Marburger Farm show puts positive spin on decorative

A beautifully stocked booth in Tent C. Marberger Farm Antique Show image

A beautifully stocked booth in Tent C. Marburger Farm Antique Show image


ROUND TOP, Texas – Once upon a time, antique dealers might have turned up their noses at the “merely decorative.” Not so at the Sept. 29 – Oct. 3 Marburger Farm Antique Show. According to many of the 350 exhibitors there decorative is the new benchmark for buyers.

“People want fabulous decorative antiques to decorate their houses with. Decorative is a good word,” said Susan Clifton from Chine Antiques in Boulder, Colorado. Formerly of Provence, France, Clifton has sources for both French and Swedish antiques, and she buys and sells at good price points. Leaving her booth at Marburger Farm were French benches, Swedish tables, paintings, lighting, prints and other mid-size decorative accessories, as well as French garden furniture to be used to decorate indoors and out.

Decorative antiques are items that can be easily and readily used to decorate and that bear an enhancement beyond function. They feature beauty and character; most are also functional and some also carry historical meaning. The set of 1790s barn doors sold by South Porch Antiques to an HGTV star at the show is a good example. From the Rochester, New York, area, the heavy wooden doors were over 10 feet tall, with original iron hinges and with the boards perfectly arranged in a diagonal pattern. They oozed historic and visual character and will transform any space, as decorative art on a wall or as functional doors – or both.

Also selling large items was Halsey Dean Gallery of Sandersville, Georgia. “We had a very, very strong show,” said co-owner Chris Gibbie. “It was our best show for selling furniture ever.” This is not just any furniture: it’s highly decorative as well as functional. Halsey Dean sold a mix of mid-century modern and traditional styles, including an Italian Venini chandelier, an early Jansen coffee table, a pair of glamorous nickel-plated French lamps shaped like large urns, a steel console by Raymond Subes and a collection of Salterini garden furniture.


Gorgeous wood pieces in natural hues were a huge hit at the fall show. Marberger Farm Antique Show image

Gorgeous wood pieces in natural hues were a huge hit at the fall show. Marburger Farm Antique Show image


In the Artisan Tent, Denver artist Dolan Geiman sold mix-media artworks created from antique fragments that he has collected since childhood. With a vaguely Southern feel, the pieces sold included large scale portraits such as Geiman’s “Chief Constellation” portrait of an Indian chief in full headdress, more portraits, prints, collages and a decorative vintage bicycle. The show featured approximately 30 artisan exhibitors with original works to complement the vast selection of antiques.

Selling antique art, Kansas City area Horsefeathers Antiques sold folk art, fine art – and chairs. “Lots of chairs,” said owner Judy Ball.

Atlanta exhibitor Greg Mountcastle also sold chairs: a set of four Regency armchairs, as well as a pair of black faux bamboo armchairs and a set of six Italian iron chairs. “It was a great show for me,” said Mountcastle. He also sold high-style decorative/functional pieces such as a 1980s John Dickinson-style plaster table and Gio Ponti-style dining table.

Leslie Davis of Leslie Davis Interiors in West Palm Beach, Florida, saw a lot of color go home with buyers. “This was such a good-looking show,” said Davis. She sold vivid custom pillows made from vintage textiles, leather books for decorating, brass and abstract oil paintings in bright tones.


Lamps and Lighting elements are always in high demand at Marburger

Lamps and Lighting elements are always in high demand at the show. Marburger Farm Antique Show image


Knowing that unpainted wood also sells at Marburger Farm, Lora Levin of Houston’s LR Antiques sold a huge (over 11 feet long) 19th century mahogany library table with simple lines. “It’s going right into an Arts and Crafts-era mansion,” said Levin. “We sold evenly to homeowners, interior designers and retail dealers.” A French walnut wine tasting table will go into a local home and decorative smalls such as Staffordshire, Oriental antiques and French country accessories and furniture will go into design projects and retail stores. “We had a very good opening day and then worked with customers who came back or called all week long.”

Alameda, California dealer Rebecca Looten of Monsoon Imports held up the South Asian end of the show with a booth full of antiques and architectural fragments hand-picked in India. “I sold desks, storage cupboards and other furniture to store owners and smaller decorative antiques to homeowners. My customers are people who love to decorate their homes. Marburger Farm is the only show for me.” Looten sold pairs of wood corbels and 18 of the 20 marble wedding platters that she brought, some as wide as 3 feet. “People use them to decorate tables for the holidays and for food.” She also sold wooden mortars, architectural fragments and “anything to put a plant in.”

Exhibitor Janet Wiebe, based in Houston, buys out of Europe, directly importing her own selections for 25 years. Her pieces merge beauty with function. Selling at the show were 15 trumeau mirrors with their graceful decorative trim, an 18th century pharmacy cabinet in original paint, a pair of 19th century wood lanterns with their early water gilding decoration and two 18th century Italian chandeliers. “We sold everything: big, small, furniture, jewelry, lighting. We sold all week, right to the end,” said Wiebe. “Marburger Farm is the only show that I do. It has the best dealers and the best shoppers. What more could you want?”

Well, Marburger Farm wants you – to return to the spring 2016 show or to come for the first time. The spring Marburger Farm Antique Show is open Tuesday, March 29 – Saturday April 2. One admission is good all week. Parking is free. Advance tickets and group tickets are available. See information on travel, maps, vendors, special events, lodging, on-site shipping and the Marburger Cafe at or call Ashley Ferguson at 800-947-5799. Follow show news on Facebook or on the show blog at