coll of Colnaghi explains,

“Throughout this project, we want to show that a collection is not just a pool of assets: its real value lies in its connection with the life of a collector and is built from memories, experiences, friendships and discoveries. Building a collection is a voyage of discovery and, as with every voyage, the traveler needs guides if he or she is to arrive at the right destination. The collector needs to have good people to do research, to create the right relationship with the experts and dealers to ensure that what is collected is something that he or she can feel proud of and enjoy, something that will live on into the future.”  

Read more about the Collection here.

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A Private Tour of Abbazia di San Gregorio

Fortuny

Over the years on The Antiques Diva blog, I’ve written frequently about the Grand Tour – and last month after my visit to see Alessandro in China, I introduced the Silk Road into my dialogue. His book detailing his journey bicycling from Venice to China comes out soon and I’m anticipating its release. Silk is the thread that unravels in my mind as my mind shifts from the Colnaghi private exhibit in Venice to the Palazzo Fortuny. While you can’t visit the Fortuny factory itself – the process is still a tightly woven secret – you can visit the 15th C Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei where one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century lived and created. Mariano Fortuny was a 19th/20th C Renaissance man and perhaps one of the people from heaven I’d most like to meet. While we think of Fortuny for fabric – his stretch and influence go beyond textiles. He was a pioneer photographer, an inventor of theatre and stage lighting plus he patented a plethora of inventions, among them a machine for pleating silk which he used to create his Grecian-style “Delphos” dresses. In his will, Mariano spelled out his wishes that the factory no longer makes the Delphos gown after his wife Henriette’s death.

15th C Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei where Mariano Fortuny lived

Knowing the rarity of these gowns, my friend Nancy Heckler donated her mother’s Delphos gown to the museum. (You can find out more about Nancy’s mother’s foundation by visiting the janetcramerfund.com). When the curators opened the box and unfolded the pleated Japanese silk dress they wept. The dress now is on display in a room layered in antique and oriental fabrics alongside more exotic artifacts and patterns from Africa, Central America, and Polynesia. The room is indeed another tribute to the Grand Tour and beyond. It’s a glimpse into the objects that inspired an artist from around the world – and perhaps a glimpse into one of the greatest minds on the intellectual and artistic scene at the turn of the 19th century.

Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac | Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac

I always joke that I wish my friends could see into my own mind. While I’m far from an intellectual, my mind is nevertheless a beautiful place. I dream in colors that Pantone hasn’t classified yet. As I begin the process of writing my book I’m seeking the words to describe that cavern in my head. In the end – art is often merely about just that. Expressing ourselves. I visited the Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac – one of the official collateral events of the Biennale. The curators of the exhibition have layered Gunther’s art over the family’s own tapestries which lined the walls of the piano noble. As we were leaving the exhibit which is held in a private home a member of the Polignac family stopped my friend Steven Moore – one of the worlds leading porcelain experts – to ask his opinion. And back up the stairs we climbed, to see a collection of tiles on the palazzo balcony walls. My friend named the artist he believed who had created the tilework and as we stood on the balcony overlooking the mouth of the Grand Canal again I smiled that smile of quiet contemplation and felt that perhaps finally – nearly 20 years later – I had the words to write in that journal after my one sentence,  “I want a life less ordinary.”

Until next month,
Yours

Toma 




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Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America’s largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

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Published at Tue, 28 May 2019 19:15:18 +0000

The handmade antiques conundrum

The handmade antiques conundrum

This magnificent Rococo Revival chair in the Henry Clay pattern made by J. & J.W. Meeks, circa 1850, was factory made in New York. Image courtesy of Fred Taylor

An acquaintance of mine, visiting in the area for a short time, asked where she could go shopping for some genuine “handmade antiques.” She was referring specifically to furniture. I guess that’s why she directed her question to me. I asked her to please define “handmade” and “antique” and I would be glad to direct her. Her answers touched off a debate that generated a lot more heat than light on both subjects. You are welcome to join the fray.

Her definition of handmade was “built without the use of machinery.” Her definition of antique was “more than 100 years old.” That seemed straightforward enough on the surface until I questioned her further on the definition of machinery. Her answer? “You know, power saws and stuff.”  OK.  And why 100 years on the definition of antique? “Because that’s what all the experts say.” After drawing several deep breaths to calm my rising blood pressure, I tried to enlighten my friend on both subjects.

‘Machine made’ vs ‘not machine made’

Sometimes I find it useful to define what something is not rather than what something actually is. Accepting the premise that “not handmade” is the same as “machine made” and that “handmade” is “not machine made” is required for this line of thought.

My dictionary defines a machine as “a mechanical apparatus or contrivance; a device which transmits or modifies motion; an apparatus consisting of interrelated parts with separate functions which is used in the performance of some kind of work.”

The six elementary machines that we all learned in 8th grade physics are the wheel and axle, the pulley, the ramp, the wedge, the screw and the lever. No matter how simple or complex a piece of machinery becomes, all of the mechanical elements in it are based on one or more of these components.

That opens a whole new line of thought. My friend’s definition of handmade seemed to imply that for something to be truly handmade, machines must not be employed in its construction or assembly. She probably meant electrically powered machines but in the long run what is the difference between an electric saw, a steam-powered saw, a water-driven saw, a mule-powered saw or a hand-powered saw? Nothing but the source of power and efficiency of operation.

A pot thrown on a potter’s wheel is already using at least one type of machine, the wheel and axle, so what difference does it make if the wheel is foot powered or steam driven or if the kiln that fires the pot is wood fired or electric? The maker of an 18th century Windsor chair certainly employed several machines to construct and assemble the components. The legs and spindles were almost certainly turned on a foot-powered lathe, a machine by anyone’s definition, and the holes for the legs and spindles were bored using a drill composed of a wedge and a type of lever or screw — all elementary machines.

When you get right down to it, even something as simple as the ax used to fell the tree to harvest the lumber for the cabinet shop is a type of elementary machine, a wedge. And simple scissors are actually just opposing levers. In fact, about the only things I can think of that are truly handmade, without the use of any machinery, are mud pies and snowballs, but they don’t keep very well and have little chance of becoming antiques.

‘Hand crafted’ a better term

Perhaps a better term than “handmade” would be “hand crafted.” This implies the careful attention of a craftsman turning out a special product under his direct supervision, using his own acquired skills, no matter what tools or machinery are used. A craftsman cutting out Chippendale pierced splats with an electric scroll saw is no less skilled than one using a manual keyhole saw — just different skills applied to different machines to produce the same work.

Surely this Hadley chest, circa 1694, seen at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Fla., qualifies as “handmade.” Or maybe not. Certain tools like axes and chisels that qualify as machinery were used in its construction. Image courtesy of Fred Taylor

In terms of furniture, the traditional methods of furniture construction are referred to as handmade, bench made and machine made. Handmade in this case usually refers to the lack of power tools but as we have seen, all tools (machines) use some type of power. Bench made more closely reflects the hand-crafted idea, with an artisan using modern tools to personally assemble a piece of work. This is the basis for many of the great pieces of Centennial furniture produced during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century and is still used in some high end factories such as the one owned by Kittinger in Buffalo, N.Y.

And finally there is the great evil referred to in a derogatory manner as “machine made.” But walk into any furniture factory in America, or anywhere else for that matter, and you will not see machines making furniture. You will see people using machinery (tools) to make furniture.

For furniture perhaps the definitions should be changed to “shop made,” indicating an individual craftsman in his own shop either working alone or with an apprentice or assistant, “bench made” as defined before and “factory made.”

But even that can be deceiving. “Factory” brings to mind the huge contemporary operations in North Carolina and Grand Rapids or the turn-of-the-century factories in New England and the Midwest. But furniture factories were the main method of production long before the 20th century.

Most of the great mid-19th century makers had factories where furniture was built on a more or less assembly line basis. Lambert Hitchcock was using the assembly line method in his three-story factory in Connecticut in the 1820s, 40 years before Henry Ford was even born. That factory was powered by a water wheel.

The renowned firm of Joseph Meeks & Sons had a multistory factory on Broad Street in New York when they published their famous broadside of models in the early 1830s. John Henry Belter had one of the largest factories in New York in the 1850s. Over the years, he imported hundreds of mostly German craftsmen to work in his factory and most of them, at least initially, lived in his dormitory-styled house. You can read their names in the 1850 census of Manhattan. The Herter brothers had a big operation up around Central Park later in the century, as did Pottier & Stymus. Prudent Mallard had a factory in New Orleans and George Henshaw and Mitchell & Rammelsberg had factories in Cincinnati.

These two period Hitchcock chairs from the 1830s are factory made. Image courtesy of liveAuctioneers/DuMouchelles

So maybe the term “factory made” doesn’t quite give the correct sense of what we are trying to convey after all. In fact, none of these terms regarding the construction and assembly of furniture accurately describes the process of producing furniture. It’s like trying to navigate the ocean in the 15th century before the invention of the accurate, portable timepieces needed to calculate longitude. A coordinate on the map was missing; just as “factory made” makes no distinction between 1830 and 1980. And bench made, while most commonly associated with the early 20th century, is also a method still in use today.

The missing coordinate is time. This becomes particularly important around the turn of the 19th century. Before that, most furniture was, by definition, “shop made” although certainly not truly handmade as noted above. But with the advent of the larger metropolitan areas and increasing population, the one-man band furniture maker gave way to early factories so a distinction must be made. Unarguably there are important differences between furniture made in an 1830 factory and that made in a 1980 factory so we should be more specific.

How about the use of such terms as “factory made in the mid-19th century” or “factory made in the early 20th century?” That narrows what we are talking about by a great margin. The same with “shop made.” “Shop made in the late 18th century” certainly provides a clear separation from “shop made in the 20th century,” which some custom furniture certainly is. The same time frame distinctions apply to bench made and hand crafted. And anyone familiar with the history of furniture styles, technology and construction will know immediately what you are talking about. No more of this touchy/feely stuff about handmade. Get specific in the language and get results.

Now what about antique? That’s for next time.

Published at Mon, 26 Aug 2019 21:45:12 +0000

The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show opens to the public on Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show opens to the public on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Now that Labor Day has passed, I will resume publishing every Monday.


Business was especially good last year in Baltimore

Have you noticed the older you get the faster time passes? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity at work. Well here it is already. The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show will open to the public on Thursday, August 29th, at noon, and continue until Sunday, September 1st, at 6 PM. I was unhappy at first with the change of dates back to the Labor Day weekend, but attendance and business were really good last year, so who am I to argue with success?

I always look forward to this show, especially since there aren’t many great shows left. Many guests travel great distances to visit this show and that includes Europe and Japan. Where else can you see an international selection of the finest antique dealers, all in one location? The show is truly worth a trip from wherever you are. Baltimore has great restaurants, the Inner Harbor, street performers, fine stores, the National Aquarium and of course the best antique show money can buy.

This gorgeous Daum Nancy Fall scenic tumbler is one of the many fine French glass vases that I will have at the show

As usual, I’ve been buying the best items I could find in anticipation of the show. I’ll be bringing those items to complement the finest selection of French and American art glass and lamps. It will be the first time the new items will be exhibited for sale.

I just checked the rates on Hotwire.com and the price for a 4½-star hotel was as little as $77/night. As a little extra incentive, click here to get two free tickets to the show. If you were on the fence, that should help you make up your mind.

See you soon in Baltimore!


November 8-10, 2019
Fri: 10 AM – 6 PM
Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM
Sun: 11 AM – 4 PM

Our next show will be Antiques + Modernism Winnetka, November 8-10, 2019. It’s held at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. In the meantime, we’re still very much in business so please email or call to buy, sell or trade.

I listed some of the new items on my website and will list more every week. Click Philip Chasen Antiques to take a look. I will make every effort to actively list new items as often as time permits. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Published at Mon, 12 Aug 2019 07:00:10 +0000

Designing A Life Less Ordinary

Designing A Life Less Ordinary

When I was in my 20’s and had first moved to Paris, I opened a new journal and I wrote one sentence. I’ve started a million other journals since then, living a million different lives, as my journey took me the last two decades from living in Paris to Amsterdam and Berlin before making Venice home – but in that particular journal, there is still only that one sentence. The rest of the journal is blank. I didn’t know what words would follow – but I knew I was writing my manifestation. My mantra. The life I would live.

I want a life less ordinary.

Venice: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva 0036

My mom often reflects, “Your life is interesting, but it’s not easy.”  She sees past the glamour of my life to the day to day toils of living abroad. Here there are inconveniences you don’t face in Oklahoma where I grew up. Radiators that never seem to heat the apartment causing me to sleep under fur coats in the winter. She sees me carrying groceries home in the rain over bridges and up flights of stairs. She’s regaled with stories of the acqua alta filling my magazzino and me frantically elevating storage items so they’re not ruined by the famed Venetian floods. More than once our Skype has been interrupted when the electrical fuse blows because I turned the tea kettle on forgetting I was running the washing machine. She sees the minor – but yet –  practical – inconveniences of my life abroad. And while my life may not be convenient by American terms, darn it’s sexy.

I joke I can tolerate anything but two things – ugly decor and to be bored. And – my life is many things – but it’s always beautiful and it’s always interesting. 

Venice Biennale

It’s this sentiment that made me smile when I saw the theme of this year’s Biennale di Venezia – “May You Live In Interesting Times.” The quote refers to 1966 when Robert F. Kennedy delivered a speech saying, “There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” Anything is possible.

I found myself reflecting on this sentiment during the opening week of the Biennale as I attended the #DiorBall- also known as the #TiepoloBall – organized by the Venetian Heritage Foundation for their 20th anniversary. Held in the Baroque 17th-century Palazzo Labia, the ball was a reenactment of the 1951 Beistegui “Bal Oriental” – dubbed the ball of the century. Both in 1951 and this month at the event, all of European society floated down the Grand Canal clamoring to get in. Among the original guests in 1951 were Christian Dior, Salvador Dalí and Orson Welles. Now, the guests were Sienna Miller, Tilda Swinton and Sandro Kopp, Peter Marino, Monica Bellucci… and… uhm… me?!?! alongside my dear friend Steven Moore of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. At times like this, I pinch myself. How did I get this life I’m living? With 380 guests in attendance, it was a formal sit down dinner catered by the Gritti Palace. And just as at the original event, the guests were charged to dress as if in a Tiepolo paintingtableaux vivants – so they became part of the decoration. As we climbed the stairs after being dropped by our water taxis and private boats at the palazzo we were presented in the main salon of the palace in the room where Giambattista Tiepolo painted his masterpiece The Banquet of Cleopatra. It was magic… (You can read more about the night in Vogue.)

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Behind the scenes at the Venice Biennale Dior Tiepolo Ball

When debating what to wear to a ball hosted by one of the world’s greatest fashion houses where everyone I knew was going to be wearing haute couture… I decided to focus on the accessories. After all, “if” as Oprah says, “there’s one thing I know” – I know it’s all about the accessories. My dress was pretty – an emerald green empire waist strapless gown that I’d worn once before but on my head – I wore a swan. Yes. You read that right – but don’t take my word for it, watch Paris Mode TV to catch a glimpse of my feathers! 

The jewelry was all my own design, Republic of Toma. Around my neck, I wore a ring of interconnecting pearl frogs with black diamonds for eyes. In life – not just in romance – you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get what you want. That means sometimes you have to go through failures and times in your life that things don’t go your way to get what you want.

The Dior Tiepolo Ball in Venice: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
My dress was pretty – an emerald green empire waist strapless gown that I’d worn once before but on my head – I wore a swan.

At my table in the SeaRoom, I sat at one head of the table with my escort Steven across the table parallel me. At the very moment the Frenchman from Van Cleef & Arpels sitting to my right asked, “Why do you live in Venice?” and I responded matter of factly, “Because it makes me happy,” a photo was snapped. On my face is a look I rarely see. A look of quiet contemplation. I manifested this life. I build this life. A life less ordinary. I have found my home. Ca’ Toma. 

In Dior’s autobiography, he wrote about the 1951 event, describing that evening as “the most beautiful” he had ever seen and that he “would ever see” and the event “a true work of art.” As my friend Steven Moore was on the water taxi heading home after an amazing week in Venice to England he texted me, “No detail was left unattended. No matter how small. We seemed to float along as if in a dream. I kept thinking I was going to wake up, but sometimes dreams do come true.”

You and only you have the power to make your dreams come true.
What are you dreaming?

Antiquing in the South of France

antiquing in a WWII era Ulta motorcycle in the South of France: Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Antiquing in a WWII era Ulta motorcycle in the South of France

Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Two photos, taken a week apart capture the essence of me. In one I’m wearing a White Swan fascinator on my head at the Dior Ball in Venice. In the other, I’m wearing a white motorcycle helmet while sitting in a sidecar of a WWII era Ulta motorcycle antiquing in the South of France putting finishing touches on our newly revised Antiques Diva Provence Tours. (lol. Sidecar optional :). #WatchThisSpace we’re working on organizing our next training program for antique dealers held at a special retreat in the South of France. The photo is not about the helmet – though that is a great accessory – It’s about the adventure. We’re visiting Carpentras and Ville Neuve les Avignon, Aix en Provence and of course Ile sur la Sorgue. The deballages – in Avignon, Montpellier and Bezier – are still at the top of our #mustshop Provence list for antique dealers – but we’re also adding in appointments in private homes, and a surprising amount of chic new concept stores that show you that antiques can be super sexy. I’ve fallen in love with Marseilles recently – a city that wasn’t my favorite and now suddenly feels like home. It’s a city where Europe and Africa meet, allowing you to take a journey within a journey.

Provence Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Journeys in Provence
Provence Flea Market

Journeys Ca’ Toma

Perhaps that journey within a journey is also what I like about reading. Summer is coming and we’ve our cabana booked in Lido and my stack of summer reads is mountainous. My bookshelves are overflowing with biographies, business books, travelogues and simple inspiration/motivation. It can take me months to finish a book as I don’t want to reach the end of the author’s journeys. I’m sad when it’s time to say goodbye, like parting with a dear friend who I don’t know when I will see again.

The last few books on the list start revolving around Venice… As Joann Locktov writes, “I Dream of Venice.” (If you’ve not read Joanne’s books then you must add her newest book to your reading list.) Hmmm… this makes me ponder…  Joanne is another American woman making a mark on Venice.  

As an American woman living here, I find it fascinating is that Venice has a history of being influenced by American women. There is Peggy of course. But the Countess Elsie Gozzio saved Fortuny, allowing it to become what it is today. And it’s practically impossible to write a chronicle of the 20th C without including the salons of Princess Winnaretta Singer de Polignac – yes, that Singer of sewing machine family fame. When she married her husband Edmond she bought him the Palazzo Contarini Polignac as a gift. And then there was Isabella Stewart Gardner who of course rented the nearby Palazzo Barbaro in 1890 becoming a patron of the arts. Today these American women who left their mark on Venice surround my home here. I live across the Grand Canal from the Guggenheim and the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac. My grocery store stands in the shadow of the Palazzo Orfei (today known as the Palazzo Fortuny on the Campo San Beneto) and the Palazzo Barbaro is a mere stone’s throw away.

Living Room Abbey Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Living Room of the Abbey

Colnaghi: Private Exhibit at Abbazia di San Gregorio

During the Biennale Opening Week, I attended countless parties – but one of my favorites was the invitation from Parisian interior designer Chahan Minassian, Richard Nathan and Jorge Coll, the Spanish art dealer, and the CEO of Colnaghi, one of the world’s oldest and most significant art galleries. In the historic Abbazia di San Gregorio, Chahan Minassian created his signature atmosphere incorporating Colnaghi master paintings with vintage and modern furniture and design showing how one lives with art and antiques. The collaboration is “the home of a 21st-century traveller” illustrating the lifestyle of a modern-day collector. And much like the Rothschild home I featured in last months blog, the Abbazia di San Gregorio encapsulates the timeless spirit of the Grand Tourist in a contemporary setting. Just as in love and in science, in interiors opposites attract. The juxtaposition of contemporary furnishings set amidst medieval architecture and art spanning the centuries is simply sexy.

While the exhibit is private, Colnaghi will take private appointments to shop the exhibit where all the art is for sale. Of the Grand Tour connection, Jorge Coll of Colnaghi explains,

“Throughout this project, we want to show that a collection is not just a pool of assets: its real value lies in its connection with the life of a collector and is built from memories, experiences, friendships and discoveries. Building a collection is a voyage of discovery and, as with every voyage, the traveler needs guides if he or she is to arrive at the right destination. The collector needs to have good people to do research, to create the right relationship with the experts and dealers to ensure that what is collected is something that he or she can feel proud of and enjoy, something that will live on into the future.”  

Read more about the Collection here.

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A Private Tour of Abbazia di San Gregorio

Fortuny

Over the years on The Antiques Diva blog, I’ve written frequently about the Grand Tour – and last month after my visit to see Alessandro in China, I introduced the Silk Road into my dialogue. His book detailing his journey bicycling from Venice to China comes out soon and I’m anticipating its release. Silk is the thread that unravels in my mind as my mind shifts from the Colnaghi private exhibit in Venice to the Palazzo Fortuny. While you can’t visit the Fortuny factory itself – the process is still a tightly woven secret – you can visit the 15th C Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei where one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century lived and created. Mariano Fortuny was a 19th/20th C Renaissance man and perhaps one of the people from heaven I’d most like to meet. While we think of Fortuny for fabric – his stretch and influence go beyond textiles. He was a pioneer photographer, an inventor of theatre and stage lighting plus he patented a plethora of inventions, among them a machine for pleating silk which he used to create his Grecian-style “Delphos” dresses. In his will, Mariano spelled out his wishes that the factory no longer makes the Delphos gown after his wife Henriette’s death.

15th C Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei where Mariano Fortuny lived

Knowing the rarity of these gowns, my friend Nancy Heckler donated her mother’s Delphos gown to the museum. (You can find out more about Nancy’s mother’s foundation by visiting the janetcramerfund.com). When the curators opened the box and unfolded the pleated Japanese silk dress they wept. The dress now is on display in a room layered in antique and oriental fabrics alongside more exotic artifacts and patterns from Africa, Central America, and Polynesia. The room is indeed another tribute to the Grand Tour and beyond. It’s a glimpse into the objects that inspired an artist from around the world – and perhaps a glimpse into one of the greatest minds on the intellectual and artistic scene at the turn of the 19th century.

Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac | Designing A Life Less Ordinary | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva
Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac

I always joke that I wish my friends could see into my own mind. While I’m far from an intellectual, my mind is nevertheless a beautiful place. I dream in colors that Pantone hasn’t classified yet. As I begin the process of writing my book I’m seeking the words to describe that cavern in my head. In the end – art is often merely about just that. Expressing ourselves. I visited the Förg in Venice exhibit at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac – one of the official collateral events of the Biennale. The curators of the exhibition have layered Gunther’s art over the family’s own tapestries which lined the walls of the piano noble. As we were leaving the exhibit which is held in a private home a member of the Polignac family stopped my friend Steven Moore – one of the worlds leading porcelain experts – to ask his opinion. And back up the stairs we climbed, to see a collection of tiles on the palazzo balcony walls. My friend named the artist he believed who had created the tilework and as we stood on the balcony overlooking the mouth of the Grand Canal again I smiled that smile of quiet contemplation and felt that perhaps finally – nearly 20 years later – I had the words to write in that journal after my one sentence,  “I want a life less ordinary.”

Until next month,
Yours

Toma 




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Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America’s largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

Latest posts by Toma Clark Haines (see all)

Published at Tue, 28 May 2019 19:15:18 +0000

Auntie Toma’s Modern Day Grand European Tour

Auntie Toma’s Modern Day Grand European Tour

As I write this month’s blog I’m sitting at Le Deux Magots in Paris waiting as my 16 year old twin nieces explore Saint Germain des Pres and I take a moment to catch up on office work. They are visiting from Oklahoma. We’ve spent the afternoon at the Musee D’Orsay and my nieces spent hours staring at paintings they’d only seen on calendars. Meanwhile I’ve a blog to write. The advantage of my life is I can work from anywhere. Closed – or rather Ferme – signs dot the doors of the smaller shops in the neighborhood. My favorite cheese shop is closed. So is that little jeweler. As is an antique dealer I can’t afford but must lèche son fenêtre” each time I’m in town. Tout Paris is en vacanceLex Deux Maggots Paris

It’s August, which means the French flee the city in droves for their summer holiday. This tradition – leaving Paris in the summer – has been going on since the Middle Ages when every August the French monarchy drained the moat to clean the moat walls. The stench was so overwhelming it drove Parisians from the city into the surrounding countryside. This started an annual tradition of the Parisians leaving Paris during the month of August.  

Tradition.  

Tradition

Whenever I’m in France I hear the word reverberate across the clay pot chimneys on the rooftops like in Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof.  

rooftops of ParisLike most things in France, the tradition has lasted through the centuries – long after the moat was filled in Parisians continue the tradition. Today the city practically closes down during the first few weeks in August. But we have come to visit Paris as part of our summer vacation. I’ve written time and time again about the young ladies and gents in the 17th to 19th Century who took their Grand European Tour to learn the leading art, culture and traditions of their time. Today I’m taking my twin nieces on a modern day Grand European Tour. When my ex-husband and I chose not to have children I had one condition. “If we are not going to have children,” I told him as a negotiating tactic, “then I want to invest in my nieces and nephews.”  

The summer of their 16th birthday we bring my nieces and nephews to Europe. It’s a rite of passage into adulthood and forming a friendship with their Auntie. My friends joke I’m Auntie Mame – Mame is a flamboyant, exuberant woman, who hosts frequent parties with eclectic, bohemian guests. Her nephew Patrick is quickly introduced to his aunt’s free-spirited and eccentric lifestyle. My sister has 6 kids and this summer the last of the nieces – twins –  turn 16 at the end of August. And for 1 and a half months we are traveling – I am taking them on a Modern Day Grand European Tour. The rules of Auntie Toma’s house are simple – we can go anywhere, we can do anything but you have to explain to me WHY you want to do it. Give me a logical explanation – articulate yourself, your wants and your dreams – and the sky is the limit. Let’s make those dreams come true. In the meantime, I teach my nieces l’art de vivre  – the art of living like a diva.  

Cooking lessons with fish from Venice's Rialto Market

Cooking lessons with fish from Venice’s Rialto Market

At home in Venice we went to the Rialto Market and bought fish which I taught them how carve and cook whole, debone and serve with flourish. In Berlin visiting their uncle, my ex, we dined in the dark at the “blind restaurant” where all the waiters and waitresses are blind and the diners eat in darkness. Now we are in Paris… that bastion of civilization. As Hemingway wrote, “If you are lucky enough to live in Paris as a young man then wherever you go for the rest of your life Paris goes with you… afterall Paris is a moveable feast.”  I was one of those lucky ones. Living in Paris in my 20’s – my friends joked at the time I was the ultimate BoBo – Bohemian Bourgeois. Living in a 5th floor walk up on the Rue de Seine, taking cooking lessons at Le Ritz Escoffier and spending every franc on antiques found at the brocantes. Those years living in Paris, on the Rue de Seine, shaped me into the lady I became in my personal life – but also gave me the lifeskills and professional contacts to launch my business The Antiques Diva & Co. When I look back at my life in France it reminds of reading Julia Child’s biography and watching her life unfold in Julie & Julia.

Paris picnic

Paris picnic under the Eiffel Tower

Paris picnic under the Eiffel Tower

One of my nieces – Jazlyn, the redhead – wants to be a chef and while the girls are here this summer we’re on a gastronomic tour of the continent and beyond. Next stop – London. Then Greece. Then it’s back to Italy to take the train throughout the country then up through Austria, stopping in Salzberg before the girls fly back home to Oklahoma. It’s a trip of a lifetime – follow along on Facebook and Instagram @TheAntiquesDiva. This trip will shape them, the way they live their lives, pursue their dreams and their idea of the world. 

Auntie Toma

Auntie Toma with Jazlyn and Journey on their Modern Day Grand European Tour 

The Business of Antiques 

The role of Auntie comes naturally to me… And in many ways Auntie is the role I play with my clients. Some call it Auntie. Others say Fairy Godmother, making their dreams come true. Bippity Boppity Boo. At The Antiques Diva & Co we offer antique buying tours in 16 countries helping clients source antiques overseas – translating, negotiating and helping clients ship their purchases home – but for years we’ve been unofficially mentoring our clients, helping them not only stock their store, but also giving behind the scenes advice on everything from marketing and branding, to sales strategies, and inventory management tips. When we started the Antiques Dealer Training and Mentoring Program (ADTP) earlier this year it was an instant success. We offer one-on-one customized training as well as workshops. And are currently working on planning our NYC Fall Antiques Dealer Training Workshop in October and another Antiques Delaer Training Workshop with the opportunity to source antiques abroad in Provence in April 2020contact me for details

During these sessions – whether at our workshops or in our one-on-one consulting – we get intimate with our clients, discussing their business in depth. We delve into what they consider their failures and their successes. We point out successes they are not aware of and we give warning flags where danger lies ahead. In workshops we pull out from each client what we consider to be the Key Learning Points that others in the group could learn from their peers. We encourage our co-trainers to disagree with one another as advice is given so the clients get multiple perspectives and advice. In the group sessions we give as much customized advice specific to the clients needs as we can, while the private sessions 10 sessions are devoted entirely to you and your business. We brainstorm, but perhaps the most important thing we do is we hold you – the client – accountable.  

Accountability. I have a love/hate relationship with that word. 

For the last year I’ve been going to the gym. Faithfully. I have shown up whenever I’m at home in Venice and not traveling for business. (I still stink at working out when I travel). I don’t show up because I have a burning desire to exercise. I show up because I have a date with my trainer. And I don’t want to disappoint him. (Sidenote: if you’re in Venice, Italy and looking for a Personal Trainer I recommend Club Delfino at Zattera). My trainer has been integral to my success in my workout plan. I wouldn’t have done it on my own.  

This July I visited the nutritionist at my gym and I told him that I wanted to start a new diet plan – not a diet, quick fix, lose lots of weight immediately kind of plan, but a holistic approach to eating healthy for life. We looked at my current diet. We did all sorts of tests so I knew not only my % of body fat, but how much water I retained and my muscle mass (the good news working in antiques means you have to be pretty muscley and my muscle mass was great). And then, after disecting everything we agreed on, a plan that I think can work for me. When I’m deciding between having dessert or not, having the fish or choosing the lamb, I think about my nutritionsist and the weigh-in I’ll have at the end of the month.

Digital Marketing Audit for Antique Dealers

The hardest thing you can do is face the facts. I did not want to know the % of body fat I had. But doing so helped me get real. It helped me understand what my problems were and what I could do about them. It gave me a roadmap for the next year for my health. With your business it’s similar. You need to have a road plan. And sometimes having a 3rd party assess your situation as well as give ideas is the best thing you can do. It’s not easy but it’s a recipe for success. And I like success, which means it’s essential for me to put the right people and tools in my life. 

When I started Antiques Diva I didn’t have a business plan. Over the last 5 years I’ve slowly started assembling what I now refer to as the Antiques Diva Bible. But it’s a living bible. The contents change. They are updated. I try to make them as clear as possible so they are not open for misintepretation. And I evaluate: does this really work for me? I challenge my own beliefs about my company. And sometimes I have to make changes – websites need updated and logos changed. Even core values in the company change as the times change. Most of all – the needs of our clients change. And when I give my company regular physicals, we improve as a company.  

Digital Marketing Audit for Antique Dealers

Is your antiques business healthy? When was the last time you evaluated it? Our Antiques Dealer Training and Mentoring Program reminds me of working with my physical trainers and nutritionist to create a plan for healthy living. With our Antique Dealer Clients,

  • we create action plans together
  • we create goals and set dates for check ups
  • we give encouragement
  • we give tough love

We point out what they are doing wrong but tell them how to fix it. In conjunction with the mentoring program we’ve launched a slew of other services – from Marketing Services for Antiques Dealers – to one of the services I’m most excited about…  a Digital Marketing Audit for Antique Dealers. Subscribers to our AD&CO Newsletter (subscribe here) received a special discount in the last newsletter — a 500 EURO savings if they booked a Digital Marketing Content Audit for Antiques Dealers service by August 1. For new subscribers to the newsletter we’re extending this offer until September 1, 2018. Don’t know what a Digital Audit is? Or why you need one? Read more in the newsletter

Whereas you might be reading your Diva news on my blog, did you know that in addition to the normal social media sites Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, that I’m also active on LinkedIn? You can find me @TheAntiquesDiva. An article I wrote last month titled Becoming CEO of My Life – Not Just My Business was wildly popular as I explained not only how I took control of my personal life but also addressed that question, How do you get it all done? If you’ve enjoyed the business tips for antique dealers I’ve shared recently on the blog and in our newsletter, I recommend you follow along on LinkedIn as we share more business advice for antiques dealers there.

With Ron & Debi Lily in Paris

As I close, I offer you the advice I offered my nieces just this week: 

Find what makes you happy. And do it.

This year blogging has started making me happy again. For several years I struggled with blogging – it felt like an obligation instead of a joy. Which is why I took control this year and changed the way I was blogging. Making the posts more personal, but also blogging less but giving more of myself each time when I do write. This week I had the opportunity to dine on the rooftop of a fabulous apartment in Paris with longterm blog readers Ron & Debi Lily. When you write a blog you wonder, Does anyone read this? Am I writing words and sending them out in to outer space where they will never be seen again? Chatting with Debi she told me, “I bought that book you recommended.” She remembered a few details of my life over the years. And it made me feel so good to know that she was a loyal reader through the years. Maybe it’s because I’m traveling with teenage girls, but I’m thinking of that book, “Are you there god, it’s me Margaret?”

Ask Toma

Dear Reader, if you’re out there, drop a line and let me know. I want to know what you want to hear about on the blog. What questions you have? What questions I can answer? I want to know how I can better serve you.

I want to share a few pics from a recent trip to Giverny with my nieces – Monet’s home an hour from Paris. It’s such a great example of following the beat of your own drum. Monet lived during the Victorian times when furniture was dark and heavy. While everyone else was modestly covering their legs, Monet painted his dining room bright yellow. He did it because it made him happy. He didn’t care what others were doing in home fashion – he did what he liked. He did what appealed to him. 

Toma at Giverny | Auntie Toma's Modern Day Grand European Tour | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva & Co

Toma at Monet’s home, Giverny

Monet's Waterlily Pond at Giverny | Auntie Toma's Modern Day Grand European Tour | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva & Co

Monet’s Waterlily Pond at Giverny

Monet's kitchen at Giverny | Auntie Toma's Modern Day Grand European Tour | Toma Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva & Co

Monet’s kitchen at Giverny

Monet became Monet because he was uniquely himself. For my nieces, that’s the best role model I can image. For you as an antiques dealer it should be your mantra. Do what makes you happy! Become your own Monet. 


Thanks for being there. 
Toma – The Antiques Diva 




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Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America’s largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

Latest posts by Toma Clark Haines (see all)

Published at Sat, 10 Aug 2019 23:51:31 +0000

167th Allentown Fair features extensive collection of antiques, thousands of exhibits

By: Josh Rultenberg


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Folks are once again enjoying the festivities at the 167th Great Allentown Fair. It’s known for its food, but it also has a lot of other great things to offer.

The Great Allentown Fair has been around for 167 years and that means a lot of history, and for the first time, Fair President Beverly Gruber is showing some of it off. 

“We have close to 10,000 exhibits in this building,” Gruber said.

Among the exhibits includes an extensive collection of antiques. Hundreds of pieces at least 60 years old are submitted to be judged for $12 a pop.

E.J. Krall is in charge.

“There are not a lot of fairs that have antiques and it is quite a responsibility,” he said.

To read more…

Sneak Peek: 6 Major Jewels Headed to the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show

by AMY ELLIOTT


Earlier this summer, I pointed out three very good reasons for jewelry lovers to visit Baltimore, chief among them the upcoming Baltimore Art, Antique & Jewelry Show. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, it opens Aug. 29 and runs through Sept. 1.

When I learned that M.S. Rau Antiques would be at the show, I was eager to learn what pieces the New Orleans–based dealer would be bringing and was treated to a sneak peek of the stash. It’s headlined without question by the jaw-dropping Oscar Heyman sapphire-and-diamond necklace pictured at top (see details at the bottom of this post—including its high-six-figure price).

To read more…

Antiques In Manchester: The Collector’s Fair Makes Record Gate In Eighth Edition

MANCHESTER, N.H. – If there was an oft repeated buzz word among the dealer reviews for the eighth edition of Karen DiSaia’s Antiques in Manchester: The Collector’s Fair, it revolved around the “energy.”

Sam Herrup: “I thought the show went very well; there was very good energy.”

Jeff Tillou: “I thought it had a more upbeat vibe than in year’s past.”

Scott Ferris: “There was quite an energetic crowd, and I was glad I had an assistant.”

Grace Snyder: “It was very positive. I thought there was a lot of energy… the crowd was excellent – bigger than I remember it.”

The waves of attendees that came through the doors of the Sullivan Arena on the campus of St Anselm College set a record gate for the show, clocking in at 650 collectors in the opening rush and growing to more than 900 throughout opening day August 7.

To read more: