ROUND TOP, Texas – When the writer Henry James visited England, he declared the most beautiful words in the English language to be “summer afternoon.” But in Round Top, Texas, the hands-down best words are: a Spring Day at Marburger Farm Antique Show.
On Tuesday, March 27, through Saturday, March 31, the bluebonnets, breezes and baby calves will appear, as will 350 top exhibitors of antiques and art of all styles. In nine gigantic tents and 11 historic buildings, look for every conceivable type of antique wonder or original art for a home.
If you had only one sweet juicy spring day to visit Marburger Farm, how would you do it?
Tip: Arrive early. On opening day, enter to park and have breakfast at 8 a.m. On other days, arrive by 9 a.m. Pace yourself, rest, have delicious food and drinks. Shop the whole show.
“The secret of Marburger Farm,” says Florida exhibitor Michael Whittemore, “is to shop every booth. Behind a country cupboard could be an Italian credenza. You can find anything anywhere here.” Whittemore will exhibit in Tent C with, in fact, a credenza in a Spanish Colonial style, mixed with mid-century modern art, jewelry, garden furniture from Palm Beach estates and a large dining room table with an architectural capital fragment as a base.
Another tip: From Highway 237, there are two entrances to the 43-acre site. Enter and park either at Houston/Round Top side or at the Austin/Warrenton side. Unless you have certain dealers to see first, start shopping where you park and work your way to the center of the show for lunch. Then shop the other half of the show and take a Marburger Farm shuttle back to your vehicle at the end of the day.
On the Houston side, you will find Tents D, C and F. In Tent D Michigan dealers Maureen and Steve Walters of Pine Hill Antiques will combine Continental, American and Industrial styles, including 1920s pressed and framed botanicals, old apothecary jars, a large Cigar and Tobacco Store sign in black with gold lettering and French wrought iron work. “Tent D is a high-quality tent, known for French antiques,” says Maureen Walters. “But it’s not all French. Tent D has many decorative dealers who understand homes and how to live with antiques.”
Moving to the center of the show, shoppers will find the Marburger Café with five food vendors, from home-made pimento cheese to mile-high pies, as well as gourmet coffee, fresh salads and the Blacksmith Bar for more serious liquids.
Clustered in the center of the show are Tents E, G and I as well as the unparalleled exhibitors in the Silver Dollar Saloon and the original Marburger Farmhouse, filled with English, American and Mid-Century Modern antiques. “We are bringing one of the largest loads we have ever brought,” said Farmhouse exhibitor Kitty Ables of Tennessee. “We’ll have 17 arched and painted church windows with clear wavy glass, as well as Dutch doors from South Carolina barn stalls. We also got into a general store that we have been trying to get into since 1987. That means country store counters and large 18th-century tables.”
Moving past the center of the show, or entering from the Austin side, discover football field-sized Tents A, B and H, plus more early Texas buildings, all brimming with dealers. Tent H offers large furniture, mostly American and industrial. Tent A overflows with lighting, smalls from remote parts of the U.S. and the world, garden antiques, textiles and some of the top visual displays in the show. In the Dance Hall, relish all that glitters in jewelry of all styles. Nearby, in the Blacksmith Shop delight in some of the artisans and vintage fashion.
Final tip: Don’t carry it. Drive by and pick it up on your way home. Or just have on-site shipper, Distinguished Transport, deliver it nation-wide.
The Marburger Farm Antique Show opens Tuesday, March 27, with early buying at 10 a.m. Regular admission begins from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day and continues on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. One admission is good all week. Parking is free, as is shopper wifi. Advance tickets and group tickets are available. See information on travel, maps, vendors, prizes, special events, lodging, on-site shipping and the Marburger Cafe at www.roundtop-marburger.com or call Ashley Ferguson at 800-947-5799. Follow show news on Facebook and Instagram @marburgerfarm.