A hastily planned buying trip to Europe

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, readership slows down in the summer, so I will only publish on Mondays until the weather gets cold and readership picks up.


The Divi Resort on St. Maarten before the hurricane

The Divi Resort post hurricane

Our vacation to St. Maarten in September was planned months in advance. Of course September is a risky month to plan a trip to the Caribbean, but the odds were with us that nothing would happen the exact week we planned. However, this is one of those times that we hit the unfortunate jackpot and so did the poor people of St. Maarten. The island was devastated by Hurricane Irma, forcing us to change plans. So we decided to change the trip to a business trip to Europe. There are worse places to visit than London and Paris.

Apparently travel to Europe in September is quite brisk. Makes sense. The summer crowds are gone and the weather is nearly perfect. It just makes for expensive tickets. We needed to start our trip in London, but the only way we could get there at a reasonable price was to fly to Orly in Paris, then take a bus to Charles De Gaulle Airport, then take a flight to Gatwick Airport outside of London, then take a train into London, then take an Uber to our hotel. So after 21½ hours of travel to London, we were wiped out. It would have taken less time to fly to Japan.

We found these incredible windows in Paris that we are considering purchasing

But we managed to buy well in London and then after a couple of days, we flew to Paris, where we spent a little more time and bought well there too. We sent photos from Europe to our best clients who bought quite a few things. Additionally we bought still more that will be shipped to us in time for our upcoming shows in Denver, Detroit and Winnetka.

My lovely wife, Lia, is shielding her eyes from the sun in the Marché Paul Bert

The flea markets in the north of Paris are a good place to find a large concentration of antique dealers. There isn’t any type of French antique that you can’t find there. Head to an area called St. Ouen (pronounced almost like San Juan) in the north of Paris. You can take the #4 Metro to the last station, Porte de Clignancourt, and then it’s a short walk. Weekends are the time to go.


October 20-22, 2017

Our next show will be in Denver, October 20-22, 2017. We’re giving Denver one last shot to prove it’s worthwhile traveling all the way from New York. If the show doesn’t go well, goodbye Denver. The following week we’ll be in Southfield, Michigan, for the Southfield Pavilion Antiques, Art, & Modernism Show. That’s another show that has to go well for us to return. Then we’ll be in Winnetka, Illinois, the following week for the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka show. That’s one show we don’t have to worry about. We have great clients in the greater Chicago area, so we really look forward to seeing our old friends.

Click Philip Chasen’s new items to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I recently added several new items and I’ll be adding more this week. They’re some of the best items I’ve ever had, so please take a look.

I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Searching for the Northern Lights in Norway

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Hello from Oslo, Norway, our last day here. We came to chase the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Were we successful? Well, yes, kinda, sort of.

The Finnmarken

We arrived in Norway in the city of Bergen, where we started our journey on a cruise ship line called Hurtigruten. Our specific ship was called Finnmarken. The Hurtigruten ships cruise the coast of Norway starting in Bergen north to Kirkenes, then turn around and head south. Besides cruise ship passengers, they’re working ships that stop in many ports along the journey. You can get on and off at any port.

We didn’t have any chance to see the Northern Lights until we passed north of the Artic Circle, after a few days traveling. It turns out we were north of the Artic Circle for only three nights, even though our entire trip was ten nights. Bad planning. If we were to do a similar trip again, we would just fly to a city north of the Arctic Circle, for instance Tromso, Norway, and stay there for several nights.

The Northern Lights from our ship

All the stars have to align to see the Northern Lights. 1. You need to be north of the Arctic Circle (most of the time). 2. It’s best to go in winter when the skies are dark. 3. It’s best to go when the moon is new, so it’s dark. 4. Going to a dark area outside of a city is best. 4. The weather has to cooperate, so cloud cover is a no-go. 5. Auroral activity should be at least moderate. The Kp-index is a measure of the activity, on a scale from 0 to 9. The higher the number, the better the chances and the brighter the display. That’s a lot of stars to align to get a good viewing.

The Northern Lights over a hilltop

So most of the factors aligned for two of the three nights, but the biggest factor working against us was the low auroral activity. The Kp index was between 1 and 2, so the little bit of Northern Lights we did see were faint and totally unspectacular. Boo hoo. We tried and we’ll probably try again, but now we’re a little smarter.

Paul Simon with the crew of the MS Trollfjord

To top things off, we found out that Paul Simon was on the next northbound Hurtigruten ship, the MS Trollfjord. Apparently he had his guitar with him and sang for the guests. Wow!


We’ll start preparing for our next show in two weeks, the Charleston Antique Show in Charleston, SC, March 17-19, 2017. I have no idea what to expect since I’ve never exhibited there, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have low expectations and am hoping for a nice surprise.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Discovering Art Nouveau in Norway

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Hello from Norway. We’re here in the middle of winter chasing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Hopefully we’ll get lucky and see it. I’ll let you know.

Two typical Ålesund Art Nouveau buildings, one dated 1906

In the meantime, we visited the city of Ålesund (pronounced Oh leh sund), which I had never even heard of before visiting. A fire consumed much of the city in 1904, so many buildings were rebuilt in Norway’s version of the Art Nouveau style.

Two Norwegian Art Nouveau cabinets on display at the Ålesund Art Nouveau Center (the left one is asymmetric)

Quintessential Art Nouveau draws it’s influence from nature and is usually asymmetric. Norwegian Art Nouveau is more like the transitional period in the 1910s between the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. The themes from nature are more stylized than realistic and the decoration is mostly symmetric (two characteristics of Art Deco).

The entrance to the Ålesund Art Nouveau Center

We visited the original Art Nouveau pharmacy, which is now the Art Nouveau Center of Ålesund. It’s a small museum now with a limited selection of items, including four low quality Gallé vases and one nice blue decorated Tiffany Favrile vase, but it was still interesting.

The interior of the pharmacy with an Art Nouveau cash register

Be careful how you park!

It’s a charming, clean city with friendly people. I’m glad we visited, even for a brief while. Art Nouveau buildings were a nice surprise.


When we return, we’ll prepare for our next show, the Charleston Antique Show in Charleston, SC, March 17-19, 2017. I have no idea what to expect since I’ve never exhibited there, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have low expectations and am hoping for a nice surprise.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A day in Murano, Italy, includes some glassblowing

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


We’re on vacation this week, so there won’t be a Thursday post, but look for regular Monday and Thursday posts starting next week.

A view down one of the Murano canals

A view down one of the Murano canals

We visited the island of Murano, Italy, while staying in Venice for a couple of days. It’s the center of glassblowing for all of Italy, because in 1291 the Venetian Republic ordered glassmakers to move there. The glassworks represented a fire danger in Venice, whose buildings were mostly wooden at the time.

The glassblower is using tongs to shape a bowl

The glassblower is using tongs to shape a bowl

Today, most of the major Italian glassworks have factories on the island, including Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso. We were able to attend a demonstration of glassblowing by a local craftsman. He created a fluted bowl and a horse in about 10 minutes. I tried glassblowing and this guy made it look easy. It’s not, believe me, believe me! (Sound familiar?)

A Venetian vaporetto

A Venetian vaporetto

Ferries, called vaporettos, make the trip to Murano from Venice in about 30 minutes. They run on regular schedules like buses and trains and are pretty easy to use (and much more fun). Tourists can buy tickets for unlimited use on all the vaporettos for about €20 ($22.50) per day (less as you increase the number of days).

Cute glass "food"

Cute glass “food”

I took videos of the glassblowing demonstration, which I’ll try to put together for uploading to youtube. It won’t be until sometime next week, when we’re back in New York. It will be much more comprehensive than the tease described here. You’ll want to see it.


winnetka-2016Our next show will be in Winnetka, Illinois, November 4-6, 2016. This is our only fall show in the greater Chicago area. We always look forward to exhibiting there, especially to see all our friends and clients. Put it in your calendar. It’s a lovely show!

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A day in Drubovnik, Croatia

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


We’re on vacation this week, so there won’t be a Thursday post.

A view of the old city of Dubrovnik from the hill above

A view of the old city of Dubrovnik from the hill above

Our first stop was in Dubrovnik, Croatia, an interesting city, with a population of fewer than 50,000 people.

I was surprised by a few interesting, unrelated facts, in no particular order — it’s a very small city; the water is as clear and clean as the Caribbean; Game of Thrones is filmed there; the city has fully recovered from the 1990’s war.

The old city is completely walled in, with no vehicles of any sort. It’s possible to walk the entire old city in 30 minutes or less. It used to be a fortification, but now it’s a tourists-only site.

There are many tame animals on Lokrum, including peacocks and rabbits

There are many tame animals on Lokrum, including peacocks and rabbits

Lokrum is the closest of many islands just off the coast of old Dubrovnik. 100 Kroner (about $15) gets you a 15-minute round-trip boat ride to this lovely island, with an inland lake. There is no sand, so bathers sit on the rocks and swim in the crystal-clear coastal water. We visited on a beautiful Sunday, so there were plenty of locals sunbathing and swimming.

That's Lia and me at one of the sites that's used for the filming of Game of Thrones

That’s Lia and me at one of the sites that’s used for the filming of Game of Thrones

It was a big, pleasant surprise to find out that Game of Thrones is filmed there. After visiting some of the site locations, it’s easy to understand why they chose Dubrovnik. Our guide told us that many of his friends were used as extras in the filming. They all find it most amusing to see themselves in the background. Now I have to go back and re-watch some of the episodes.


winnetka-2016Our next show will be in Winnetka, Illinois, November 4-6, 2016. This is our only fall show in the greater Chicago area. We always look forward to exhibiting there, especially to see all our friends and clients. Put it in your calendar. It’s a lovely show!

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A visit with John Atzbach at his museum of Shelby and Lamborghini automobiles

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


John's collection of Shelby Mustang automobiles

John’s collection of Shelby Mustang automobiles

John Atzbach is a friend of ours who my wife and I met through the antiques business. He is a specialist in Imperial Russian antiques, and an authority on Fabergé enamels.

That's John by his pride and joy -- the first Shelby Mustang competition car ever built

That’s John by his pride and joy — the first Shelby Mustang competition car ever built

So what does John do in his spare time? He collects, restores and displays important, vintage Shelby Mustang and Lamborghini automobiles. We visited him at his Issaquah, Washington, shop/museum.

John, 3rd from the right, with his team and his trophies

John, 3rd from the right, with his team and his trophies

In 2015 John exhibited his race-trimmed ’65 G.T. 350 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as it was the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Shelby G.T. 350. John won his category and Road & Track magazine’s “car they’d most like to take home from the event”.

The Lamborghini section of John's shop

The Lamborghini section of John’s shop

The Lamborghini on the wall is a Diablo VT factory prototype. It used to hang on the wall at the Lamborghini factory museum, so John decided to do the same. It has no engine or transmission, but still weighs 1750 lbs.

Our visit was great fun. Thanks for your hospitality, John.


baltimore-8-2016The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show is right around the corner, August 25-28, 2016. It’s the best show of the summer and maybe now the best of the year (with all the changes coming this winter in Miami). People fly in from all over the world to attend, including from as far away as Japan. If you haven’t yet visited, you should. It’s big, with some of the best national and international dealers. You’ll also enjoy Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

In the meantime, we’re very much in business. Call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Only in Holland! A July walk around Amsterdam

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Our walk around Paris unearthed a few amusing items. Amsterdam was no exception. You’d have trouble finding these things in the USA.

amsterdam-12As you probably know, marijuana is legal in Amsterdam. The proof is everywhere in center city, with one head shop after another and the near constant smell of marijuana smoke. At one point I searched Google to find out if second-hand marijuana smoke can get you high. The Google answer was probably not.

amsterdam-13How about a shop specializing in British and American food? Who are their clients? Brits and Americans who want a taste of home or Dutch or other curious tourists?

An interesting take on art

Now that’s interesting

Pretty clever of DHL since the canals go most everywhere in Amsterdam

Pretty clever of DHL since the canals go most everywhere in Amsterdam

This is such a tiny fraction of the number of bicycles in Amsterdam

This is a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of bicycles in Amsterdam

Thursday’s blog will showcase the new items we were able to purchase on our trip. Make sure you read the blog and look at my website. If you’re impatient or anxious to make a purchase, write to me directly.


baltimore-8-2016Our next show will be the eagerly anticipated Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, August 25-28, 2016. It’s the best show of the summer and maybe now the best of the year (with all the changes coming this winter in Miami). People fly in from all over the world to attend, including from as far away as Japan. If you haven’t yet visited, you should. It’s big, with some of the best national and international dealers. You’ll also enjoy Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

In the meantime, we’re very much in business, as witnessed by the 10 or more new vases I just listed (and more coming every day). Call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Cogels-Osy Lei, an Art Nouveau street in Antwerp, Belgium

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Cogels-Osy Lei

Cogels-Osy Lei

A day trip to Antwerp, Belgium, led to a wonderful street, Cogels-Osy Lei. It appears that the entire street was built within a single decade, right at the height of the Art Nouveau movement, approximately 1895-1905.

The beige Art Nouveau home is assymetrical

The beige Art Nouveau home is assymetrical

The street is beautiful, with more than a handful of Art Nouveau homes, characterized by curvilinear lines, especially in the ironwork. Assymmetry is another Art Nouveau characteristic, but only one of the buildings exhibited this.

Another of the fine Art Nouveau homes on the street

Another of the fine Art Nouveau homes on the street

Back to New York this weekend with some very fine vases and objects we purchased on our trip. More about that next week.


baltimore-8-2016Our next show will be the eagerly anticipated Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, August 25-28, 2016. It’s the best show of the summer and maybe now the best of the year (with all the changes coming this winter in Miami). People fly in from all over the world to attend, including from as far away as Japan. If you haven’t yet visited, you should. It’s big, with some of the best national and international dealers. You’ll also enjoy Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

In the meantime, we’re very much in business, as witnessed by the 10 or more new vases I just listed (and more coming every day). Call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

Only in France! A July walk around Paris

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Part of the huge line at a Monoprix store for a Pokémon GO prize

Part of the huge line at a Monoprix store for a Pokémon GO prize

My wife and I came to Paris on business, but found more than a few amusing things while walking around — things we just don’t see in the USA.

First and foremost was the huge line of about 1,000 people that wound around the block to get into a Monoprix store (food and clothing, kind of like a Target or a small Walmart). The signs in the store window advertised a “10% sale”, so I knew that couldn’t be the reason. After a couple of inquiries, I found out — Pokémon GO. I couldn’t believe it. If you waited two to three hours on line, you would be given a Pokémon GO bag with a few goodies, including a charger wire, some sunscreen, etc. What??? Two to three hours on line for a few Pokémon goodies? Beyond my comprehension (but I’m no longer 25 years old).

A one-person sideways elevator

A one-person sideways elevator

This next one really tickles me. How about an elevator so narrow that you have to stand sideways? What US elevator regulations does this violate? I grinned the whole time I used it.

paris-100Clothing by the pound? Here it is. Doesn’t appear to be a sound business plan, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

If I find more in Paris or Amsterdam, you’ll see it here soon.


baltimore-8-2016Our next show will be the eagerly anticipated Baltimore Summer Antiques Show, August 25-28, 2016. It’s the best show of the summer and maybe now the best of the year (with all the changes coming this winter in Miami). People fly in from all over the world to attend, including from as far away as Japan. If you haven’t yet visited, you should. It’s big, with some of the best national and international dealers. You’ll also enjoy Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

In the meantime, we’re very much in business, as witnessed by the 10 or more new vases I just listed (and more coming every day). Call or email me with your wants or items for sale. If you have what I’m looking for, I’m paying the highest prices. My decisions are quick and my payments just as quick. Just snap a photo and email it to me.

I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. I will continue to list more as often as possible. Please click here to take a look.There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.

A visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

The entrance to the museum announces the Basquiat exhibition

One of the perks of traveling to Paris on business is the opportunity to add a few days to our trip for pleasure. This time we decided to visit Biarritz, France and Bilbao, Spain, home of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. Ever since I saw photos of the building, opened in 1997, it’s been on my bucket list. I wasn’t disappointed, just surprised.

guggenheim-bilbao-5First I was surprised that the museum is right in the center of town. I had visions of it being on the outskirts, on its own campus. I also thought it was larger. Mind you, it wasn’t small, just smaller than I had imagined. Regardless, it is spectacular architecture.

A panorama of the interior

A panorama of the interior

Then I was surprised about the city of Bilbao. I imagined it was a little hole-in-the-wall community, but it’s not! It’s a fairly large city, clean, with impressive buildings, squares, restaurants, etc.

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim's exhibition

A Basquiat in the Guggenheim’s exhibition

The museum specializes in modern art and currently has an extensive Basquiat exhibition. Call me ignorant, but I don’t get it. Basquiat paintings are highly sought after and bring millions at auction, but I think if Monet were alive today, he wouldn’t get it either. When I look at art that I could have done myself, it’s not art. It seems Basquiat was blessed by the powers that be and then could do no wrong. If he had thrown dirt at a canvas and put a stripe on it, someone would have interpreted it as brilliant and revolutionary. Looks to me like an example of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Christie’s recently sold a Basquiat, Dustheads for $48,843,750. OK, I admit I couldn’t have painted that one.

Basquiat painting Dustheads, sold at Christie's May 15, 2013

Basquiat painting Dustheads , sold at Christie’s May 15, 2013

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

A Senegalese artist at work in the museum

It was very interesting watching a Senegalese spray can artist decorating one of the main columns of the interior. He had hundreds of cans of spray paint available. I wonder if this will be a permanent exhibition.

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

A Jeff Koons sculpture in the outdoor exhibition area

We spent the day at the museum, but it would have been fun to stay longer in Bilbao and experience the city. Maybe another day.


winnetka-10-2015Our next show is coming up soon at the Winnetka Community House in Winnetka, IL, November 6-8, 2015. We used to exhibit at shows in the greater Chicago area 4-6 times yearly. Most of them have disappeared, so we now only exhibit in Chicago twice a year, once in the fall in Winnetka and once in the spring in Glencoe at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Too bad, because we like Chicago and have lots of friends and clients. We’re really looking forward to seeing you at the show, so please put the dates in your calendar.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.