The semiannual event is a gigantic antiquing wonderland in small-town Texas.
If ever there was an antiquing capital of Central Texas, Round Top would be a serious contender. The town is home to more than one antique show, including the Marburger Farm Antique Show. The semiannual event runs Tuesday, March 29, to, Saturday, April 2, and will host more than 350 exhibitors from across the United States and the world in 10 giant tents and 12 historic buildings. All of it covering 43 acres. To say the Marburger Farm Antique Show will be a doozy is an understatement.
It will also be a boon for antiques fans looking to decorate their homes, offices or businesses, the next collector’s item, or the perfect gift for a loved one. On offer will be an extraordinary range of antiques, including but not limited to architectural, English, Continental, Asian, industrial, garden, Americana, painted furniture, fine art, early Texas, midcentury modern, French, silver, jewelry, textiles, paintings, and prints.
“I am constantly looking,” says Indiana exhibitor Shelli Alter of Dinner Party Antiques. “I drive across three or four states to a special sale or auction. I travel or search online late into the night, in all times zones. You have to be constantly looking so that you can act when you see something incredible. Run of the mill doesn’t cut it for Marburger.” Alter will offer finds from five states, including large scale midcentury abstract art, huge oils by a Savannah, Georgia, artist in 19th-century water-gilt frames, bronzes, brass and leather accessories, Baccarat and Murano boxes, 1950s marble sculptures and other eclectic and fresh finds. “Whether they are shopping for their home or for inventory for their stores, Texas customers expect me to pack a booth with fantastic, cutting-edge pieces. That’s my job.”
“We make accessorizing easy for shoppers,” says Georgia exhibitor Gayle Baker of Acanthus Studios. With her days often starting at 4 a.m., Baker shops estate sales in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. “You have to be there first. You have to know the design trends and what customers want. And you have to get it for a good price in order to be able to offer it at a fair price. I do a lot of reading and research and then I get up and get out there and try to find it.” What has Acanthus Studios found for this show? Vintage zebra hide rugs and upholstery, bar carts by Maison Jansen, brass animals from the 1950s to 1980s, French chairs and lamps made from horns, geodes, and tall slabs of Selenite.
Like most Marburger vendors, Seattle-based exhibitor Susan Wheeler of Susan Wheeler Home travels to buy. “I handle the details—and it’s all in the details whether a piece is the best or not. It’s all about details to get the piece to Marburger Farm from wherever I find it. I’m a traveling personal shopper for thousands of people who can’t invest the time in searching out and editing down to the best of the best. That’s what I do.” Wheeler’s loot for the spring show includes upholstered vintage furniture, functional and ready to go, as well as a set of midcentury modern Italian chairs and abstract art. She also will offer a collection of 1910 to 1920 small diamond rings and wedding bands. “You stack a bunch of them together to wear them,” says Wheeler. Finding dozens of these rings is an example of what the Marburger dealer does for shoppers. “People come because we do all the legwork. They can come to one place where everything is authentic and wonderful and one-of-a kind.”
“My goal is to find new sources for my customers,” reports exhibitor Lisa Burnett of Inner Pieces. She will arrive at the show with 18th- and 19th-century architectural antiques and accessories, such as doors, mirrors, lighting, and furniture in original paint or early wood patina. “It’s not a cutthroat competition, but every dealer is trying to have the best booth there. Everyone pulls out the stops. Marburger is by far the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing show that I have attended anywhere in the world.”
The Marburger Farm Antique Show opens for shopping on Tuesday, March 29, with early buying from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for $25 for adults, free for children 15 and under. Regular $10 admission begins that day at 2 p.m. One admission is good all week, with the show running on Wednesday to Friday, March 30, to April 1, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Advance tickets, group tickets, and shopper Wi-Fi are available.
See information on travel, maps, vendors, special events, lodging, on-site shipping, and the Marburger Cafe at www.roundtop-marburger.com, or call Ashley Ferguson at 800.947.5799. Find a sneak peek on Facebook at or on the show blog.