Ashley Ferguson, co-manager of the Marburger Farm Antique Show, reported that more than 350 dealers exhibited at the most recent event, September 27⁏ctober 1. And in spite of oppressive heat, the Tuesday opening had nearly 1,000 waiting as the barricades were lowered at 10 am. The first rain in six months that afternoon did little to reduce the daily high temperatures reaching 100 degrees. This weather slowed the afternoon shopping on most days, but the mornings found shoppers buying furniture and smalls in good quantities.
Exhibitors at Marburger Farm have a broad interpretation of antiques, which allows much later decorative items, including many collectibles and textiles from the Twentieth Century. Industrial décor and funky folk art is available in great quantities, as well as traditional antiques from early American periods and from Europe.
Suzanne Fox Antiques, Los Angeles, was in The Saloon, one of 17 buildings that have been preserved on the Marburger Farm site. Her inventory included Staffordshire and other English ceramics, which Fox collects on shopping trips to the United Kingdom, both in the north at Newark and Swinderby and in London’s popular markets. She acknowledged that her sales were affected by the severe heat at Marburger, but even so, there was enough for her to go home financially ahead.
Martin Hayter, Greenville, Texas, exhibited in one of the many tents on the grounds. His collection of Twentieth Century garden ornaments was displayed just outside the tent, while inside there were several early pieces of furniture that he sold, including a carved English buffet and a Gothic mirror from France.
Kris and Tom Bireley offered a set of painted fiddle back plank seated chairs, which they said were from New England. Their collection had traditional antiques from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, and included several Connecticut clocks and a grain painted blanket chest.
Susan Wright Curran is the owner of Snow Leopard Antiques, Garner, N.C. She sells early textiles for dining room and bedroom and some vintage fashions, as well. This week was a good show, as she called it, with sufficient sales to go home happy.
With the exception of a Native American rug, Brian Curtis’s collection would appear to be from New England rather than his native Santa Cruz, Calif.
Don and Marta Orwig, Corunna, Ind., found a pair of American Indian figures that had been some sort of store display and was in very good condition. They also offered red chairs with long horns for head rests and arms. Their collection usually includes folk art as well as traditional antiques, with an emphasis on Nineteenth Century.
Stuart Cropper, Seaford, UK, found a gaff-rigged sloop yacht model or pond boat in his native England in excellent condition aside from age discoloration of the sails. He and his wife fly over for the show twice each year with a collection of silhouettes, paintings, silver and English wooden boxes acquired on their travels at home.
Leftovers is a shop in nearby Brenham, which exhibits at Marburger Farm and also keeps the shop open for extra hours during the Round Top week. Inventory at the shop is dominated by what the owners find while shopping the wholesale markets of England and France, including furniture and an extensive collection of bedroom textiles.
Olde Mobile Antiques Gallery, Mobile, Ala., offered a set of 11 matching Windsor chairs, nine bow back side chairs and two sack back arm chairs, attributed to John Ackley of Philadelphia. Owner Charles Parmenter reported good sales of furniture and smalls during the show. He said his gallery is now a full-time business, “so Marburger is my only show anymore, and it was well worth the trip. I sold a very good early Louis Vuitton trunk, several mirrors and more furniture,” he said. A Venetian prayer cabinet and a pair of upholstered chairs were also among his sales.
David Zabriskie, Lake Placid, N.Y., offered a collection of art, Oriental rugs and furniture. One special piece he brought to Marburger was a large frame, circa 1850, that had been made by an Italian carver and covered in gold leaf and gilt.
A great many of the collections found at Marburger Farm are style over substance, as with Lisa Burnett’s Inner Pieces of Atlanta. She finds various industrial objects and has them ready for repurposing and use in the contemporary home or workplace.
Dealers exhibit in tents and in the assorted buildings on the grounds. Eric Brown, Springfield, Mo., showed his furniture and smalls in a building that had been moved to the site about ten years ago.
Dennis and Dad, Fitzwilliam, N.H., brought a collection of ceramic chickens dating from about 1850 to 1870. Exhibiting in one of the few air-conditioned buildings at Marburger, Dennis and Ann Berard also had their collection of English earthenware available.
Bruce Rigsby and David Drummond combined their spaces in one of the Marburger Farm tents to be able to show several different settings. This was their Federal-style collection, featuring the early mantel, which was sold at the start of the show, and the Windsor chairs. Drummond is from Lititz, Penn., and Rigsby is from Lancaster, Ky.
Round Top Antiques Week shows, including Marburger Farm, are conducted twice each year in spring and fall, usually ending on the first Saturday of October and April. Marburger Farm’s date for spring will be April 2‷. For information, www.roundtop-marburger.com or 800-999-2148.