Antiques Blog

Designing With French Armoires!

In the past, Armoires were usually relegated to the bedroom of the house. In France, they’re still used just about everywhere you go. Of course, France is saturated with character homes that can date back several centuries still with the original furnishings intact. You’re guaranteed one of these beautiful Armoires in every bedroom of these residences if they were built before the 20th Century.

Typical South of France Maison.

Typical South of France Maison.

But Armoires in France aren’t restricted to houses or bedrooms. In French homes you’ll see Armoires used in any room where storage and decorative appeal is required. Like this photo below of an elegant Parisian apartment. Not only does it provide much needed storage but the decorative element is undeniable. (I also LOVE the floors).

Louis XV Style Armoire

The beautiful white distressed Louis XV style Armoire is not only decorative but a wonderful storage unit. We sell many Armoires at the Antique Warehouse.

Here in North America, buy a home or apartment and you’re almost guaranteed a built in closet. It may be the size of a postage stamp, but a newly constructed residence will always have one.

Although closets could occasionally be found in North America, they didn’t come into common use until after World War II. Today they’re viewed as a basic necessity, like indoor plumbing, and it can be quite a nuisance if you’re in an old house that’s missing one.

Not only do french armoires provide capacious storage and fantastic versatility, but their design impact is just what’s needed when you want to add some elegance and interest to an otherwise characterless room.

Painted French Armoire

A painted French armoire can give a lightness and a focal point of interest in any modern construction.

Not only does an armoire provide storage, but it’s a high-impact decorating tool. Although armoires were originally used in the 16th century for storing weapons (thus the name armoire, from the old French armarie), by the 17th century their use was expanded to include the storage of clothing and linens. This exemplary old French version is used classically in a bedroom. Its imposing presence grabs your attention and sets the tone.

Louis XV Painted Armoire

This beautiful Louis XV painted armoire is one of the nicest designs around.

And speaking of setting the tone, the elegant and ornately carved French Armoire can look sensational in a dining room. Paired with a French crystal chandelier the look creates a refined atmosphere that would make any hostess feel like she’s entertaining in Paris. You can put anything in those armoires, be it table linens, a bar, collections of dishes and crystal, a stereo playing cool jazz, classical or cool ambient tehcno.

Carved French Armoire

 

One of the nice things about these elegant pieces of furniture is that they are usually made to completely disassemble. (not always the case with Armoires from England) The doors lift easily off the hinges, the crown and base are usually separate pieces, and the sides and back will come apart in many sections.

Empire Armoire

the Empire armoire the man is taking apart for shipment to us will completely disassemble into about 10 or more pieces. You can see another armoire Louis XV in the background almost completely apart.

Small Armoires

Small Armoires look wonderful in the bathroom and provide much needed storage space.

Elements of Armoires can be used for a multitude of purposes. I personally took the doors off one armoire and replaced regular boring closet doors in an entry way in my home with a pair of walnut Louis XV doors. The look is fabulous and everyone remarks on their beauty. I didn’t refinish them either preferring to the leave the rich tonal qualities of the highly french polished walnut.

I found the below photo on the internet where a contractor had taken an armoire or buffet or French cabinet and created ‘cabinet facings’ in a kitchen. (see below). The look is splendid and rich!

Kitchen Cabinetry

Imagine the cost if you tried to have this custom made today.

In another example of adaptability, here an antique armoire has been expertly incorporated into bedroom closet storage. It definitely adds warmth and character.

Armoire Storage Closet

 

Storage Armoires

Look how much storage these armoires have. I’ve even retrofitted these pieces to fit big screen TV’s. This particular designer reversed the placement of the doors so they remain open and the decorative ‘fronts’ remain exposed.

Louis XIII Walnut Armoire

Look how interesting this Louis XIII walnut armoire looks in this modern environment. There’s no beams, crown mouldings, or chandeliers in this space. The interest and charm is created by the use of a few antiques.

Clearly armoires, be they French, English, Spanish or otherwise clearly have a multitude of uses. The idea is to decide where you’d like to incorporate these wonderful pieces into your home. Visit us in person or online and see the selection we carry here at The Antique Warehouse Vancouver. We ship anywhere!

Thanks for reading!

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

604-324-3661

email: [email protected]

Love Mahogany Antiques and Want to Update Your Look?

…you’re not alone! What’s not to love?  The deep rich tonal qualities, the gleaming French polishes, the elegance, charm and unequalled quality of yesteryear. Many people are updating their homes and either want to keep their antiques or have inherited beautiful pieces they simply love and do not want to part with.

As one interior designer put it: “throw some modern in the mix to keep it from looking like ‘grandma’s attic’. But beyond incorporating new or expensive pieces, there’s an easier solution that’s inexpensive and very effective. Paint!

Changing a paint color in a room can make all the difference. It can make your room look like a completely new living space. So what colors work with mahogany? You’d be surprised the choices you have. From French white to chartreuse, the palet is virtually unlimited. With so many people drawn to neutrals and greys, the darker the grey, the richer the look. Below are just a few ideas to show you how wonderful mahogany antiques look with today’s modern colors.

 

Traditional Mahogany Bed

 

I like blue marine, and whites. It gives such a fresh, almost beachy, nautical look. The above photograph captures that essence but rather than the pastel blue, I think I’d do the walls all white. I did see a photo where the designer had placed a chair rail around the room and painted everything up to it white, then navy blue from the chair rail up. The look was stunning.

 

Traditional Mahogany Rich Bed

 

White walls, always look fresh and make the mahogany antique furniture ‘pop’ as featured above.

 

Traditional Mahogany Dining Room

 

Greys are very very popular for this year. Every shade you can imagine from very dark grey to a lighter. But all greys should be rich and bold. Remember, you need plenty of light, either natural or otherwise if you’re going to make it work.

 

Traditional Mahogany Dining Room

 

I love the deep rich grey of this dining room and the ‘bordeaux’ color used on the Louis XV cameo backed dining chairs.

 

Traditional Mahogany Dining Room

 

Note the use of black, grey and white with the use of mahogany. The look is rich, elegant, and very modern.

 

Traditional Mahogany Dining Room

 

Chartreuse is very big and has been for the last few seasons. Personally it’s a little strong for me and I’d tire of it quickly. However, if you’re a fan, Mahogany antiques work beautifully with this color as shown below.

 

Traditional Mahogany Dining Room

 

 

Traditional Mahogany Furniture

 

The Pantone color of the year for 2015 ‘Marsala’ is a perfect compliment to mahogany furniture.

Marsala, the Pantone color of the year is dark, rich and elegant with Mahogany antiques.

Marsala, the Pantone color of the year is dark, rich and elegant with Mahogany antiques.

Whether in a flat or textured material, or with a matte or gloss finish, this highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

For a lot of fun try the Sherwin William Paint Visualizer.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse,
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, B.C.
V5X2R4

Visit our website

May Day in France

May Day (La Fête du Muguet, La Fête du Travail) in France is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones.

French Culture - May Day Lily of the Valley

The tradition of offering lilies of the valley dates back to 1st May 1561, when King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He created the tradition when he decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of his court.

King Charles IX of France C.1550

King Charles IX of France C.1550

What do people do?
People in many areas give bouquets of lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones. This custom is particularly common in the area around Paris known as Île-de-France. Families with children in country areas get up early in the morning and go into the woods to pick the flowers. Individuals and labour organizations in urban areas sell bouquets of lily of the valley on the street on May 1. There are special regulations that allow people and some organizations to sell these flowers on May 1 without paying tax or complying with retail regulations.

Trade unions and other organizations organize parades and demonstrations to campaign for workers rights on May 1. People may also use these events to campaign for human rights in general, to demonstrate against racism or highlight current social issues.

Traditional May Day Parade in Paris

Traditional May Day Parade in Paris

May 1 is a public holiday. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may be closed. However, some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, may be open. Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Parades and demonstrations may cause disruption to traffic in the centers of large cities, particularly Paris.

Celebrate May Day here in Canada. Give someone you love a beautiful Lily of the Valley and explain “Oh, its a Parisian custom”. They’ll think you’re so international!

Happy May Day

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive
Vancouver, B.C.

Visit our website

Historical Bed Dumped in Car Park Worth Over $40M Belonged to King Henry XVII

A four-poster bed which was dumped in a hotel car park and sold for £2,200 has been verified as once belonging to King Henry VII – and it could now be worth millions.
The intricately-carved ornate bed was left in the car park of the former Redland House Hotel in Hough Green, Chester, by builders who were renovating the property.
Oblivious to its true value and historical significance, the construction workers dismantled the piece of oak wood furniture and left it to be picked up by auctioneers.

Four Poster Bed of King Henry XVII

This four poster bed was confirmed to belong to King Henry XVII C.1495

It was snapped up for £2,200 in 2010 by Ian Coulson, a four-poster bed specialist from Northumberland who spotted the item, which was listed as 19th-century gothic revival, on the internet.
However, he was shocked when his new ‘Victorian’ purchase arrived and approached TV historian Jonathan Foyle with a suspicion that the bed was, in fact, the only surviving Tudor bed.
Since then, Mr Foyle has spent years trying to prove the artefact’s historical roots and has now revealed that DNA testing on the bed’s timber proved it once belonged to King Henry VII.

TV historian Jonathan Foyle

TV historian Jonathan Foyle, spent years trying to prove the beds age.

Foyle said tests confirmed it was European oak and of a sub-species ‘typical of the origin of the finest, slow-grown oak imported by the medieval elites’, with analysis of the historic paintwork proving its age.
‘Under the varnish, traces of late medieval decoration have been found,’ he said.
He has traced it back to 1495, when Henry VII went to Lathom in Lancashire to see the Stanley family, who had helped him to victory in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

DNA proved bed belonged to King Henry VII

Mr Foyle said DNA from the bed’s timber proved it once belonged to King Henry VII (pictured) and he traced it back to 1495, when Henry VII went to Lathom in Lancashire. Henry VIII may have been conceived in the bed

DNA proved bed belonged to King Henry VII

The bed was snapped up by Ian Coulson, a four-poster bed specialist from Northumberland, for £2,200 in 2010 after it was dumped in the car park of the former Redland House Hotel in Hough Green, Chester (above)

Foyle also discovered that the bed features an inscription from the Matthew Bible of 1537 – reading: ‘The stinge of death is sinne. The strength of sinne is the lawe’ – which was added after 1547, when England had a Protestant monarch.
The carving also features biblical scenes of Henry and his wife Elizabeth of York styled as Adam and Eve, and as Jesus Christ and his mother, the Virgin Mary and the figures are accompanied by medieval symbols of fertility, such as acorns, bunches of grapes and strawberries.
Meanwhile, scribblings in a Victorian furniture restorer’s diary suggested that the bed was at Lathom when it was damaged during a siege in 1644.
Mr Foyle said he had proved that the item was not the work of Victorian revivalists by reflecting on the Tudors’ belief that they had been chosen by God to save England from civil war.

Four Poster Bed of King Henry XVII

The bed features an inscription from the Matthew Bible of 1537 – reading: ‘The stinge of death is sinne. The strength of sinne is the lawe’ – which was added after 1547, when England had a Protestant monarch

He said the headboard showed Henry VII and his bride as Adam and Eve transmuted into Christ – adding: ‘It’s arguably the cradle of the English Reformation. ‘Look how the king and queen represent themselves as manifestations of Christ and Mary; it’s Henry VIII’s God complex in a nutshell.’

Four Poster Bed of King Henry XVII

The bed also features carvings of biblical scenes of Henry and his wife Elizabeth of York styled as Adam and Eve, and as Jesus Christ and his mother, the Virgin Mary and the figures of medieval symbols of fertility

Dr Foyle described the 15th Century artefact, which is considered one of the most valuable pieces of historical furniture in England, as ‘a complete national treasure’. He added: ‘Evidence suggests the bed was made for the Painted Chamber of Westminster Palace for the marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey on January 18, 1486.’
Mr Foyle is backed by other experts, such as Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, who described the rediscovery as ‘exceptionally important’.

The medieval bed is now reportedly worth up to £20million, although it is currently not up for sale and is instead on public display. It is part of the ‘A Bed of Roses’ exhibition at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, at Hever Castle in Kent which also features a portrait of Henry VIII as a young man.

Hever Castle, where the bed is currently on display.

Hever Castle, where the bed is currently on display.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

Please visit our website

Lost Masterpiece by ‘Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Found In Hospital Attic in France

A painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres has been found in the French province of Jura completely by chance, Le Monde, Frances’ top journal reports.

The piece is only the latest in a spate of “lost” masterpieces that have turned up in recent months sometimes to huge auction success ( A ‘Lost Leonardo da Vinci’ was found in a Swiss vault and a lost Gustav Klimt portrait was recently unveiled In Prague).

The discovery was made during an inventory conducted by Emmanuel Buselin, curator and advisor of historical monuments of the region, in the attic of the chapel of the former hospital Hôtel-Dieu, located in the town of Lons-le-Saunier.

The ancient former 'Hospital Dieu'

The ancient former ‘Hospital Dieu’

Buselin saw a huge canvas rolled and covered in dust and, intrigued, sat down to unroll it. A large Ingres masterpiece—measuring 4.30 meters wide by 3.40 meters high—depicting a Madonna with child and kneeling king, slowly unfolded before his eyes.

The painting, which dates to 1826, is thought to have been gifted to the town after Ingres completed it. It hung in the local church of Saint-Désiré.

Ingres gave the painting to this church 'Saint Desire'  in 1865.

Ingres gave the painting to this church ‘Saint Desire’ in 1826.

In 1936, according to the municipal archives, the church was refurbished and the painting stored in the former hospital, where it had languished forgotten ever since.

The priceless masterpiece is thought to be the long-lost second version of Ingres’s Le Vœu de Louis XIII (The vow of Louis XIII), which King Charles X of France originally commissioned from the Neoclassical master in 1820.

This fabulous masterpiece by 'Ingres' languished in the hospital attic for decades until discovered last autumn.

This fabulous painting by ‘Ingres’ languished in the hospital attic for decades until discovered last autumn.

Buselin’s incredible discovery took place last autumn, but it remained secret until this week in order to protect the artwork, which could not be safely removed from the old hospital immediately.

The painting is now being repaired in the conservation area of the Museum of Fine Arts of Lons-le-Saunier, where it is expected to be displayed once it is completely restored.

Lauren Bacall’s Manhattan Apartment

The legendary actress Lauren Bacall sadly passed away last year, and left behind not only a major on-screen legacy (including her unforgettable sultry stare), but also quite the impressive Manhattan apartment full of wonderful French antiques.

Lauren Bacall in 1945

Lauren Bacall in 1945

Her massive collection of antiques, art, furniture, and more went at auction on March 31 and April 1 of this year and commanded a cool $3.6M dollars. I watched some of the auction live, and was surprised to see a 18th Century French farmchair pull in $8,000 when here at the Antique Warehouse I would have priced it somewhere around $750. But that’s what happens when a celebrity name is attached. People get caught up in the ‘Hollywood’ glamor.

Lauren Bacall's Antique Luggage | Vancouver Antiques

Lauren Bacalls’ monogrammed Louis Vuitton Luggage brought in $37,500.

Her apartment was located in the legendary ‘Dakota’ home to famous celebrities like the late John Lennon. I visited the Dakota many years ago to visit the famous Yoko Ono just after John Lennon was shot. (She was dating a friend of mine shortly after John died.) But this blog is about Ms. Bacall whose contents went up for sale last Tuesday.

Ms. Bacall owned and occupied her elegantly proportioned apartment since 1961 when she picked it up the for $48,000. The 9-room spread was reportedly appraised just before he death at around $9,000,000 and current listing details show the three-bedroom residence has 3.5 bathrooms, five fireplaces, 13-foot ceilings, and approximately 100-feet of park frontage with half a dozen (or so) mahogany-trimmed windows with unobstructed views over Central Park. At $11,146, monthly maintenance charges aren’t unusually high for a building of the Dakota’s eminence and wattage but they certainly aren’t for the financially faint of heart, either.

 

The famous 'Dakota' building located in Manhattan on Central Park West

The famous ‘Dakota’ building located in Manhattan on Central Park West.

Double mahogany doors open to a roomy foyer with corner fireplace. The living room spans almost 700-square feet all by itself and the neighboring library has a park-side Juliet balcony.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

The living room alone was 700 sq.ft.

At the south end of the apartment, the master bedroom has one walk-in closet plus three smaller closets plus a deep bay window and a rather small bathroom. Two guest/family bedrooms flank the master bedroom. The larger has a walk-in closet and a puny private bathroom and the other is much smaller with a miniscule closet.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

The dining room with a French farm table and ladder back chairs, with a French buffet off to the side.

A service wing behind the dining room includes a large butler’s pantry, a deep walk-in closet plus several small broom closets, a small office, a (windowed) laundry room, a tiny (windowless) powder room and an eat-in kitchen with courtyard overlook

The contents of her apartment were auctioned off this month. From all reports this auction was an antique lovers dream. But you needed deep pockets to purchase anything from the sale. Things went for many times their actual value.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

The salon with an italian low table. (Probably a round table initially that has been cut down)

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

Two vintage late 19th Century French posters with a blanket box or coffre and rustic farm table.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

A French farm table with English ladder back chairs, along with a ‘maie’, and large French antique poster

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

A French coffre and French corner cabinet are featured in this photo.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

An Welsh dresser in featured along with a French poster in this photo.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

A Continental Bureau bookcase with a French office chair along with a mid century modern coffee table are in this photo. A French Louis XVI Desserte is peaking out to the extreme left of the photo.

Lauren Bacall's Manhattan Apartment | Vancouver Antiques

The master bedroom featuring a French bureau abbatant, French gueridon, French Armchair and syrian stool.

 

Lauren Bacall in 2014

Lauren Bacall in 2014.

Lauren Bacall died on August 12, 2014, at her longtime home in The Dakota. She was 89. Five weeks short of her 90th birthday. According to her grandson Jamie Bogart, the actress died after suffering a massive stroke. She was confirmed dead at New York–Presbyterian Hospital. Bacall was survived by three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

My next blog will outline some of the highlights of that massive auction that sold some very interesting pieces. Until then, Happy Easter or an equally Happy Pesach.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC
Canada.

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Fabulous Rare Cars Found on Farm in France

If you’re a car lover (like my good friend Greg Griffiths), this story is something dreams are made of. Just last year, a treasure trove of 60 rusting classic cars were discovered in garages that had been left languishing on a French farm for 50 years. To a lover of cars it was like discovering King Tutankamun’s tomb. Their evaluation have been between $12M USD – $20M USD or more.

The haul of motors, which includes dozens of vintage sports cars, was found gathering dust under piles of newspapers in garages and barns on a farm in western France. Among the vehicles up for sale are a Ferrari once sat in by Jane Fonda and a Talbot-Lago previously owned by extravagant Egyptian King Farouk.

Talbot Lago T26 Cabriolet | Vancouver Antiques

This Talbot Lago T26 Cabriolet was once owned by Egyptian King Farouk, a former friend of my fathers.

The rare cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who dreamt of restoring them to their former glory and displaying them in a museum.

Rare Ferrari | Vancouver Antiques

The Ferrari on the left was driven by Jane Fonda and was found under a pile of newspapers.

However, Mon. Baillons’ plans were dashed as his business struggled, forcing him to sell about 50 of the vehicles.
Since then his collection has sat dormant in makeshift corrugated iron shelters and outbuildings on the farm.
Mr Baillon died about 10 years ago and his son, Jacques, who inherited the collection, died last year.

Mon. Baillon, Rare Car Collector

Mon. Baillon collected some of the rarest cars in the world.

Mr Baillon’s grandchildren had no idea of the extent of the collection, calling in car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of auctioneers Artcurial Motorcars to estimate its value.

“We started to discover cars and cars and cars. We were climbing on the cars to discover other cars and actually very interesting coach work, very interesting models. For us it was a fantastic day.” said Matthew Lamoure.

Sixty Baillon vehicles are on display at Paris’ Porte de Versailles exhibition centre for the 2015 Retromobile expo. And Novikoff says the collection is a unique restoration opportunity for buyers.

Pierre Novikoff, Artcurial motor cars specialist estimates: “The whole collection is estimated between 12 million and 15 million euros ($13,725,735 to $17,157,169 USD), but we hope to reach maybe over 20 million ($22,878,024 USD) would be good. Because really, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy restorable cars from the 40s and 50s.”

Classic car experts Matthiew Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff

Auctioneers and classic car expert Matthiew Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff were stunned to find this collection. “This sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough! I think, above all, you go into this profession for discoveries like this. Yes, this really is a treasure.” said Mon. Lamoure

They found a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sports with coachwork by prominent designer Frua, one of just three in the world, which is estimated to sell for just under £1million. But the auctioneers’ greatest discovery was that of a 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider with covered headlights, which was hidden beneath piles of newspapers.

1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider | Vancouver Antiques

The auctioneers’ greatest discovery was this 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider with covered headlights, which was hidden beneath piles of newspapers.
The car was previously owned by French actors Gerard Blain and Alain Delon, who was photographed in it with Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine, and is expected to attract attention from Ferrari collectors with an estimate of £9.5million

Only 36 of the particular model of Ferrari were ever made, including the one in the barn and another bought by actor Chris Evans in 2008 for an estimated £5.5million.

Rare Ferrari | Vancouver Antiques

French film heart throb of the 1960’s ‘Alain Delon’ is pictured here in the Ferrari with the iconic Jane Fonda.

John Collins, a Ferrari dealer Talacrest in Ascot, has spent the last 12 months trying to find the car, which he thinks could sell for £10million.

“I have known about the car for years and I was gutted when I found out about three weeks ago that an auction house had got it. Apart from a few people, not many knew the Ferrari still existed. It is a phenomenal car and the best barn find in more than 20 years. I am sure it will go for an eight-figure sum and I will be one of several people looking to buy it. It is really great – people are going to be fighting over it.” said Collins.

The Complete list of the collection is as follows:

Amilcar C6 berline, Amilcar CGS, Ariès coach, Auto Union cabriolet, Avions Voisin C15, Avions Voisin limousine C15, Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé, Ballot 8 cyl limousine, Barré torpédo, Berliet coupé chauffeur, Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet, Bugatti 57 Ventoux, Citroën Trèfle, Delage D6, Delage D8 coach, Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet,

Delahaye Coupe Chapron | Vancouver Antiques

A completely restored delahaye coupe chapron.

Delahaye 135 coach Chapron, Delahaye 235 coach Chapron, Delahaye 235 coach Chapron, Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron, Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur, Delahaye GFA 148 L, Delahaye Type 43 camionnette, Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8,

Facel Vega Excellence | Vancouver Antiques

A Facel Vega Excellence is one of the rarest cars in the world.

Facel Vega Excellence, Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, Ferrari 308 GTS i, Ferrari 400, Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet,

Hispano Suiza 1924 H6B Millon Guiet Dual Cowl Phaeton | Vancouver Antiques

A restored Hispano Suiza 1924 H6B Millon Guiet Dual Cowl Phaeton

Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet, Hotchkiss cabriolet, Innocenti S cabriolet, Jaguar type S 3.4 L, La Buire 12 A
Lagonda LG45 cabriolet, Lancia Thema 8.32, Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau, Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman, Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo, Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Frua, Mathis cabriolet, Mathis FOH, Packard cabriolet Super Eight,

Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77 | Vancouver Antiques

A restored Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77

Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77, Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76, Panhard-Levassor limousine X72, Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto
Renault AX torpédo, Renault Vivastella cabriolet, Sandford cyclecar 3 roues, Singer Cabriolet, Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet, Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet, Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet, Talbot Lago, Cadette 11, Talbot Lago coach, Talbot Lago T26 coach, Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik, Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik, Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk

Rare Car Collection | Vancouver Antiques

The collection sat dormant in make shift corrugated iron garages for over 50 years.

Rare Car Collection | Vancouver Antiques

The cars were collected from the period during to the 1950’s to the 1970’s by Mon. Baillon who intended to created one of the finest automobile museums in the world.

Rare Car Collection | Vancouver Antiques

The collection will be auctioned off in Paris next year.

Rare Car Collection | Vancouver Antiques

Some of the cars are so far gone it’s impossible to imagine that any could be restored.

Rare Car Collection | Vancouver Antiques

This early Delahaye Coupé Chauffeur from the Baillon Collection would once have been a magnificent vehicle. There’s still enough there for it to be perfectly reproduced by modern day artisans who can follow the template.

If you’ve a deep pocketbook and a love of classic collectable cars, this sale will take place next February 6 of 2015. But Canadian buyers beware, Canada Customs prohibits the import any cars from Europe, vintage or otherwise. I know, I already asked.

Thanks for reading!

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

Visit our website

Chateau Fontainebleau Burglarized of Priceless Antiques

Chateau Fontainebleau

15 ‘priceless’ museum objects were stolen in just 7 minutes on March 2 at Chateau Fontainebleau, South of Paris.

Theft of antiques appears to be on the rise.  Just this month the fabulous Chateau Fontainebleau, 30 minutes south of Paris, was burglarized of some of the most beautiful and rare antiques in the world.

On March 2, 2015 (in only 7 minutes), fifteen works of Chinese art were stolen according to a report from the BBC.

The objects were housed in the Empress’s Chinese Museum at the palace, located about 50km southeast of Paris.

The spectacular Chateau Fontainebleau

The spectacular Chateau Fontainebleau.

The stolen artefacts were exhibited in the Chinese wing of the château. They came from China and Siam, known as Thailand today, and were collected by Empress Eugenie, Napoleon’s wife. She had them personally placed in her museum, created in 1863.

Empress Eugenie, Chateau Fontainebleau

Empress Eugenie with her son in 1862, just before the creation of the Chinese Museum in Fontainebleau.

The chinese museum in Chateau Fontainebleau

The chinese museum in Chateau Fontainebleau

The Chinese wing of the museum is considered to be one of the most secure areas of the palace, equipped with a state of the art security system. “It’s an enormous shock”, said the president of the Chateau Fontainebleau, Jean-François Hebert, in a statement to AFP “the works stolen were unique and hold an incalculable value.”

Jean Francois Hebert, President of Chateau Fontainebleau

Jean Francois Hebert, President of Chateau Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau palace is one of the most extraordinary cultural sites in France. With over 1500 works of art displayed in the château and the 130 hectares park and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial palace to have been in use without interruption for seven centuries. Even through the French Revolution and the 2nd WW, the Chateau remained untouched.

Among the items stolen was the replica of a crown the king of Siam gave to Napoleon III in 1861; an enamel piece that dates from the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the 17th century; and a Tibetan mandala. The palace official described them as “priceless.”

The crown of the King of Siam, Chateau Fontainebleau

The replica of the crown of the King of Siam, given to Napoleon in 1863, was among one of the priceless artifacts that were stolen.

“They were among the most beautiful pieces in the museum,” said palace president Jean-Francois Hebert. “We think they (the thieves) were skilled, organized professionals who knew exactly what they were looking for.” the BBC quoted him as saying.

Due to the meticulous execution of this robbery we can only assume the thieves spent months planning this break-in, including a pre-arranged buyer for the stolen goods, a clean getaway, ( a high speed helijet for example ) and a collector who will never resell the items. (Impossible to sell stolen goods in any event ). Due to the searing hot Asian antique market, these goods were probably transported immediately to a collector in Asia where money or ethics is of little concern.

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One of the 15 pieces taken from the Museum.

The Chinese Museum will be closed for several months. France’s Ministry of Culture and the police are investigating the case, according to China’s state newswire Xinhua. It’s highly doubtful that these items will ever be recovered. A sad day for the museum community and the world who will never get a chance to see these pieces again.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
V5X 2R4

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How a Volcano Contributed to the French Revolution

Marie Antoinette never said those words. In fact she was a great patroness that was genuinely concerned for the welfare of her people.

Many people believe it was Marie Antoinettes’ comment “Let them eat cake” that ignited the French Revolution. In fact the King and Queen may have been responsible in other ways, but Queen Marie never uttered those words. It was a great famine caused by an Icelandic volcano that was a major contributor to the great French Revolution.

We’ve all heard (or even used) the comment “Let them eat cake”. It was a comment purportedly uttered by a callous Queen of France when told of her subjects dying of starvation. Many people believe it was this comment that enraged the people of France and spurred on the discontent that caused the Revolution of France. In fact those words were never uttered by Marie Antoinette. What the Queen did say, out of genuine concern, was “Isn’t there enough bread to feed the people?”.

The Queen was referring to a famine that had hit France and was creating discontent throughout the county. Historians beleive it was this famine that was largely responsible for the French Revolution of 1789. A famine caused by a massive eruption in Iceland. A volcano so dangerous and destructive that its eruption changed the earth’s weather patterns for years causing crops to wither and die. The resulting famine stretched from Iceland to Egypt decimating populations in its wake. It was estimated that tens of thousands of people died during this time making the Laki volcanic eruption one of the deadliest of all time.

The Laki fissure as it's seen today.

The Laki fissure as it’s seen today.

Just over 200 years ago the Icelandic volcano ‘Laki’ erupted with catastrophic consequences for weather, agriculture and transport across the northern hemisphere. Historians believe it was this very eruption helped trigger the French revolution.

The Laki volcanic fissure in southern Iceland erupted over an eight-month period from 8 June 1783 to February 1784, spewing lava and poisonous gases that devastated the island’s agriculture, killing much of the livestock. It is estimated that perhaps a quarter of Iceland’s population died through the ensuing famine.

The Laki volcano in Iceland

The Laki volcano in Iceland

Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts of this eruption. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere.

Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound. Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer and a dramatically cold winter. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops “became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed”.

A farmer walks on his corn field covered in volcanic ash from Mount Merapi eruption in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

A farmer walks on his corn field covered in volcanic ash from Mount Merapi eruption in Muntilan, Central Java, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

The British naturalist Gilbert White described that summer in his classic Natural History of Selborne as “an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.

“The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers’ meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic … the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun.”

Image of sun through volcanic ash in Iceland.

Image of sun through volcanic ash in Iceland.

Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of “a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America”.

The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.

Frozen Mississippi River in 1905

Frozen Mississippi River in 1905

The eruption is now thought to have disrupted the Asian monsoon cycle, prompting famine in India and Egypt. Environmental historians have also pointed to the disruption caused to the economies of northern Europe, where food poverty was a major factor in the build-up to the French revolution of 1789.

Volcanologists at the Open University’s department of earth sciences say the impact of the Laki eruptions had profound consequences.

Dr John Murray said: “Volcanic eruptions can have significant effects on weather patterns for from two to four years, which in turn have social and economic consequences. We shouldn’t discount their possible political impacts even today.”

Thanks for reading!

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC. Canada.

http://www.antiquewarehouse.ca

Symmetry, Asymmetry and Radial Symmetry

Symmetry is one of the oldest principles in the design books. As Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing demonstrated, it reflects the human body, with its right and left sides and navel in the center. In his book Symmetry, mathematics professor Marcus du Sautoy writes that our eyes and minds are constantly drawn to anything that embodies symmetry, be it art, architecture, or even music. Needless to say, it’s important to integrate some symmetry into your interior design.

Everyone understands the importance of balance. One lesson that we learn quite quickly from a very young age is that without balance things tend to go sideways. Whether it be learning how to ride your bike, stacking wooden blocks or knowing when to take a break from work to enjoy some leisure time, balance is a constant in our lives. So, how does balance translate into interior design?

The use of symmetry in this gorgeous French salon is obvious from the paired use of everything from the sconces to the chairs, lamps etc.

The use of symmetry in this gorgeous French salon is obvious from the paired use of everything from the sconces to the chairs, lamps etc.

Just as when we are off balance in various aspects of our lives, an unbalanced interior space can be uncomfortable. There are instances when this is the desired effect, but for the majority of spaces one goal is visual balance. This is achieved by distributing the visual weight of objects within a space to achieve a feeling of equilibrium. The size, color, texture, shape of an element can change its visual weight. For example, larger, darker, brighter, highly textured, complexly shaped objects typically feel heavier and require balance through the placement equally “heavy” items or multiple less heavy items. Balance can also be achieved in three ways: symmetrically, asymmetrically and radially.

It's almost impossible to find two matching commodes but these two French Empire 19th Century pieces are so similar that they create symmetry and please the eye.

It’s almost impossible to find two matching commodes but these two French Empire 19th Century pieces are so similar that they create symmetry and please the eye.

Symmetrical Balance
Symmetrical balance is achieved when items are actually repeated or mirrored along a central axis. This type of balance is frequently seen in nature, our own bodies included. Symmetry is common in interior design and can portray a feeling of stability, calmness and dignity; however, can also be seen as static, dull and unimaginative. Symmetry can be achieved through the use of pattern, arrangement of furniture, fixtures and millwork, and through the application of colour.

The only thing that's not symmetrical in this room is the dog. Love the French Bergeres Louis XVI style.

The only thing that’s not symmetrical in this room is the dog. Love the French Bergeres Louis XVI style.

Asymmetrical Balance
Asymmetrical balance relates very strongly to the visual weight of objects. Rather than repeating the same item within a space to achieve balance, in this case we are using different elements with a similar perceived weight to achieve balance on the opposing axis. As stated above, complex shapes often feel heavier and for that reason are commonly used to achieve asymmetrical balance. Asymmetrical interiors tend to feel more dynamic and less rigid because in these spaces a variety of objects types are working together to create balance. This form of balance can be more difficult to achieve it often requires an “eye for design”.

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The assymetry in this room works due to the balance created by the use of the photos and artwork.

The asymmetry in this room works due to the balance created by the use of the photos and artwork.

Again, the best asymmetrical design is that which is balances the room’s visual weight in a creative way. The chair and end table on the left create asymmetry with the other furniture, as does the tree in the back to draw your eye up.

Again, the best asymmetrical design is that which is balances the room’s visual weight in a creative way. The chair and end table on the left create asymmetry with the other furniture, as does the tree in the back to draw your eye up.

Radial Balance
Just as it sounds radial balance is almost circular – distributed arrangement of items around a central point either extending outward or inward. Common examples of radial balance translated to the interior environment include chairs centered around a table, the structure of a circular rotunda, or even a circular lighting fixture. If you wish to create focus on a central item, applying radial balance (so that the your attention is directed inward) is a great way to achieve this.

The boardroom in the image above is an excellent example of radial symmetry. Notice how the focus is on the centre of the table? We also get a real sense of vitality, but in a organized way.

The boardroom in the image above is an excellent example of radial symmetry. Notice how the focus is on the centre of the table? We also get a real sense of vitality, but in a organized way.

Notice how the eye focuses on the middle of this radially symmetrical room.

Notice how the eye focuses on the middle of this radially symmetrical room.

Whether by introducing different textures, colors, forms, or by literally creating symmetry in a space, interior designers often aim to create a feeling of balance. The way we create this balance (asymmetrically, symmetrically, or radially) can have an effect on your own perception and comfort in your living space.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC.

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The Ateliers of High Fashion

Fashion week wrapped up here in Paris about four days ago meaning the plethora of double parked, black suited drivers driving shiny black Mercedes have now disappeared. Gorgeous amazonian ‘gamines’ (emaciated skin and bone models both male and female) running through the streets in high style ( dressed down torn jeans etc ) have also gone, along with bizarrely dressed fashion ‘victimes’ ( aka fashion journalists, photogs, wannabes ). Paris is back to normal, so to speak.

It's not unusual to see people dressed like this scurrying down the streets of Paris during fashion week.

It’s not unusual to see people dressed like this scurrying down the streets of Paris during fashion week.

While the sharing speed of the internet and social media has made the accessibility to the Paris haute couture shows universal, what is doesn’t show is the intricate artistry of the craftspeople behind these distinguished fashion houses, the “Ateliers of High Fashion”. It is their tremendous talent that translates the designers’ visions into runway reality. And it is this combination of the designers’ creativity coupled with the meticulous expertise of these artisans that elevates fashion to an art form. And now, in the beautiful new book ‘Haute Couture Ateliers | The Artisans of Fashion’, you can go behind the scenes to tour the process of transforming designer dreams into exquisite finished creations.

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Many of these ateliers have existed for a century or more and while their numbers have dwindled, their contributions to the world of fashion have not. And that is why Chanel has, since 1997, quietly acquired a handful of these prestigious workshops, under the Paraffection umbrella, to preserve the Old World techniques and skills so essential to haute couture. In the book, you will meet both designers and experts in embroidery, lace, weaving, textiles, pleating, feathers, passementerie, leather, fans, couture costume jewelry and more whose contributions help preserve an artistic heritage, and whose tradition is so linked to history and culture.

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Designer Stéphane Rolland creates sculptural works of art, using these ateliers of decorative arts to provide the drama for his haute couture creations. Above, from his Summer 2013 collection, a long bustier dress in dipped lambskin and cloud grey chiffon features a glass petal plastron. I love how the bodice lends an architectural structure to the feminine fluidity of the skirt.

Stephane Rollands has dressed the likes of Lady Gaga.

Stephane Rollands has dressed the likes of Lady Gaga.

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Wedding dress and lingerie designer Fanny Liautard began her career as an assistant making clothes for Hubert de Givenchy. After positions as a designer for other top fashion houses, she opened her atelier near the Place de la Concorde, working with many artisans to finalize custom creations for her private clients. Above, an amazing circular stole of handmade silk organza flowers tops a powder pink backless chiffon dress.

Fanny Liautard

Fanny Liautard

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Like Christian Dior himself, Raf Simons is a master of his craft. He has revitalized and redefined the Dior label with his modern interpretation of the house’s distinguished history, including his dynamic use of custom hand embroidery. Above, the sewing of fabric flowers with bead centers on tulle with black chain stitch seams. And below, the spectacular finished bustier and coat for the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2012 collection.

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The embroidery firm of Lanel, founded in 1949, is now headed by artistic director Bernard Perris, who supplies top houses including Chanel, Dior and Valentino. With an enormous archive, they create a wide variety of patterns such as this colorful creation of fuchsia Rhodoid scrolls set with glass stones and sequins to appear on white tulle.

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Broderies Vermont was founded in 1956 and modernized the industry with new techniques such as the chenille effects used by Chanel to edge her tweed suits. Below, a sample of their baroque-style embroidery with acanthus leaves embroiderered in relief in gold thread and colored resin stones on clusters of old gold and bronze beads.

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Like embroidery, lace has been an integral part of fashion for centuries. The rare craft of Leavers lace is produced by the firm of Sophie Hallette in northern France. This complicated and time intensive textile can provide a wide range of product limited only by the designer’s imagination. This fascinating chapter shows the many steps involved resulting in creations such as Oscar Carvallo’s amazing gown below, from his winter 2013 collection, of Sophie Hallette lace, embroidered with copper beads, tulle flounces and appliqué leather peacock feathers on the bodice.

Oscar Carvallo featured in this photo is responsible for creating this fabulous dress below.

Oscar Carvallo featured in this photo is responsible for creating this fabulous dress below.

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Feathers have played an important part in fashion since pre-Columbian cultures. Often thought to be imbued with magical powers, they have symbolized health, prosperity and healing. Travel, and the discovery of new species of birds with prodigious plumage inspired works of art, fashion and tastemakers, including Marie Antoinette who incorporated them into her elaborate trend-setting coiffures. Featherwork has since been used widely in Parisian haute couture. In fact, the book shares that at the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 800 feather workshops in Paris, which has sadly dwindled down to four today including Nelly Saunier, who has worked with many of the top houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Nina Ricci and others. Below, one of her design notebooks shows a list of materials, colors and dye references, along with feather samples.

Nelly Saunier has worked with many of the top houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Nina Ricci and others

Nelly Saunier has worked with many of the top houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Nina Ricci and others

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Below is an extravagant wrap dress by Jean Paul Gaultier for the spring-summer 2005 collection with dyed ostrich feather trim that Nelly coordinated with the fabric.

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Artificial flowers used in haute couture can be fashioned from such materials as silk, organza, taffeta, velvet, lace, muslin, leather or Rhodoid. With romantic allusions and endless symbolism, these adornments “conjure memories of long-forgotten scents, a nostalgic reminder of their ephemeral nature.” The family of Bruno Legeron has been supplying artificial flowers to haute couture and luxury prêt-à-porter houses for over a century. Below, a cape dress by Stéphane Rolland in sand-colored muslin and jersey is embroidered with burnt ostrich feather flowers.

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And below, a drawer of handmade camellias, assembled petal by petal. Each different style is recorded and kept in the archives.

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This is merely a peek into Hélèle Farnault’s fascinating tome of haute couture crafts. From workshop insights to glorious couture gowns, this is a beautiful book to inspire and inform. If you’re at all into the craft and glamour of Haute Couture this is a must have for your library.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC
V5X 2R4

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How to Mix Wood Tones

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It is good news that the days of matching dining and bedroom sets is long gone, but many people are still afraid to mix multiple wood finishes in a single room. Don’t be. Allowing various wood tones to coexist, just like the many types of trees in a single forest, can create a more interesting and textured look. Here are some guidelines for successfully mixing it up without letting it get so out of hand that you feel like tossing your mismatched wood grains into a pile and lighting a fire.

Pick a dominant wood tone

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The easiest way to pick a dominant wood tone is by choosing your floors. (If you are a renter and your floors have chosen you, work with what you have because the floor will set the tone for the rest of the room.)

The kind of wood finish you choose for your floor is a matter of personal taste and budget. Do you like dark-stained matte floorboards? Honey-toned oak with a glossy finish? Blond maple? Pickled oak with an aged whitewashed look? A new finish can radically change the feeling of a room, but it’s also a major investment, so pick something that you feel comfortable living with for years to come.

If you have concrete, rubber, or carpeted floors, choose a wood tone for larger furniture pieces as a starting point and add more tones as desired.

Pair similar (but not matching) tones

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Medium-toned woods that don’t match but complement one another create a harmonious look. You can also use natural or unfinished woods to craft an organic and rustic feeling. Whitewashed elements add an airy effect, while dark-stained furniture lends contrast and a sense of groundedness. Incorporating too much of the same wood tone results in a static feeling, making it hard for individual pieces to stand out.

Limit your wood tones to two or three to start

The French love pairing white dining French chairs like the one above with a mahogany dining table. You can see from this small example of how interesting the white and mahogany contrast works. We've been advocating the mix for years!

The French love pairing white dining French chairs (like the one above) with a red or brown mahogany dining table. You can see from this small example of how interesting the contrast looks. We’ve been advocating the mix for years!

Limit your mix to two or three wood tones in the beginning, and try to balance them throughout the space for a harmonious look. Once you have your anchor pieces in place, you can experiment by swapping out a walnut coffee table for a distressed-wood piece or adding a driftwood lamp or a bamboo pendant light for another layer of interest. In a kitchen with a wooden floor, you might combine maple cabinets with rustic pine floors or glossy oak floors with a matte walnut island. If the tones of a chair, table, sideboard, or trunk don’t work in your space, consider painting the piece for a more neutral effect.

 

We love the look of the Victorian mahogany chairs paired with a simple farm table. Nothing fussy or boring about this room.

We love the look of the Victorian mahogany chairs paired with a simple farm table. Nothing fussy or boring about this room.

If your gorgeous antique mahogany table looks too harsh on your new bamboo floor, use a rug to create a landing pad and a smoother transition. The same is true when you want to lend the room a sense of contrast or help set off the lines of furnishings that might be lost against the backdrop of a similarly toned wood floor.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC.

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Mixing Antiques with Modern

After living in Historic character homes all my life, I’ve often thought I might like to trade it all in for the super sleek modern look. But which is better, an old house, or a new one?

The answer: Both.

While I’m a huge fan of the character, craftsmanship and ghost stories inherent in historic homes, I also love the energy efficiency, reliable electrical systems, contemporary finishes and the fresh-start-feeling of new construction. Hand-forged nails vs. tankless water heater? Toss-up.

I love a modern house as long as it's not 'cookie cutter'!

I love a modern house as long as it’s not ‘cookie cutter’

Whether a home is 100 years or 100 days old, it looks and lives better when furnished with something old and something new, mixing antiques with modern.

Old houses need some contemporary moves to bring them out of the dusty past. And new houses need a few antiques to give them a foothold in time.

Interior designer, Betty Lou Phillips, whose book, “The French Way with Design” (Gibbs Smith, 2014) is full of wonderful ideas that can help you achieve a look that’s interesting and modern no matter what style of house you have.

“A new look is emerging, for sure.” states Ms. Phillips “It’s is a mix of old-world European and mid-century modern.”

This great antique cabinet gives this contemporary interior a warm interesting look.

This great antique cabinet gives this contemporary interior a warm interesting look.

“Just a decade ago, designers were sticklers and believed architecture should dictate décor choice,” she said. “We were far more loyal to a look. But no more,” said Phillips. Her new book capturing the mixed-era trend is the 13th installment in her series of French and Italian design books.

This photo illustrates beautifully how the character of antiques contrast wonderfully with the sleek modern lines of this room.

This photo illustrates beautifully how the character of antiques contrast wonderfully with the sleek modern lines of this room.

“More people are moving forward while looking back,” said Phillips. “If they have a few lovely old pieces, rather than ushering them to the curb, they are putting them with contemporary furnishings.”

In other words, designers have realized that too much of one thing is old and tired. They’ve realized that all the generations can get along.

This French 'Renaissance Revival' bookcase looks amazing in this modern construction.

This French ‘Renaissance Revival‘ bookcase looks amazing in this modern construction.

Here are some of the design trends Betty Lou Phillips is seeing after spending 15 years writing books about French and Italian decor.

1. Mixing it up.

“We are definitely mixing more midcentury modern with fine antiques. We’re seeing just how well the different eras work together. Social media has given DIY decorators a lot more confidence and made consumers more open-minded,” she says.

This beautiful French 'Lit de Repose' and 'Medievel style chair' look sublime in this modern setting.

This beautiful French ‘Lit de Repose’ and ‘Medievel style chair’ look sublime in this modern setting.

2. Antiques unleashed.

The trend of the younger French abandoning their large farmhouses for the suburbs means they’re living smaller, but still well. That gentrification has not only unleashed a lot of French furniture onto the market, but also allowed antiques to break free of their formal associations, said Phillips. They are getting mixed with modern pieces in smaller contemporary settings. The shakeup has resulted in a whole new look that has found its way across the Atlantic.

Here's the proof in photos how wonderful a 19th Century Henri II French Antique Buffet hutch works in a brand new kitchen. Our friend and client Helen Angus did this very thing to her beautiful house on the beach about 5 years ago.

Here’s the proof in photos how wonderful a 19th Century Henri II French Antique Buffet hutch works in a brand new kitchen. Our friend and client Helen Angus did this very thing to her beautiful house on the beach about 5 years ago.

3. Americans in Paris.

American mid-century style is affecting French style, too. For a long while, the French ignored modern furniture. “They were shunning any reminders of the war and the occupation of France,” said Phillips. “But now they are welcoming it and mixing it (with) their heirloom pieces.”

We loved this classic French  antique farm table in this contemporary setting in Spain.

We loved this classic French antique farm table in this contemporary setting in Spain.

4. Easier to say than do.

As with haute cuisine, when you’re mixing older period and modern furnishings, the proportions and ingredients have to be just right. If your home has mostly modern pieces, make your next piece an antique. If your home tends toward Old-World European, injecting something modern, such as a clean-lined, solid-color sofa, will give it a refresh.

This rare Napoleon III display cabinet looks stunning and provides a stark contrast to the neutrals in this room.

This rare Napoleon III display cabinet looks stunning and provides a stark contrast to the neutrals in this room.

5. Easier on the pocket.

Want to get a great look for less? Mix a few, nicer-quality heirloom pieces, which go a long way toward establishing a feeling of heritage and quality, with contemporary items, which tend to be more affordable.

6. Start with art.

Art offers a great way to blend eras. If your home is all modern, old oil paintings can add a regal note of the past. If your house has mostly older furnishings and antiques, a contemporary painting can make a big splash. “People are loving the flashes of color, whether they understand what’s going on in the paintings or not,” said Phillips. “Even in our designs, our clients will say, ‘I don’t get it, but I love it.’ ”

Look how wonderful this modern art looks when paired with a pair of 19th Century Louis Philippe Armchairs.

Look how wonderful this modern art looks when paired with a pair of 19th Century Louis Philippe Armchairs.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver BC

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Decorating Mistakes To Avoid

I learned a lot about colour and design as a design student at the Parsons School of Design in New York. At the Antique Warehouse we’re always working with designers and decorators (both local and international) on creating that ‘look’ that everyone’s after.

While I’m not a trained designer I’ve developed an eye after being in so many beautiful spaces, both here and abroad. However, I always like to consult with interior decorators/designers when it comes to choosing interior colors, fabrics or tiles for my own personal home. I know what I like and need someone professional to tell me how to achieve it. I suggest you do the same if you’re at all unsure about what you’re doing. It can save costly mistakes and a lot of headaches.

The following ‘decorating mistakes to avoid’ were published on the About Home website that I thought were worth mentioning. Some are obvious and some are not. But it’s amazing how many homes we go into and see the mistakes outlined below. The client knows something’s up but just can’t figure out what it is. Even the simple task of re arranging furniture can have an spectacular effect and it costs nothing. I can’t tell you how many of our friends and clients have been amazed at what a simple re arrangement of furniture can do.

I’ve edited the following article with my own comments and added photos to give examples. In the original ‘About Home’ copy no photos existed. I always love to see photos in an article.

Too Many Pillows

Pillows are meant to add comfort. When there are so many on a sofa that you can barely sit down it’s far too many. Try to limit accent pillows on a sofa to two or three.

How can anyone sit on this sofa without throwing all these pillows on the floor?

How can anyone sit on this sofa without throwing all these pillows on the floor first?

Having More than One Focal Point

Whenever possible limit your focal points to one per room. Sometimes the architecture of the room makes it impossible, but multiple focal points can make a room feel disjointed and leaves the eye without a place to rest.

The focal point in this undeniably French salon is the French crystal chandelier according to the designer. In my opinion I would think it would be the firesurround.

The focal point in this undeniably French salon is the French crystal chandelier according to the designer. The room is so gorgeous that I doubt a single focal point makes much difference.

Not Testing Your Paint Color

Always test a sample of your wall color before committing. Paint colors can vary drastically depending on the amount of light in the room and the way natural light travels over the course of the day. Paint a sample square on the wall and leave it at least 24 hours before making a final decision.

Always test your color and in different lights too. A color will change depending on where in the room it's placed and what time of day it is.

Always test your color and in different lights too. A color will change depending on where in the room it’s placed and what time of day it is.

Buying Cheap Furniture

It can be tempting to buy inexpensive furniture for obvious reasons, but what you save in dollars you often pay for in quality. When it comes to important pieces of furniture always buy the best you can afford. (The exception to this rule is with trends – never spend too much on a trendy piece as you’ll likely tire of it sooner rather than later.) This is why I always advocate going for the classics which French furniture provide.

If you can’t afford expensive antiques, vintage furniture is just as good, because even if it is cheaper, the quality can outdo anything newly produced. Always look for details like carving, breaks, repairs, and dovetail joinery in anything you buy, used or new.

This lovely commode has all the hallmarks of a superior piece of furniture. Beautifully detailed inlay, exquisite bronze mounts and details with intricate carving, and beautifully proportioned. Some reproductions will look 'off'.

This lovely commode has all the hallmarks of a superior piece of furniture. Beautifully detailed inlay, exquisite bronze mounts and details with intricate carving, and beautifully proportioned.

Making Purchases Based on ROI

When you’re buying or renovating a home it’s important to think about return on investment, but not so much when decorating. Don’t buy a piece because you think it will eventually increase in value. There are no guarantees, even with costly antiques, so only buy items you love – if they go up in value later consider it a bonus.

It’s important to be honest with yourself when decorating. If you like cuddle with the pets, put your feet up, or eat dinner while sitting on the sofa it stands to reason that you should have one that’s durable, stain resistant and comfortable. This goes for everything in the room. Don’t try to live in a room that doesn’t suit your lifestyle.

Snuggling with a pet, especially one that sheds, can dirty up a sofa in no time flat. I never buy white because I love my dog but also my sanity.

Snuggling with a pet, especially one that sheds, can dirty up a sofa in no time flat. I never buy white because I love my dog but also my sanity.

Too Many Big Plants

Plants are important, and every room should have a couple. However don’t overdo it and get plants that are going to grow so much they overtake the space. Find smaller versions that will compliment the room and accessorize with them accordingly.

Too many plants looks to 1970's 'Hippie'. Remember the crocheted hanging plant holders?

Too many plants looks too 1970’s ‘Hippie’. Remember the crocheted hanging plant holders?

Being Too Monochromatic

Decorating in a single color can be boring. If you want to keep things neutral choose different shades of color to add interest and sophisticaion.

White on white looks boring in my opinion.

White on white looks boring.

Too Many Wood Tones

While it’s good to have some variety in wood tones in a given room, you’ll want to make sure not to use too many. Mixing woods with orange undertones and those with red can be jarring. Try to keep them all in the same color family but use different varieties.

Allowing various wood tones to coexist, just like the many types of trees in a single forest, can create a more interesting and textured look. Some guidelines for successfully mixing it up will be discussed in a later blog.

Mixing too many wood tones in a room can be jarring. Woods in similar tones look elegant and chic.

Mixing too many wood tones in a room can be jarring. Woods in similar tones look elegant and chic.

Too Many Large Personal Photos

If you like to have personal photos on display, by all means go for it. But extra large engagement, pregnancy, or family portraits can be overwhelming and make guests uncomfortable. Instead of a large portrait consider a photo wall of smaller pictures. You can still be surrounded by photos of loved ones, just in a more stylish and less intrusive way.

Too Many Patterns

Patterns are great but too many can be distracting and look confusing to the eye. When you’re decorating with patterns try to follow some of these rules.

Too many patterns in a room can look cluttered or busy.

Too many patterns in a room can look cluttered or busy.

Using Furniture Covers to Avoid Stains

Everyone hates stains, but if you live in a home where it’s likely to happen it’s better to have furniture that is stain resistant or can easily be washed than covering them up with ugly old throws or canvas covers.

Decorating Too Quickly

A comfortable and inviting room can’t be created in a day. Take time to decide what you want, search out the right things, and don’t make rush decisions. A room will naturally evolve over time so don’t try to hurry and finish it all at once. Chances are you’ll be disappointed with the results.

Treating Every Room as a Separate Unit

A house or an apartment is a whole unit comprised of different rooms. Those rooms (while they don’t need to look alike) should relate to each other. Try to coordinate styles and colors to a certain extent so your home doesn’t feel choppy and disjointed.

Inadequate Lighting

Lighting is arguably the most important element in any room. Make sure you have the appropriate mix of ambient, tasks and accent, and be sure to place lights at different levels throughout your room.

This room is only lit by natural light leaving it dull and uninteresting.

This room is only lit by natural light leaving it dull and uninteresting.

Furniture Scale

One of the biggest mistakes in a room is using furniture that’s far too large for the space. Sofa’s are usually the biggest culprit making the room look cramped.

This sectional is completely wrong for this space. The room looks cramped and uncomfortable

This sectional sofa is completely wrong for this space.

Don’t be afraid to Mix Styles

Many people think because their home or apartment is new and modern, that only modern furniture will look appropriate in the space. Nothing could be further from the truth. The photo below shows just how great the mix of antique and modern look together.

This modern dining room looks interesting with a mix of a 19th Century French sideboard, a 19th Century Empire armchair paired with a Parsons table and modern chairs. Nothing tired looking about this space.

This modern dining room looks interesting with a mix of a 19th Century French sideboard, a 19th Century Empire armchair paired with a Parsons table and modern chairs. Nothing tired looking about this space.

At the Antique Warehouse our own in house designer and consultant, Jason Young, can help you out with a multitude of tasks from choosing the right antique to selecting an appropriate wall color. He’s very talented and has helped many of our clients.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC.

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The Ceremonial Cradle of the Duke of Bordeaux

Last Sunday, Larry and I decided to take a tour of the Museum of the Decorative Arts located directly adjacent to the Louvre Museum. We’d heard there was a fabulous display of furniture dating from the middle ages through the present day. Of course, we couldn’t wait to have a look.

I will be showing photos from our tour in upcoming blogs, but one of the highlights of our tour was the room that houses ‘The Ceremonial Cradle of the Duke of Bordeaux’ built in the early 1800’s by one of the finest furniture makers of the time.

Seven months after her husbands’ assassination in 1820, the Duchess of Berry gave birth to a son, the Duke of Bordeaux and future Count of Chambord. The cradle of this ‘miracle child’ was made by famed cabinetmaker of the time, Felix Remond. It was veneered with burred elm, figured ash, inlaid with amaranth and decorated with gold gilt bronzes. It allegories and symbols were carefully chosen.

 

Marie-Caroline, The Duchess of Berry

Marie-Caroline, The Duchess of Berry

The cradles overall design is that of an angel of sorts, holding up a horn of plenty overflowing the Frances’ riches to the heavens: fruit, vegetables and fleur-de-lis, emblem of the French monarchy. The heir to the throne’s ‘boat’ symbolises the regimes’ political stability after the turmoil of the Napoleonic era. Medallions depicting the sciences and arts illustrate the benefits of thie newfound prosperity.

 

Exhibition of Products of Industry in 1927

The boat bed won a prize at the Exhibition of Products of Industry in 1927. There is not a single straight line in it’s ship-like structure.

This fabulous ceremonial cradle is located in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in the 19th Century pavillion in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. The Museum of Decorative Arts has one of the largest and finest collections in the world: 150,000 works dating from the Middle Ages to the present day and covering every field of the decorative arts – furniture, precious metalwork, ceramics, glass, jewelrey, wallpaper. It also includes drawings, toys and an exceptional donation of paintings, drawings and toys.

 

The Museum of the Decorative Arts on Rue Rivoli next to the Louvre.

The Museum of the Decorative Arts on Rue Rivoli next to the Louvre.

We enjoyed the tour of this fabulous museum and highly recommend it anyone who loves furniture, porcelains, and art. The other side of the museum boasts one of the best collections of fashion anywhere.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

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Flea Markets in Vancouver for Antiques?

 

Marche aux Puces in Paris

We visit the Marche aux Puces in Paris, but not many in the Vancouver, area.

Many people ask us if we ever do the flea markets in Vancouver to source any of our furniture. The answer is no. Not because we don’t like flea markets or think we wouldn’t find anything, but it’s always been our focus to import our products from France and other parts of Europe. We love the uniqueness and the quality that European antiques are famous for. And our clients seem to love them too!

 

19th Century Italian farm table

The likelihood of finding a 19th Century Italian farm table like this at a Vancouver Flea market is remote.

Flea markets are usually independent people or dealers that deal mainly with ‘smalls’ as we in the trade call them. That means china, glassware, and other collectibles. The odd dealer will haul a big piece of furniture but it’s difficult and for a ‘day’ it’s hardly worth the effort.

However, if you like flea markets they can be a fun way to spend the afternoon perusing through the myriad of tables and displays. You’ll never know what you’ll come across.

I’ve put together a list of local flea and farmer’s markets in the Vancouver area. The list was gleaned from the bcfleamarkets.com website. Some I’ve attended and some I’ve not. I love farmer’s markets particularly! There is a very good one out in the Ladner area that takes place in the summer on alternating weekends. Great produce and interesting vendors.

21st Century Flea Market – The flea markets and Retro/Antiques Fairs are all held at the Croatian Cultural Centre and the two Kerrisdale Antiques Fairs are at the Kerrisdale Arena in Vancouver.

General Admission $5 at Door 10am-3pm, Special Early-Bird Admission $20 at Door 7am-10am Children Under 13 Free with Adult Free Parking Snack Bar ATM. Phone (604) 980 3159 for more information or visit their web site at http://www.21cpromotions.com/index.html. “We are a European-style collectors market, specializing in collectibles, antiques, retro, vintage and the like, rather than new or craft-type merchandise” says Renee Lafontaine of 21st Century Promotions.

 

Vancouver Flea Markets - Croatian Cultural Centre

The 21st Century Flea Market by 21st. C. Productions takes place at both the Croation Center and the Kerrisdale Arena.

2015 Dates:

Sunday, January 18, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Retro Design & Antiques Fair

Sunday, March 22, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sat & Sun – April 18 & 19, 2015 – Kerrisdale Antiques Fair

Sunday, May 24, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sunday, June 28, 2015 – Retro Design & Antiques Fair

Sunday, July 26, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sat & Sun – Sep 5 & 6, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sunday, October 18, 2015 – Retro Design & Antiques Fair

Sunday, November 15, 2015 – 21st Century Flea Market

Sunday, December 6, 2015 – Retro Design & Antiques Fair

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Gates open every Sunday 7:am to 3:00 pm. Table cost: $15.00 inside the hall and on the patio. Parking lot space $20.00 each. Tables are available for rent at $5.00 each. Admission: $1.00, children under 10 years are free.

Reservation required for inside and outside space. To reserve call Gary Johal @ 604-580-8444 office.

Aldergrove Flea Market – This is a new outdoor only market for 2013. It is at the corner of 264th Street and the Fraser Highway in Aldergrove, B.C. It is outside on blacktop. You can find most anything there. There is a very large tool vendor there and others who handle most everything else. It current runs Saturday and Sunday from 8:00am to approx. 3:00pm depending on customers. No one will likely be there on rainy days. but it’s a lot of fun. There are restaurants nearby. You can take in the large Cloverdale flea market on the way there or back. Spots to sell are $10 per parking stall. You must supply your own tables. Best times are sunny or non rainy days from April 01-Sept 30. There will be some vendors there earlier and later that this if the weather is good.See you there.

 

Vancouver Flea Markets - Aldergrove

The Aldergrove flea market is a fun way to spend a warm sunny summer afternoon.

Chinatown Public Market Weekend evenings (Friday to Sunday from 6:30 to 11:30) Keefer and Pender Streets become an open-air public market.

Cloverdale Flea Market – Update April 24 – New at this point is the return of our nurseries. For the next several Sundays, we will be filled with plant vendors. The plant people carry everything from bedding plants, hanging baskets, shrubs, perennials, annuals, flowers, succulents, etc… the list goes on! Definitely the best deals in the lower mainland!

The hours, 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM every Sunday with very few exceptions, remain the same. It is located in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds with entrances at 176th & 62nd Ave. and 176th and 60th Ave., Surrey. Admission is $1.50, children under 12 are free.

Please contact Andy Janes at 604-837-1676 or email at [email protected] Website, www.cloverdalemarket.ca.

The Eastside Flea – The Food Cart Fest ends on Sept 22, and the Eastside Flea is on-going monthly at the Wise Hall. We would like to invite you all to join us at the Wise Hall this fall, every 3rd Saturday of the month, for a day of wonders, treasures, charm, and good company! The Eastside Flea is a fresh new monthly flea market in East Vancouver featuring a diverse array of vendors from handmade goods, vintage clothing & antiques, art, craftsmen items, garage sale, and more! Admission into the market is by donation, and is all ages! Please bring the family, friends, anyone you know… we’ll have something for everyone!! This is a community-oriented event, and we would like to encourage all types of vendors to participate, from people with extra knick-knacks around the house to local businesses.
**VENDOR INQUIRIES**
If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Eastside Flea, or want more info, please send us an email at [email protected]

 

Vancouver Flea Markets - East Side Christmas Market

The east side flea market Christmas market.

East Vancouver Farmers Market has a number of markets in the Vancouver area and it stakes its claim as the only “true Farmers Market” in the heart of the city. Buy directly from farmers and other local producers. For more info, call (604) 879-FARM (3276) web site link http://eatlocal.org and look under ‘Markets’.

Fall Market Place Montage a Fall Artisan Market to be held @ the O.P Hall 1577 128th Street, South Surrey. One day only! Saturday, October 11th, 2014 10:00 a.m. ± 4:00 p.m. An eclectic mix of tasteful home and personal accessories from a variety of talented artists and artisans. If you are an artist looking to display and sell your works, contact me, Cathie, right away.

Leather Goods Woodworking
Sterling Silver Jewellery Handmade Soap
Original Paintings Photography
Up-cycled Furniture Knitted Goods
Collectibles Vintage Inspired Jewellery
Flowers for your Thanksgiving Table Fall Comfort Food
Admission by Donation and Concession (Admission and Concession proceeds will be donated to The Canadian Woman’s Foundation and BC Guide Dogs) Contact Cathie Stonier for more information.

Kennedy Flea Market **New Owner** March 2014
8870 120 St, Surrey, BC V3V 4B4
Contact: Lucky Ph. # 778-709-5872

Kerrisdale Village Farmers Market Saturdays, July 7 – October 6 10am – 2pm each week East Boulevard between 37th and 41st Avenue – near Kerrisdale Arena INTERACTIVE MARKET MAP

Kitsilano Farmers Market Sundays, May 20 – October 21 10am – 2pm each week 2690 Larch Street at 10th Avenue, Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre INTERACTIVE MARKET MAP

Main Street Station at Thornton Park Wednesdays, June 6 – October 3
3pm – 7pm 1100 Block Station Street along Thornton Park across from the VIA Rail Station and near the Main St Skytrain Station INTERACTIVE MARKET MAP

North Shore Green Markets – Has a variety of markets each week with the SHOWCASE being the Friday Night market 5pm – 10pm June 15th – Oct 26th, 2012 Shipbuilders Plaza 138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver. It features 4-6 different local musicians, dancers and performers each and every Friday night along with up to 70 local artisans, vendors and unique gourmet food trucks.
The market location is on the pier, to the east of Lonsdale Quay and is perfectly situated along the new and future Spirit Trail. The Pier development neighbours over 10 residential towers, Lonsdale Quay, restaurants, the Seabus and many other businesses. The location will make this event a perfect destination to bike, walk, rollerblade or hop the bus or Seabus and relax at the Pier take in the sights, sunsets, shop, eat and be entertained.

Their web site is: http://www.canamade.com/green_markets.htm and the contact is Ingrid, 778-995-9461 | [email protected]

 

The North Shore Green Market

The North Shore Green Market

Otakara Hakkutsu (Treasure Hunt) Market at Japanese cultural centre! Date & Time: Every March. Location: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, 6688 Southoaks Cres., Burnaby (Kingsway & Sperling Ave).
“One’s Garakuta (junk) is another’s Otakara (treasure).” Over 40 tables selling Japanese items, dishes, clothes, small appliances, toys, books etc. Find treasures! Join the many scavengers!

Open free to the public, free underground parking. Tables are available at $25 each. For more info: www.nikkeiplace.org or call 604.777.7000

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 118 – Cost is $20 per table – come join the fun, make some money and clear out some stuff! For information please stop by the branch or call 604 985 1115 Royal Canadian Legion Branch 118 123 West 15th Street (@ Lonsdale) North Vancouver.

Star of the Sea Catholic Church hall – markets are held the first sat. of Sept.4, Oct 2, Nov. 6, Dec 4. Some tables are available for rent. Please call Phil@ 604 536 5411.

Trout Lake Farmers Market Saturdays, May 12 – October 20 9am – 2pm each week North Parking Lot of John Hendry Park at Trout Lake Between Templeton and Lakewood south of the 13th Avenue Alley Please note: There is no parking in the North Lot and no parking on 13th Avenue. Please park away from the area & walk in. INTERACTIVE MARKET MAP

The Twilight Drive In Theatre Swap Meet – Every Sunday, gates open at 7AM & close at 4pm weather permitting mid April to mid October. Admission Sellers: $15, Buyers: $1, 260th St. & Fraser Highway, Langley, BC. For more information call 604-856-5165 or go to www.twilightdrivein.net. Sellers are welcome all day, no reservations required.

UCWLC Branch & St. Mary’s Parish – Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:30 – 2:30 Great stuff new & used Lunch available Gently used articles No clothing Tables: $25 Contacts: Olga 604-274-9804; Mary 604-271-1131; Marlayne 604-274-3164 ** St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Centre, 3150 Ash Street, (16th Ave. & Ash Street, Vancouver) Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Benefit Concert by S.K.A.Y.
Location – 550 West 14th Ave Vancouver BC (St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Centre)
Time – 7 PM.
S.K.A.Y. band can fairly be called one of the most popular rock bands in Ukrainian show business. They will perform at the St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Centre with all proceeds going to support wounded Ukrainian soldiers and their families.
Tickets $40 ($45 at the door).
Call 604-336-0887 or e-mail [email protected] for tickets and more details.

 

SKAY Concert Performance

SKAY will be performing a concert in support of the Ukrainian soldiers during the crises in the Ukraine.

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Vancouver Flea Market – 703 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver. The Vancouver Flea market – 360 tables Open EVERY weekend of the year Admission $1.00 Tables $25 We sell everything you can imagine. From Antique and collectibles to gold and silver jewellery. http://www.vancouverfleamarket.com We now take consignment info 604-685-8843 Call (604) 685-0666 | 2014 Show Dates: Sun Jan 12, Sun Mar 9, Sun June 29, Sun Sept 14, Sun Nov 9 – Be sure and look for them!

 

The Vancouver Flea Market is located at Terminal and Main St.

The Vancouver Flea Market is located at Terminal and Main St.

West End Farmers Market Saturdays, June 2 – October 20 9am – 2pm each week 1100 Block of Comox Street across from Nelson Park at Mole Hill INTERACTIVE MARKET MAP

Vancouver’s Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium – Every Saturday, 10am – 2pm (closed December 24 & 31) Location: 30th and Ontario Street in the East Parking lot and Plaza of Nat Bailey Stadium. No access to 30th Avenue from King Edward on Ontario Street. There is no access to 30th Avenue when travelling south on Ontario Street.

You can always consider visiting the Antique Warehouse for a semblance of a trip to a flea market in Europe. We have over 12,000 sq. ft. of furniture and collectibles imported from France, Italy, Belgium and England. Our visitors and clients tell us they love to spend an afternoon just ambling through our store looking ( and buying ) some of the most beautiful things in the city.

If antiques are your thing then pay us a visit soon.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC
Canada

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Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras comes and goes with little fanfare or even as much as a whisper in Vancouver. However, in other parts of the world it’s quite a different matter. In fact, Mardi Gras is officially tomorrow, February 17 on the Christian calendar and it signifies the beginning of Lent.

Some of the largest most colorful celebrations occur in Rio De Janiero, Venice, and New Orleans. Mardi Gras is also observed in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Colombia, Sydney, Netherlands and even in Quebec City, Canada where it’s officially called the Winter Carnaval with Quebecers rolling around in bathing suits in the snow. (In -20C. that’s courageous!)

Venice Mardi Gras celebrations.

Some of the most fabulous and elaborate costumes are seen at the Venice Mardi Gras celebrations.

Mardi Gras also Fat Tuesday in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Epiphany or King’s Day and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. The date of Fat Tuesday coincides with that of celebrations of Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans proceeding down Bourbon Street.

The carnival season in France has a long history, with its oldest origins tied to ancient Rome, where a circus-type festival took place. The event, known as Lupercalia, honored the Roman deity Lupercus and is similar in many ways to today’s Mardi Gras celebrations. When Christianity was introduced in Rome, certain aspects of those ancient rituals were incorporated into the new religion, allowing Christians a time of feasting, revelry, and abandonment prior to the 40 days of Lent.

Mardi Gras Origins

A popular theory holds that Mardi Gras’ origins lie in ancient pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, such as Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Some experts contend, however, that Mardi Gras-type festivities popped up solely as a result of the Catholic Church’s discouragement of sex and meat during Lent. Church reformers may have helped to propagate the pagan rumors, these experts say, in the hope of dissuading pre-Lenten hedonism.

The creation of what resembles today’s carnival season in France didn’t occur in earnest until the Middle Ages, when the Feast of Fools began to be celebrated each year, with revelers participating in the ongoing activities of feasting, singing, and dancing. Today, several French cities continue to celebrate with parades and assorted activities lasting for several weeks.

A painting by Bruegel of the Feast of Fools from the Middle Ages.

A painting by Bruegel of the Feast of Fools from the Middle Ages.

One of the major carnival celebrations in France is the Paris Carnival. Beginning with a procession through the streets, participants at the Paris Carnival wear costumes made of vibrant colored fabric, full half-face masks, painted faces, and elaborate head pieces, or all shapes and sizes, adorned with ribbons, glitter, and assorted feathers. Music fills the air as street dancers, puppeteers, and performers entertain the crowd while giant figures propelled by stilt walkers, oversee the crowd.

Le 'defile' or parade of Carnaval in Paris

Le ‘defile’ or parade of Carnaval in Paris starts in the place Gambetta and ends at Republique. It’s held on the Sunday before.

One of the most elaborate celebrations taking place in February is the Nice Carnival. This event is the most popular Mardi Gras in the French Riviera attracting more than one million visitors each year. The Nice Carnival is always held in February when the weather in is at its best. Nestled along the luxurious Mediterranean, Mardi Gras in the French Riviera has its advantages with its beautiful weather, scenery, and coastline.

Mardi Gras Parade in Nice

Mardi Gras Parade in Nice promises to be the most eleborate in France.

The parade in Nice features musical and street performers along with nearly two-dozen floats adorned with hundreds of giant papier-mâché heads, each with a face of a different caricature. On Fat Tuesday itself, spectators enjoy a spectacular fireworks display and a brilliant night parade lit by thousands of colorful lights. The Nice Carnival can run for two weeks or longer but due to yearly calendar changes that affect the dates of Easter and Ash Wednesday, the schedule here (and at any other Carnival or Mardi Gras celebrations) vary from year to year.

Another of the outstanding parades during carnival season in France is held in Limoux. This small, quaint city has the distinction of being the longest running carnival in the world. Carnival events in Limoux run from January through March, and this carnival is also know for having exceptionally intricate costumes and elaborately decorated masks.

The Carnaval Parade in Limoux

The Carnaval Parade in Limoux is reputed as the longest running in the world.

Mardi Gras in Limoux features three parades at 11 am, 4:30 pm, and 10 pm, every day of the festivities. The parades feature participants in elegant as well as outlandish costumes and masks who make their way through the crowd singing, joking, and dancing. The night parade is highlighted with torches along the route adding a touch of mystery to the procession.

If your heart is set on celebrating here, be sure to plan far enough in advance when making reservations for next year’s Paris Carnival or Mardi Gras in the French Riviera to ensure you can find accommodations or take advantage of special vacation deals.

Happy Fat Tuesday my friends. Spend it with your loved ones having a wonderful rich, fattening dinner. You have the rest of the month to diet.

Try finding a Mardi Gras cake and celebrate!

Try finding a Mardi Gras cake and celebrate. My favorite French bakers in Vancouver is ‘French Made Baking’ on Kingsway. They make a Galette de Roi that’s better than anything I had in Paris. Tel: (604) 558.4880

Until next time.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC.

Visit our Website by clicking here.

Valentine’s Day in Paris

It may sound cliche, but spending Valentine’s Day in Paris is considered by many people the dream of a lifetime. After all, Paris is supposed to be the city of love. Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world, but Paris is the city where lovers plunge impetuously into fairy tales: walking along the Seine and its countless bridges; admiring Paris’ oldest monuments; and, of course, ending the day with a delicious dinner at a Parisian restaurant.

Valentine's Day in Paris
For Valentine’s Day, the French like everyone else, give gifts of flowers, jewelry or chocolates. As many of the chocolatiers in Paris are considered the best in the world, a gift of chocolates is a sublime idea.
I have many favorite chocolatiers in France which include Patrick Roger, Pierre Marcolini, Servant, and a host of many others to numerous to mention.

Patrick Roger is considered the best chocolatier in France

Patrick Roger is considered the best chocolatier in France. HIs windows are always conversational and can include anything from a giant chocolate gorilla to adorable 2 ft high penguins at Christmas.

Another form of luxuriating in chocolate is to drink chocolat chaud (hot chocolate to some degree) in an authentic Parisian tearoom. I love hot chocolate, but the mix of intense chocolate, sugar, and creme put me into the stratosphere of an all time sugar high. There are cafés everywhere (some are better than others). The hot chocolate at the restaurant La Rotonde is delicious. Its chocolate is sweet (and in good dose), and the Chantilly is velvety-smooth. Two other tearooms that are famous for their hot chocolate made in the traditional Parisian way are Angelina and Le Grand Colbert.

The 'mont blanc' in the lovely but very touristy 'Angelina' on Rue Rivoli.

The ‘mont blanc’ in the lovely but very touristy ‘Angelina’ on Rue Rivoli.

For Valentines, the wonderful Pierre Hermes makes a heart shaped cake to die for. It’s a blend of the essence of Jasmine and roses intermingled. This combination is inspired by the fragrance Joy by Jean Patou, one of my sister’s favorite fragrances. What could be more romantic and joyous than enjoying a piece of this devine cake with a glass of superior French Champagne. Unfortunately this cake and my favorite champagne ‘Deutz’ can only be had in Paris. They do not deliver to North America.

The 'tarte coeur' is one of the most sensational tasting cakes in the world.

The ‘tarte coeur’ is one of the most sensational tasting cakes in the world.

Now if dinner is your idea of celebrating Valentines Day you’re not alone. I’m sure every romantic restaurant in the world is solidly booked for this Saturday. One of the best restaurants in Paris is the Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Surprised that a tourist attraction could actually boast a fine restaurant? Well in this case it’s true. From every account I’ve heard from Parisians, Jules Verne is really very good with a view of Paris that goes on forever. (I’ve yet to try)

The Jules Verne restaurant in the Tour Eiffel Paris.

The Jules Verne restaurant in the Tour Eiffel Paris.

However you decide to spend your Valentines Day, I wish you a wonderful day spent with your loved one.

Valentine's Day in Paris

XOXOXO

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

The Antique Warehouse

Besieged Louvre Museum Temporarily Grants Visitors Free Entry

The Louvre in Paris, France.

The Louvre in Paris, France.

Visitors to the Louvre museum on Thursday got a pleasant surprise. Approximately 100 archeologists blocked the renowned museum’s ticket booth during the afternoon, allowing visitors to pass into the museum without paying the typical €12 entrance fee, reports the AFP.

The blockade lasted for around four hours. During the protest, the archeologists posted a sign in one of the ticket counter’s windows, which read, “Free entrance offered by the archeologists.”

100 protestors blocked the Louvre entrance for 4 hours yesterday, Feb. 5.

100 protestors blocked the entrance for 4 hours yesterday, Feb. 5.

Protesters were organizing against what they view as the progressive threat to archeological sites in France and around the globe due to the privatization of their profession. Since 2003, private companies have been allowed to compete with archeologists employed by the French government for projects related to the preventative maintenance of archeological sites.

The Lascaux Caves in Southern France is a world heritage site.

The Lascaux Caves in Southern France are a world heritage site.

A cohort of unions representing the protesting archeologists said in a statement to the news agency, “For more than 10 years, the privatization and commercialization of this sector has led to a catastrophic situation,” for archeological sites in the country. They suggest that, should privatization measures continue, the well-being of the country’s heritage could be in danger.

France’s most popular cultural attraction and the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre attracted more than 9.3 million visitors in 2014, a number on par with 2013. A whopping 70 percent of those visitors coming from abroad (see The Louvre is still the Most Visited Museum in the World).

In the next 10 years, the museum expects their annual visitor numbers to top 12 million (see Louvre Expects 12 Million Visitors Per Year by 2025). To accommodate that increase, new Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez has planned a significant overhaul of the museum’s presentation of its permanent collection.

Jean Luc Martinez, director of the Louvre

Jean Luc Martinez, director of the Louvre, proposes the most ambitious renovation in over 30 years.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
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Vancouver, BC

Two Bronzes May Be Michelangelo’s Only Surviving Bronzes In The World

Two bronze statues of muscular men riding panthers, each a meter (three feet) high and whose attribution has long been a matter of conjecture, are now thought to be the only surviving bronzes of Michelangelo, the Fitzwilliam Museum said on Monday.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge, located on Trumpington Street opposite Fitzwilliam Street in central Cambridge, England.

The statues of two men, each holding an arm aloft in a gesture of salute, were attributed to the 16th-century Italian Renaissance artist based in part on a tiny detail from one of his student’s drawings, the Fitzwilliam, which is the museum of Cambridge University, said.

It said that last autumn Professor Paul Joannides, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Cambridge, connected the bronzes to a drawing by one of Michelangelo’s apprentices now in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, France.

Paul Joannides of the University of Cambridge

Paul Joannides of the University of Cambridge discovered the tiny drawings by Michaelangelos’ apprentice in Montpellier, France.

Dr Victoria Avery, keeper of the applied arts department at the Fitzwilliam, said: “It has been fantastically exciting to have been able to participate in this ground-breaking project, which has involved input from many art historians in the UK, Europe and the States, and to draw on evidence from conservation scientists and anatomists.”

Michelangelo's Only Surviving Bronzes In The World

The bronzes have most recently been attributed to the Dutch sculptor Willem Danielsz Van Tetrode

The bronzes have most recently been attributed to the Dutch sculptor Willem Danielsz Van Tetrode and the 19th Century belief the sculptures were by Michelangelo had been dismissed by experts for at least a century.

This changed last autumn, when Paul Joannides, emeritus professor of art history at the University of Cambridge, connected them to a tiny detail in a 16th Century drawing held in the Musee Fabre in Montpellier, France.

Musee Fabre in Montpellier, France.

Musee Fabre in Montpellier, France.

It was also “drawn in the abrupt, forceful manner that Michelangelo employed in designs for sculpture. This suggests that Michelangelo was working up this very unusual theme for a work in three dimensions.” said Joannides.

One of Michelangelo’s apprentices had copied various slightly earlier lost sketches by his master and in the corner of one was a drawing of a muscular youth riding a panther.

Its pose is very similar to that of one of the bronzes and is drawn with the same style used by Michelangelo in his designs for sculpture.

The bronzes, which have spent over a century in relative obscurity, are now thought to be early works by Michelangelo, the museum said, made just after he completed his marble David as he was about to embark on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Michelangelo's David Sculpture

The sculptures were made shortly after Michelangelo completed the marble David, pictured in the Accademia

The bronzes were compared with other works by Michelangelo and found to be very similar in style and anatomy to his works of 1500-1510. The date was confirmed by the preliminary conclusions of initial scientific analysis.

Using X-ray, the team established the cast were thick walled and heavy – an indication that they date to the late 15th or early 16th Century.

Research is continuing and the final conclusion will be presented in July.

Michelangelo was known to have worked in bronze, but other exemplars were lost or destroyed, the Fitzwilliam museum said.

“If the attribution is correct, they are the only surviving Michelangelo bronzes in the world,” the museum said.

The bronzes, which are currently on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum from a private collection, will be on display until 9 August.

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse,
Vancouver, BC.

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