High Texas temps bite into dealers’ sales at Fall 2011 Round Top Antiques Week

This article was originally published in Antique Trader
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ROUND TOP, Texas – The tiny Texas town, Round Top, was again flooded with visitors for the 10 days of Texas Antiques Week with the overflow in the adjoining villages of Warrenton, Carmine and more. Since the beginning in late 1960s the one small show at Rifle Hall quickly spawned more shows and open field flea markets.

Houston and Austin area customers came shopping for Early American Country Style. As the years rolled by the numbers of participating dealers increased, selections and styles increased and so did the shopping reaching what today is more than twenty separate shows, fields or group shops twice each year, ending on the first Saturday of October and April.

The ensemble was ready for a new home with the drop leaf table in cherry, from Ohio and good early accessories, all in The Big Red Barn. All photos courtesy Tom O’Hara

This fall, from Sept. 24-Oct. 1, while there was only one afternoon of rain, the heat was blamed by many exhibitors in the tented shows for slower than usual buying. The sites with air conditioning, including The Big Red Barn and Continental Tent and Carmine of The Original Round Top Antiques Fair were enjoying good sales of traditional antiques from America and Europe.

Coles Antiques Show opened Sept. 22 with a full house hosting more than 200 exhibitors. Shelby Antiques Show at Harmonie Hall, a few miles off the main road and as such harder to find filled the main exhibit room with many dealers who have been at the show for years. Sterling McCall Antique Show had its last opening as the buildings have been sold taking away the site for the future of an antiques show.

Rifle Hall was vacant for the first time in all the years of shows as several dealers left the show causing the promoter to end it.

At Marburger Farm Antique Show, Ashley Ferguson, co-manager, reported 350 exhibiting dealers Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 2011. The Tuesday opening had nearly a thousand waiting as the barricades were lowered at 10 a.m. that first day in spite of oppressive heat. The first rain in six months that afternoon did little to reduce the daily high temperatures reaching 100 degrees

Exhibitors at Marburger have a very broad interpretation of antiques which allows much later decorator items including many collectibles and textiles from the 20th century. Industrial décor and funky folk art is available in great quantities as well as traditional antiques from early American periods and Europe.

The Original Round Top Antiques Antiques Fair hosted by Susan and Bo Franks Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2011 was again a big success when the market for antiques has been suffering from difficult economic times. Over 250 exhibiting dealers were offering antiques and collectibles from the earliest American styles through Beidermeier from Europe, lacquered furniture from Asia and even some of the later Industrial fashions for the home and work place.

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Begun as a venue for American country style antiques in The Big Red Barn the show has been expanded over the last five years with the addition of the air conditioned marquee Continental Tent and the Big Red Barn Tent to allow for expanded inventories and styles including many dealers that specialize in Continental, Industrial and even some later Nineteenth Century styles. Carmine Dance Hall just over the hill, also offered air conditioned space as part of this show.

Many customers at this show consider it the primary destination for the week of shows in the small Texas town which is a weekend second home destination for some Houston and Austin residents. They came in great numbers with well over a thousand waiting at nine Wednesday morning through the closing Saturday afternoon to find something special, including furniture.

Round Top, Warrenton and the surrounding villages have more than twenty show fields and flea markets during the week long shopping spree. There is no one central source for all the details but each show has its one website and telephone contact. It all happens again in the spring, March 28 through April 8, 2012 with the most intense activities April 3-7.

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