ROUND TOP, Texas — There are places where you can find quality antiques on a small scale, but the consistent feat of the Marburger Farm Antique Show has been quality antiques on a Texas-size scale. On Oct. 1-5, 2013, more than 350 dealers from most states and many countries will decamp with their best antiques, vintage and artisan objects at the twice-yearly mega show in Round Top, Texas.
Acre after acre will be filled of the best quality, whether high-end or a bargain, delivered in a setting like no other. Not just something for everyone, but something of quality for
“It’s the quality of our dealers that gets people to come show after show,” says Marburger Farm co-owner Ashley Ferguson. “People plan their year around Marburger. We’re seeing advance bookings from groups – corporate and sorority alum groups, book clubs and garden clubs.”
“I don’t bring anything ordinary to Marburger Farm,” says exhibitor Adele Kerr, owner of the New Braunfels, Texas, collective Adele Kerr & Co. “Marburger is a quality show and I love it.” For the Oct. 1-5, 2013, show, she will offer Swedish herbariums, art, Mid-Century Modern lighting, a Hollywood Regency sofa and chair set, 1940s French advertising and “prints galore.”
“Quality,” says silver dealer Carol O’Steen of Tallahassee, Fla., “is condition. It’s the person who made it and how the people who had it took care of it.” O’Steen will offer Marburger customers hundreds of sterling and fine silver plate pieces, including figural napkin rings, pre-1865 coin silver and larger pieces that are, she says, “in wonderful condition, usable and will endure.”
Oriental rug dealer Shahin Azra of Atlanta, Ga., defines quality as how a rug has been made and whether it uses authentic vegetable dyes. “We carry only the highest quality antique Persian, Turkish and Oriental rugs from the 18th and 19th centuries,” says Azra. “The colors and design of a rug are personal and subjective, but quality is universal.” The Azras are offering more than 200 rugs.
Quality on a wearable scale will arrive with Adrienne Astrologo of Philadelphia’s Ladybag International, which offers the world’s largest collection of vintage designer handbags, including Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Judith Leiber. “You can feel quality in a handbag,” says Astrologo. “It’s the sumptuous leather, the perfect, even stiches. It’s the good-quality lining and zipper. It’s heavier, better designed hardware. A Hermes Birkin bag took months to make by a single craftsman in France. These bags are authentic, quality works of art.”
Offering another perspective, Janet Romine of Rubbish Antiques believes that “Quality is in the eye of the beholder.” Alongside her pristine, modestly-priced schoolhouse flashcards will be objects that flaunt their age. “I’d rather have an imperfect piece of ironstone that was used and loved on a Thanksgiving table. Imperfect things can be high quality, too.”
For Colorado exhibitors Terry and Bill Pfister of East of LA Antiques, quality has a simple definition. “A quality antique,” says Terry Pfister, “is one that I would put in my own home.” Because they shop just for Marburger Farm, “We don’t have to fill a store with quantity, so we can buy only quality pieces for Marburger. Our customers at Marburger come back year after year and that means a lot to us,” says Pfister.
The real thing will also shine in the benefit booths for Dwell with Dignity of Dallas and the Brookwood Community near Houston. Dwell with Dignity networks with interior designers to create functional environments for families escaping poverty and homelessness. They will transport antiques donated by Marburger dealers to the month-long Pop Up shop in the Dallas Design District, starting Oct. 10. The Brookwood booth will offer plants, gifts and gourmet items created by its community of special needs adults. (See dwellwithdignity.org and brookwoodcommunity.org.)
So, whether you look for sterling qualities or the quality of well-worn character, plan to attend the fall Marburger Farm Antique Show on Oct. 1-5, 2013, where you will find Texas-sized doses of both. Antiques, vintage and artisan exhibits will include American, French, English, Asian, Continental, Mid-Century Modern, industrial, architectural, fine art, jewelry, silver, western, garden, textiles, lighting, early Texas, original artisan works and more.
The Marburger Farm Antique Show opens on Tuesday, Oct. 1 with early buying from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. prices at $25 for adults, free for children 15 and under. Regular $10 admission begins Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. One admission is good all week, with the show running on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking is free. Marburger hosts a Man-Cave in the Blacksmith Shop. A full-service food pavilion and Blacksmith Bar are also featured. Dogs on a leash are always welcome.
See information on the Marburger Farm Café, travel, maps, vendors, special events, lodging, on-site shipping and more at www.roundtop-marburger.com. For other information or advance group bookings, call Ashley Ferguson at 800-947-5799. Groups receive advance tickets, reserved lunch seating, boxed lunch option and will be greeted at Marburger with a Texas welcome and a swag bag of treats.