Sunday, April 13, 2014

jaunting through Europe sourcing antiques with IFDA friend, Toma Clark Haines of The Antiques Diva & Co.

image from the Paris flea market 
via board member, Andrea Algaze
 Please meet friend of IFDA NY, 
Toma Clark Haines
an American (from the heart of the country) who relocated to Europe and started her now burgeoning business helping others to source antiques throughout Europe, The Antiques Diva & Co.
In case you missed the informative talk given to our chapter members at the New York Design Center on March 25, Toma explained to a packed, captive audience about the ins-and-outs of shopping the coveted Paris Flea Market.  Additionally, she offered us a history lesson about the infamous show with an extensive slide show enticing designers to bring their clients over to Europe for her popular private tours through various European countries to source and buy antiques.  
A meet up with Toma in Milan ensued...
This past week while I was on a sponsored trip with the Modenus company's BlogTour to write about design, our group visited the Salone Del Mobile furniture and Eurocucina show, and we met up with Toma in Milan.  We had a dream-like afternoon with Toma and her local, well-informed guide, Valeria, providing us with a 3-hour jaunt through the Brera Art District's historic antique section.  We visited and chatted with antique dealers, checked out the wares and even picked up a few select pieces.  In true "diva" style, Toma then took us to the swanky La Scala historic theatre where the aristocratic society once whiled away their extravagant evenings entertained by a variety of arts. We were privy to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the current ballet rehearsal preparing for that evening.  We sat in the dark wings of the historic and elaborate box seats, pinching ourselves that we were magically witnessing tid bits of 
Swan Lake hours before the debut. 
Then, Toma whisked our group over to one of the oldest and most stylish cafes in Milan, the Camparino in Galleria Caffe Milano, next to the famous Duomo.  She ushered us upstairs to our very own private room overlooking Milan, where we sipped an apertif and nibbled on traditional Italian bites, while learning about the Campari cocktail and it's connection and history to the neighborhood.  To be able to experience antique shopping with Toma and her well-informed local guide was such a treat, giving us a deeper understanding of Milan, Italian art history and the local art and antiques and their neighbors -- Priceless!  
 our very own Blogtour photographer, Chasen West 
with BlogTour leader, Veronika Miller of Modenus
after a very busy day in Milan 
Blogtour designers and writers enjoying the festivities while donning 
Venetian masks, a gift from Toma.

please check out our IFDA 

(left) The Antique Diva team
The Caffe Milano staff gifted us a walk through Campari history with Valeria interpreting into English.
the icing on the cake is that the IFDA relationship continues, because Toma will be decorating and donating a chair for our upcoming Take A Seat Charity Chair auction at the Room and Board showroom in New York City on 
May 14. -- won't you please 
Save the Date, 
We hope you will attend our 2nd annual Take A Seat, 
with the hopes of bidding on Toma's chair!
Please connect with The Antiques Diva's website!
And, feel free to read more about the
Blogtour Milan team as well.  Ciao!

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