Round Top Antiques Fair Spring 2011: The draw of the West

ROUND TOP, Texas – Susan Franks filled all the exhibit areas at The Original Round Top Antiques Fair March 30-April 2, 2011 with antiques and shoppers for her sixth year and the 43rd year of the Round Top event. It started as just a little local affair but quickly grew – and then outgrew – the facilities in Carmine and Round Top. The Big Red Barn was built to accommodate the crowds and dealers for the 2002 shows. After Susan and Bo Franks bought the shows in 2005, they added the Big Red Barn Tent and The Continental Tent as well to cater to all the dealers needing exhibit space.

Charleston Furniture 1700-1825
Charleston Furniture 1700-1825 

This spring there were nearly 300 exhibiting dealers at the four venues offering Americana, Continental Antiques, vintage textiles early silver and jewelry to the several thousand visiting shoppers attending the four-day affair, the nucleus of all the Round Top antiques shows. The Continental Tent, now in its fifth year, was filled with dealers from across the United States with their collections gathered throughout the year from estates at home and abroad from auctions, estate sales and markets.

Robert Martin, a Richmond, Va., dealer had an extensive collection of early furniture including Beidermeier from Austria and Germany, painted pieces from Central Europe and some fine art from the same region.

Manor House Antiques, Knoxville, Tenn., offered small antiques from England and the Continent, including tortoise shell and shagreen tea caddies, dining table accoutrements and fine silver hollow ware. Owen Swift, a resident of Riverhead, N.Y., and native to Ireland, offered fine wood and upholstered pieces from his native land and the United Kingdom; Antiquaire Du France of Houston, Texas, had furniture from the other side of the English Channel. Steven Postans of Sarasota, Fla., brought collections from his European shopping expeditions.

The tradition of this show and its collections of early American antiques continued with dealers such as Patti Walsh of Chappell Hill, Texas, with her Historic Mayo Tavern Collection selling early New England painted and primitive furniture.

Betty Bell, Dallas, attended with her Christmas and early toy collections. Faith Viland, Phoenix, Ariz., sells 18th and 19th century folk art. The Vernons of Brenham, Texas, were selling native Texas furniture.

Mary Emmerling was signing book plates for her latest book, “The Art of Turquoise,” at The Big Red Barn. Hundreds of customers pre-ordered the book, which shipped free about May 1; the book plates were to be pasted into the books when received.

Susan Franks announced that at the upcoming fall show some later styles would be introduced into the Big Red Barn Tent, including Art Deco, Modern and Mid-Century, and early Industrial; there will also be some allowances for vintage fashions. She anticipates having examples of 20th century art and design ranging from couture, designer jewelry to colorful Modern paintings and sculpture, as well as a sampling of Mid-Century and Art Deco furniture. No reproductions and no new items will be allowed. She said the Big Red Barn and The Continental Tent will not be affected by this change in policy.

The Original Round Top show dates are Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2011.

More Spring 2011 Round Top Coverage:



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