Here’s the low down on the Fall 2016 Antiques Shows in Round Top proper. Round Top was the birthplace for what is arguably the largest antiques show and vintage market in America.
Some Back Roads Background
It’s September in the Roundtopolis, which means cow pastures become a treasure-hunting utopia. Tents spring up faster than Pokémon. Historic dancehalls welcome boot-scooting shoppers instead of two-steppers. Year-round businesses in the main shopping hubs—Round Top, Carmine, Warrenton and Burton—throw out the welcome mat by setting special hours to serve the estimated 100,000 people who visit the area over a three-week period.
Yes, three weeks.
Originally a two-day weekend show in 1968 overseen by Miss Emma Lee Turney at the Round Top Rifle Hall, the shows, which are all owned by individuals, companies or non-profits, have grown. They now stretch along a 25-mile long corridor and encompass antique, vintage, repurposed, recycled, ready-for-restoration and new items. Those who frequent other shows say it’s the largest in the United States.
Who’s to argue with that?
Come take a whirl around the antiques shows with us as we showcase Round Top Register advertisers. (For locations, dates, hours and important information regarding food, restrooms and parking, see our pullout special section in this magazine.)
By the way, the venues are organized by the city in which their GPS address should show up. In the heart of the rolling hills, only the rural mail carriers know exactly where one town ends and another begins.
And a note on the photos…. These are scenes and vendors representing the entire Round Top Antiques Shows’ experience, not necessarily from the communities and venues we’re showcasing here.
People generically say they are “going to Round Top” because Round Top, pop. 90, is the birthplace of this antiques show. Don’t be dismayed when GPS tells you that you’re miles from Round Top, but you’re passing field after field of treasures en route. Breathe and know the Round Top venues are not only downtown but also sprawl north and south from the town’s center.
The Arbor International Antique & Interior Design Show, or “the Arbors” as it is known, is the brainchild of Curtis Ann Davis, who started the show 19 years ago. Within the white tents, shoppers find antiques, art, collectibles, fine linens, jewelry and more from dealers representing 13 countries. The Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines is hosting champagne tours. Leslie Sinclair will sign her new book. There’s live music many nights—and Fuel Bombs’ healthy smoothies will help sustain you as you shop. Pandora de Balthazar and Lisa Moore Art have a presence at the Arbors. (Sept. 21 – Oct. 1; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 1503 N. State Highway 237)
With 350-plus dealers, Marburger Farm Antique Show is one of the largest shows and is open the last week of the season. It is approaching its 20th anniversary, with the Marsh family and Ashley Ferguson as the stewards since 2007. Featuring designer-centric dealers, shoppers will find antiques, collectibles and vintage and repurposed items in stunning displays. Early birds shop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on opening day. All tickets are good for all days. Round Top Register advertisers Cottonseed Trading Company, Leftover’s Antiques, The Garden Co., Maison Miral Fine Art & Antiques, Two Sparrows Roasting and Distinguished Transport have a presence at Marburger. (Sept. 27 – Oct. 1; Early birds from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on opening day (gates open at 8 a.m.); Other days are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with a 4 p.m. close on Saturday. 2248 State Highway 237)
The Compound’s 30,000 square feet of exhibit space open in two waves for the Fall 2016 show: the Neal Barn, The Stables and the Carriage House open Sept. 17, while the Peck Barn with Old World Antieks opens Sept. 23. All buildings close Oct. 1. Shoppers will find American and European antiques, mid-century modern among vintage and repurposed items. With ample parking, the buildings are sited around courtyards and fountains. Owner Mark Massey and Show Producer Kathy Johnston have attracted vendors with extensive inventories displayed within the new buildings. Round Top Register advertisers Back Porch Barbecue and Espressions Coffee are onsite as is Distinguished Transport. The Designer Dream Spree will be held on Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. (Sept. 17 – Oct. 1; 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (til 7 p.m. Sept. 27); 2550 State Highway 237)
The team at Junk Gypsy—whether at the world headquarters or the tent at Zapp Hall—use “chaotic mix” to describe their store. The headquarters is the sanctuary of junk and site of live music on the front porch, Miranda Lambert wine and the launch of co-founding sisters Amie and Jolie Sikes’ first book. Their business began in 1998, and they put down permanent Round Top roots in 2014. The world-famous (or infamous) Junk Gypsy Junk-O-Rama Prom is not to be missed on Sept. 29. (Sept. 22 – Oct. 1; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the show (open year-round Wed.-Sun.); 1215 S. State Highway 237; at Zapp Hall in Warrenton from Sept. 23 – Oct. 1)
One day, Gina Galvin and Carrie Hurley were shopping at the antiques show. They ended up buying a ramshackle farmhouse on some land and eventually setting up their own show called The Rendezvous. This will be their third fall show on the eight acres, which features 10 vendors, food trucks, cinema under the stars, a conservatory AND lodging. The duo, along with designer friends, have decked out four-person cabins available for rent year-round. The Rendezvous may also be the only venue to offer hammocks for the “overshopped.” (Sept. 23 – Oct. 1; 9 a.m. til the cows come home; 2425 S. State Highway 237)
Antiques and charm are mainstays at Old Depot Vintage Market. Jon Perez, the owner, noted Howard Konetzke started the show in 1996 in the circa 1880s train depot that once served La Grange. Today, there’s an eclectic mix including 10,000 square feet of glass featuring Depression and colored glass. The venue is also home to The Stone Cellar Pub & Pizzeria, The Stone Cellar Annex Cafe and the Round Top Dance Hall, which are year-round businesses located on the grounds. The Old Depot also has a full-service RV park on-site. (Sept. 15 – Oct. 1; 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; 550 N. Washington St.)
Driving south on 237 from Highway 290, you’ll see an airplane in the hill that signals you are at McLaren’s Antiques & Interiors. Coming north from Round Top, the red English telephone booths are the landmarks. Sean McLaren is a 30-year veteran of the antiques business in England and Texas. The Round Top show originated in 2013 in a 20,000-square-foot repurposed poultry barn. Find handcrafted reclaimed pine tables and kitchen items as well as French and Indian items, industrial and accessories. (Sept. 17 – Oct. 2; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 1745 N. State Highway 237)
After Miss Emma Lee Turney began the Original Round Top Antiques Fair, the local Do Your Duty club started a companion show on the town square. Today the Round Top DYD Arts & Crafts Fair features handcrafted items, homemade baked goods and unique boutique items. Park behind Henkel Square or at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church field on Round Top Road. (Sept. 22 – Oct. 1; 10:30 a.m. – closing varies; On the square, Washington St.)
The Round Top Vintage Market, which is open weekends year-round, features 50-plus vendors in a climate-controlled building, which originally housed Emma Lee Turney’s Folk Art Fair. Since 2013, Barbara Griffin and Pat Boyd have welcomed dealers and shoppers to the 13,000-square-foot venue featuring vintage and antiques as well as art, jewelry and fashion. Ample parking and convenience stations. (Sept. 22 – Oct. 2; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 1235 N. State Highway 237)
Need a wheel for your chuckwagon? Or maybe an entire chuckwagon? Cowboy Corner dealers have those plus other cowboy, western and Native American items. Owners Randy and Suzanne Hill, who began operating the 11-year-old show in 2015, also feature Suzanne’s artisan handbags along with “rusty, chippy, peely” items and porcelain advertising signs. (Sept. 16 – Oct. 1; 8 a.m. til late; 1925 State Highway 237)
Other venues to check out: Tree Branch Ranch; Market Hill; Gone to Texas/Round Top RV Park; The Porch at Round Top and Round Top Triangle (all within the downtown area.) Also Gasoline Hill Antiques.
To read more about the Round Top Antiques Shows, check out: Ten Antiques Venues, Five More Antiques Venues and Fall 2016 Antiques Shows: Burton/Carmine, Round Top, Warrenton and Elsewhere. What’s more, we asked all venues to supply a description of their shows in their own words. Download that here: Round Top antiques shows in their own words
by Katie Dickie Stavinoha