Here is what you can expect at Round Top’s spring antiques show


Designers and homeowners alike know that a piece of furniture with some history and a little patina add visual interest to a room and help more contemporary style feel warmer.

Round Top — rather, the 11-mile stretch of Texas 237 South from Carmine to Warrenton — will soon be packed with antique dealers from all over the world. You’ll find bargains in the Excess Fields and finer antiques at the Original Round Top Antiques Fair and Marburger Farm Antique Show. The collection of buildings at The Compound, an ever-changing event space, gets more interesting each year.

There’s also growing interest in the new-ish Round Top Antiques and Design Center and other small buildings at Henkel Square in Round Top proper. Plus, you’ll find vendors at The Arbors as well as tents and barns all along the two-lane highway.

With the thousands of dealers who set up shop, you’re sure to find anything from antique flags to pre-19th century guns to European furniture and garden statuary and outdoor furniture. For anyone tired of long waits for custom furniture orders, you can buy a unique piece on the spot and take it with you or have it shipped home.

What’s hot right now are the cleaner lines of casual French country and Swedish antiques, a style often called “Gustavian,” after Swedish King Gustav III, who fell in love with French Neoclassical style after a visit to the Palace of Versailles in the 1780s.

The Compound

Que: Five barns filled with vendors and concessions

When: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, through April 2

Where: 2550 S. Texas 237 S., Round Top

Admission: Free

Marburger Farm Antique Show

Que: More than 350 dealers spread through nine tents and 12 historical buildings

When: Early buying 9 am-2 pm and general admission 2-6 pm March 29; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 30-April 1; and 9 am-4 pm April 2 (Gates open at 8 am March 29 with complimentary coffee and treats)

Where: 2248 Texas 237 S., Round Top

Admission: Early buying $40; general admission $15; buy tickets on-site or online


Original Round Top Antiques Fair

Que: The iconic Big Red Barn, its annex and the Continental Tent

Where: 475 S. Texas 237 S., Carmine

When: VIP shopping 9 am-1 pm and general admission 1-6 pm March 28; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 29-April 2

Admission: VIP shopping pass, $20; general admission, $10

Excess Fields

Que: More than 30 vendors in a more casual setting, some under roofs, in tents or in the open air

Where: Excess 1, 3907 Texas 237, Round Top; Excess 2, 145 Rohde Road, Round Top

When: 9 am-dusk daily, through April 2

Admission: Free

Margaret Schwartz will have her Modern Antiquarian wares in the Peck Barn at The Compound, and she’ll have plenty of Swedish Gustavian furniture as well as garden furniture and ornaments — one of the hottest categories of merchandise in the past couple of years.

“My Swedish pieces are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They’re primarily made of birch or pine and they’re all painted with layered colors, lighter gray or pale blue,” Schwartz explained. “Every Swedish period is modeled after French periods, so there’s French Rococo and Swedish Rococo with a slightly delayed time period. They took features of French movements and paired them down for the Swedish aesthetic.”

“Gustavian (style) is the chameleon of the furniture world,” Schwartz continued. “It can hold its own in a space with a more maximalist approach, but also serves a beautiful purpose in a modern or midcentry space.”

A surge in popularity of outdoor living has everyone looking for patio furniture — both new and old — and statuary for their gardens, Schwartz said.

“People really want to spend more time outside and… are investing in outdoor spaces and landscaping,” Schwartz said. “Those pieces are so durable and have an honest patina about them.”

Lisa Sherwood of Alabama-based Sherwood Antiques will bring a variety of 18th and 19th century English and Continental goods, including Delft pottery, chinoiserie and a variety of furniture, from a Spanish walnut desk to a country French walnut dining table to her booth in the Continental Tent at next to the Big Red Barn at the Original Round Top Antiques Fair.

“People are looking at their homes wanting them to be more cozy or familiar,” Sherwood said. “I’ve been selling small tables and dining tables, antiques all across the board. People are realizing it’s greener to buy an antique than to order new furniture, so it’s kind of brought back an emphasis on antiques.”

If you’re looking for a little extra fun in your Round Top visit, find Lori Smithers’ Fickle International booth in the White Barn at The Compound. In addition to interesting antiques, mini-greenhouses and other garden items, she’ll have a Moet & Chandon vending machine where you can purchase your choice of champagne and pose for a photo at an Instagram-worthy vignette.

Smithers splits her time between a home in Fredericksburg and an apartment in Round Top, where she staffs an antique store on weekends (Thursdays-Saturdays). (She’ll staff her shop daily through April 2.)

Then there are dealers such as Bob Axelrod — Ax Antiques — a lawyer-turned-antique dealer who sells arms and armor made before 1898.

Many of his clients focus on specific eras, such as Revolutionary War, Civil War or the Indian Wars.

“More often than not our customer is someone who encounters us accidentally because he’s come with his wife, who’s looking for decorative items. He looks at my booth and says ‘I’ve always wanted one of those,’” Axelrod said.

Guns from the Old West, such as Colts and Winchesters are popular and can cost $2,500 to $20,000. Axelrod has an 1879 pistol and holster ($15,000) engraved with the name of Jude Sterling F. Grimes, who fought in the Civil War before heading to Texas to work as a prosecutor and then judge.

One of Axelrod’s more unusual items is a 19th century German vampire traveling killing kit. Apparently after Bram Stoker’s novel, “Dracula,” published in 1897, Americans and Brits were so afraid to travel to Eastern Europe, that they bought and traveled with these kits for protection. They include a bottle for Holy water, a bible, a crucifix, a pistol that shoots wooden stakes and a mallet for driving a wooden stake through their hearts. It can be yours for $7,500.

David Medford, of ReVAMP, an antiques/vintage store in San Antonio, is bringing a more eclectic array of goods to Marburger.

He’ll have furniture just as others will, but he’s also bringing enormous, nine-foot concrete baskets inlaid with white quartz. Medford said the baskets come with a bit of Dallas history. They were made by Will Hines in 1940 as a wedding gift for his new bride and that another pair are believed to be on property once owned by Hines father on Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas.

Medford is one of the few Marburger vendors not traveling Europe to source his inventory. He said that the large retired military community there brings things from all over the world so he can find things at estate sales, thrift shops and other places.

“It’s about expressing yourself as opposed to assigning your life to a certain style. People come into your home and should see you all over it,” Medford said. “It’s getting away from ‘I want a whole house that’s Victorian or midcentury modern.’ to be more ‘Let me mix 18th century French with modern and fabulous stuff from the 70s, it’s about expression and uniqueness.”

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