“Go to the Marburger Farm Antique Show,” says Newsweek. Go for the central Texas hills. Go for the barbecue. But most of all, go for the antiques – miles and piles of antiques, packing over 350 dealers into nine mega-tents and twelve early Texas buildings.
This Sept. 30-Oct. 4, shoppers can also go to Marburger Farm for Country Living Magazine’s 30th anniversary celebration. On Tuesday, Sept. 30, Country Living will host a book-signing for Marburger Farm exhibitor Robin Brown, founder of Magnolia Pearl. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the magazine’s editors will offer demonstrations on living with antiques, including new trends in country style. On Thursday, Oct. 2, Editor-in-Chief Nancy Soriano will tour the block-buster show, greet shoppers and host a Texas-style 30th birthday party for the top-selling shelter magazine at newsstand.
Of course, when Marburger Farm celebrates country style, it’s not only great American country antiques, but also Italian country, English country, Country French, Continental country, a little Asian country and what might be called industrial country. That’s not to mention the rare pieces of early Texas furniture that regularly make their way to Marburger Farm. “Whether you are looking for formal, country or both,” says show co-owner Ashley Ferguson, “Marburger dealers price their merchandise right. You’ll find good value here at all price levels and budgets.”
Theresa Smith of Glendale, Kentucky’s Time-Worn Interiors will bring a ten-foot-long Iowa harvest table from the 1890s, as well as a seven-foot-tall church arch in old crackled white paint. She will also offer a large apothecary cabinet with a zinc top and 12 bins, in original gray paint. Her own home was featured in Country Living last year.
Tamara and Jean Provoust of Decor will offer antiques from their native French countryside, both country and formal. Their collection for Marburger Farm includes a pair of Louis XVI commodes in cherry with clean and simple lines, a 1720s gilded mirror and two sideboards from southwestern France. “As we are French residents,” says Tamara Provoust, “it is easier for us to buy well from local estates and homes.” The Provousts buy at the source and price their antiques right for the American market.
Most Marburger Farm dealers sell a mix of antiques that wear well with either country or formal looks. Cheryl and Bob Daniel of Dadeville Alabama’s Plantation House Antiques create lighting out of antique bases such as Staffordshire pieces, olive jars from Greece and Turkey, wicker-wrapped bottles from Italy and stone barrels from England. Chico, Texas, dealer Joy Jenkins offers shell-encrusted chandeliers, early shell sailor’s valentines, garden and architectural antiques, and pier mirrors with frames embedded with antique found objects. “I specialize in heavy,” she says. “I’m shopping hard to find the most exciting antiques for Marburger Farm.”
Also specializing in heavy, Rebecca Looten of Monsoon Imports lives in Austin, Texas, but travels year-round in India, bringing home granite and other stone artifacts from old structures. She offers carved wooden panels, some 200 years old, with floral and animal motifs that can be used as headboards or as art on walls. For Marburger Farm, “I’ve got one of the oldest collections I’ve ever seen of tribal black and white marble platters and bowls, some nearly four feet wide. And I love doing Marburger Farm.”
James Herron of West Palm Beach, Fla., phoned in on his way to Belgium. “I travel the world getting stuff for Marburger Farm.” His “stuff” includes 18th century through mid-20th century decorative antiques with a more formal bent, but “I do oddball things,” he says. He mixes primitive American trade signs and industrial pieces with classic antiques from Austria, France and Belgium, always a completely fresh load. “I look for quality pieces with distressed, old patinas. That’s what they want at Marburger Farm and I’m going to give it to them. Last time I brought two 24-foot box trucks. This fall, I may bring a semi-truck.”
So whether you’re traveling by 18-wheeler or by compact car, get yourself to Marburger Farm. Take home a souvenir from Country Living’s 30th anniversary or, for larger items, use the Marburger on-site shipper. For shopper convenience, Marburger Farm offers free parking, a wi-fi area, air-conditioned restrooms and even a masseuse.
The Marburger Farm Antique Show runs Tuesday, Sept. 30 through Sat., Oct. 4, 2008, with $10 admission good all week. Early buying runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30, for $25, with regular $10 admission from 2-5 p.m. that day. The show continues on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Plan on breakfast and lunch in the Marburger Cafe where food includes Ellen’s Cafe, a Connie’s Coffee Bar and Rio Verde with an authentic home-cooked Mexican menu.
See information on vendors, travel, maps, lodging, shipping, bus trips and special events at www.roundtop-marburger.com or call Rick McConn at 800-999-2148 or Ashley Ferguson at 800-947-5799.