ROUND TOP, TEXAS – If an antique show had secrets, what would they be? The Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas spills some secrets here. For instance, did you know that shoppers can actually enter the show early at 8 a.m.? And did you know that those very early birds will find complimentary continental breakfast, coffee, and shopping in the early Texas buildings at the show’s Tailgate Breakfast? Not to mention early parking and an opportunity to swap tales with top interior designers who are part of the Designer Dream Spree tour. Check out the show’s website for up-to-date information and upcoming show dates. https://www.roundtop-marburger.com/
What other secrets? Marburger exhibitor Susan Wheeler from Susan Wheeler Home in Seattle shares this surprising secret: “Never shop with a plan. Be open to what you find.” Where has that led Wheeler for the fall show in Round Top? To pink! Pink? Yes, amid the pearl gray and black upholstered French and Italian furniture for which she is known, look for Wheeler’s pink in Mid-Century Modern art, in antique dishes, in pillows made from vintage Indian saris with gold thread, and for the first time, in a selection of 1960s-80s designer clothing by Lanvin, Pucci and all their friends.
More secrets? “If an antique speaks to you, don’t stress over whether it will work in your house. If you love something, it will work with all the other things that you love because of you,” says North Carolina exhibitor Joanne La Poma. Exhibiting in Marburger’s air-conditioned General Store building, La Poma deals in the secrets that emerge from the earth. In addition to collections of Victorian jewelry and sterling baby gifts, her inventory includes fossils and mineral specimens, most about 150 million years old. “When they dig a vein, you never know what they will find.” La Poma will offer copper specimens from old Michigan mines, as well as ammonite fossils that display well in many settings, from homes to offices to commercial spaces.
More dealer secrets? Getting a trade secret from Bob Bixby of Farm & Factory Interiors in Missouri is a big deal. Bixby and his wife Becky run one of the largest UL Certified repurposed lighting companies in the United States, serving interior designers, homeowners, commercial and restaurant customers with large scale industrial chandeliers, sconces and other lighting. “My secret is simple,” says Bob Bixby. “Offer unusual pieces and great design at a fair price.” How will that translate in the fall show? New designs are coming in response to shopper requests for sconces and other wall lighting, such as industrial vanity and porch lights. Plus, massive steel chandeliers will be displayed in a context of antique furniture, old advertising signs and a huge Iowa step back glass-front cupboard. Throw in some fall garden furnishings and you have antique-industrial paradise.
Another version of paradise will arrive with Charleston, South Carolina exhibitor Letha Polk of Le Petite Tresor. “Everywhere I go, I’m always searching for vintage rattan and a funky mix —everything from unusual old-school pieces to Mid-Century Modern.” That’s her secret: “It’s the mix that makes a home work. Buy across different styles and eras.” This show’s mix will include a pair of six foot tall rattan chairs with backs that curve high up over the sitter, plus a metal Chinese Chippendale fretwork coffee table turned into an ottoman, a sleek Danish Modern sofa and a pair of Milo Baughman metal chairs with cane backs that Polk describes as “killer crazy good” —antiques dealer secret language for the best of the best.
The final and best secret comes from Texas dealer Rodney Cooley of Urban Habitat. Along with his wife Shonte, Cooley will offer a 15 foot farmhouse table from Pennsylvania, an industrial table/kitchen island with metal locker topped by a huge chopping block and a collection of Victorian cast iron outdoor furniture (porch season starts in Texas around October 1). His secret? “Those of us who buy and sell and live with antiques love what we do. We all really love this. We could shop seven days a week and never complain.”
Never complain? Now that’s a secret worth knowing!
Shop with the 350 exhibitors at Marburger Farm on 43 acres of fun. Look for every style, era, and price point, from antiquities to Mid-Century Modern to the select artisans with original arts.
Renell Moore is the creator of Texas Vintage Shopper: An Online Comprehensive Texas Antique/Vintage Shop and Event directory featuring more than 780 shops. She has a masters in communication science, speech-language pathology from Texas Woman’s University and a double major in journalism and English from the University of Texas Permian Basin.