Published: November 2, 2010
The Rifle Hall Antiques Show opened on September 24 with a good audience on a new date pattern for the more than 40-year-old show. Promoter Ralph Willard, with the encouragement from his corps of dealers, changed the operating days of the show to Friday through Sunday prior to the Original Round Top Antiques Fair, which is the nucleus of the Round Top antiques shows.
Since the event lasts for almost two weeks, including two consecutive weekends with more than 20 shows or markets, Rifle Hall now has become the first show to open; this time it was at 4 pm Friday, September 24, through Sunday, September 26.
More than 50 exhibitors were filling the old dance hall, a large tent and a new pavilion added to the front yard. All this space and the new date pattern allowed many new exhibitors the opportunity to join Willard for his weekend-long activity.
Dennis and Dad, a Fitzwilliam, N.H., dealer, was there for the first time, offering a large selection from a collection of early English earthenware. Dennis Berard said after the show that he was pleased to have been there, but believed the show should have been longer into the week, giving the dealers more opportunities to sell.
Woody and Nancy Straub, exhibitors from Umatilla, Fla., have been in the show for many years. Their results, according to Woody Straub, were good, with some furniture selling well, along with fine art. He said he believed the change in show days was a good idea, but one the customers need to learn about.
Jean Compton took to the stage at this show †literally, the stage of the dance hall †with her exhibit of antiques, fine art and folk art. From Wimberly, Texas, her J. Compton Gallery featured a limestone carved Indian head hitching post that had been at a Texas family’s home since 1870; it was priced at $3,400.
Rick and Dwan Mabry were exhibiting both inside Rifle Hall and in a portion of the new pavilion that was added to Rifle Hall since the show last April. Coming from Raleigh, N.C., they “were happy to sell a large storage piece and a deacon’s bench early, along with many small antiques,” which “really made the show for us,” Dwan Mabry said.
Sales were “pretty good for us with two stands and smalls,” reported Paul Cox, Cox’s Antiques, Salado, Texas. A regular at this show for several years, he offers antique Oriental rugs and early furniture at Rifle Hall and also at Village Green, another site in Round Top later in the week.
Two dealers from Burleson, Texas, exhibit across the aisle from one another. The Buckinghams offer early furniture, with a good deal of it from New England. As Karen Buckingham is a Massachusetts native, she has her sources to shop for some inventory, which this time included several cupboards in early paint and a large hutch with glass doors on the top. The other Burleson dealer was Melanie Johnson, whose collection included a tall cupboard in original blue paint and a cherry secretary desk.
The tent at Rifle Hall included about a dozen dealers with more good inventories. Wayne Ayers, Chappell Hill, Texas, offered interesting folk art. Pat and Fred Turner, Glendale, Texas, found a hired man’s bed; it looked like a hutch table when closed, but opens into a bed about 7 feet long. Made of yellow pine, it had been in Edom, Texas, since the early Nineteenth Century, and was now priced at $4,500.
Barbara Stackhouse was selling vintage and antique linens, while Hua Mei Antiques offered its collection of Asian antique furniture and accessories in the tent.
Willard conducts this show twice each year, repeating the fun with a March 30, 2011, start and continuing the show through Wednesday. He said there will be some dealers entering the show on Monday as well as Friday. An additional change is that the show will open Friday morning, with a party late that afternoon. For information, www.ralphwillard.com or 214-826-2584.
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