There are any number of excuses to hop on a plane and visit Italy—the food, the fabulous scenery, the lyricism of the language. But those things are merely the icing on the cake for our founder Pandora de Balthazár, who’s itching to get her hands on some of the remarkable antique and vintage textiles she knows she will find as she visits Parma and Venice with Toma Clark Haines, aka The Antiques Diva. She will be seeing sumptuous objects d’art like the Pointe de Venice coverlet we’re featuring images of to close this Diary entry.
It's Pronto for Parma and Venice!
First stop will be Mercanteinfiera, one of the most remarkable antiques fairs in Europe, and then on to Venezia where a roster of stunning activities have been planned. Making this trip even more special is the fact that Jordan Marxer, the creative director of editorial for Victoria magazine, will join Toma and Pandora. We’ll give you a heads up when the articles resulting from the trip are published so you can see nearly first hand why the Italian antique buying tours directed by The Antiques Diva & Co are on so many people’s bucket lists! And there will be tons of fun to be had, as you can imagine with one look at Toma in one of our beds at High Point Market last October!
Toma has been our brand ambassador since October and in case you missed our initial celebrations about why she is such a great fit for our brand, we thought we’d share a bit about what makes her services special. The one-on-one antiques tours that she and her Divas (and Divos) produce are truly customized—from satisfying the specific shopping wishes of the clientele to translating and negotiating for the treasures they find and shipping them home through her in house shipping company AD&CO LOGISTIC. Did you know they are now in eight countries in Europe and six countries in Asia?
Touring Italy with The Antiques Diva
I asked Pandora what she was most excited to see in Venice and she said it was a great big toss-up because everything on the agenda is so exciting. A visit to Fortuny is, of course, right up her alley, as is Bevilacqua. This is one of only two manufactures of luxurious fabrics in the world that still uses 18th-century looms to weave their textiles (the other one is in Lyon, Toma tells us). “They make super small quantities of fabrics a day because the quality is so superior,” Toma adds. “They produce fabrics for some of the most noted names in the world, including the Vatican, and the Dolce & Gabbana couture house. Take the time to watch the video below for a taste of the company's exquisiteness!
Along with visiting a slew of antique textile vendors, they will also stop by O&C Antiques in Venice, which specializes in museum-quality antique textiles, a subject that Pandora knows exceedingly well given she has such a remarkable collection of them herself. “Venice is like a sweet Vidalia onion,” Toma says. “if you peel the layers away, it’s an entirely different world. Down those calles and narrow pathways that form a warren around the city’s canals, you see only walls and doors. It’s when you enter through those entries that sumptuous universes unfold—the private gardens and hidden courtyards that tourists never see. It's like stepping into a world meant only to be seen by the Venetians.”
Other jaunts for antiques and a trip to Murano are also on the list so there will be plenty for us to process here on the Pandora de Balthazár Diary when our leading lady is back stateside! If you are on the hunt for anything particular that you believe Pandora may come across while she’s abroad, leave us a comment or send us an email and we’ll make sure it is on her list of things to source while she is there.
The Pandora de Balthazár Diary and this post, It’s Pronto for Parma and Venice!, © Pandora de Balthazár, all rights reserved. Products mentioned in this and all posts can be purchased through our atelier, and an array of our products are available on this site so we’d be thrilled if you’d take time to browse our collections. We also have a dynamic presence in the Arbor Antiques section of Round Top and during High Point Market. Be sure to bookmark our Calendar of Events page to keep up with all of our latest activities.