Published: October 23, 2012
The Original Round Top Antiques Fair continued to build diversity, with a great customer base that appreciates early American antiques and all the many other styles offered in this 45-year tradition founded on country, Americana and Texas antiques. Held October 3‶, the show hosted dealers with merchandise from throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and China. Susan Franks, show manager and co-owner with her husband, Bo, has been steadily building the show since they acquired it in 2005, adding more dealers and more of a variety of offerings to attract more shoppers to the twice-yearly show.
The show draws big crowds in the Big Top Tent, the air-conditioned Continental Tent and the Big Red Barn and also just over the hill at the Carmine Dance Hall. Dealers are in some cases first-time exhibitors, but there are many who have been in the Big Red Barn for all of its 22 shows and some dealers that have exhibited here for its entire 45-year history. Many dealers bring a mixture of fine early home furnishings from the early days of America and Texas.
The Vernons are native Texans, and their collection is dominated by early Texas home furnishings. Their sales from the show included an 1840 round table with a carved pedestal base in native cedar. They were also showing several other local pieces, including an early farm table with a scrubbed pine top and tapered square legs painted in a bright blue. There was a food safe, with screen vents on the top half and panels in the lower half of the doors.
Nearby, Fred Cain, Fort Myers, Fla., was showing early furniture and smalls. His sales by the end of the first day were enough to call it a good show, with a pair of early Jacobean chairs, a chest of drawers, a small table and several pieces of art all going to new homes. Before the show was over, he had also sold an early Talbot County, Md., chest of drawers, Hepplewhite style, in cherry.
Woody and Nancy Straub from Florida have been doing the show practically forever. Their early sales included several pieces of art with Texas subjects, a large chest of drawers and an early Pennsylvania Windsor sack back armchair in its original finish.
Christmas was the motif for Dallas dealer Betty Bell, but that is what she usually sells all year long. She offered several feather trees decorated to the nines with early blown glass ornaments from the Nineteenth to early Twentieth Century.
Early folk art, including a wooden whirligig of black birds, was the focus for Faith Viland. Originally from the Philadelphia, Penn., area but a resident of Phoenix for many years, she still returns to the East to shop for inventory.
The sale of early guns, manufactured prior to 1898, made for a successful show for the Bennetts of Greenville, S.C. Joe finds them at sales throughout the country and offers his collection in Texas where he sold ten pieces, including some early percussion examples, a flintlock and several early cartridge pieces. Another of their sales was an early 6-foot-long store cabinet, sectioned in three parts with the cash drawer in the center section, which went to Colorado.
Carmine Dance Hall was filled to its capacity with many dealers who have been showing here for many years and a few newcomers. Nancy Carlo, San Antonio, Texas, trading as Humble Bee Antiques, deals in little things, so for her, a successful show will be many sales. On the first day of the show, she said she had a good show with lots of sales.
Hazel Giles, Glenville, N.C., has been there for several years, but she has been changing her inventory to small things. Her collection featured vintage and estate jewelry, along with early lighting. Lee Briggeman, Denver, Colo., offered early glass for the dining table and bar. Nedra O’Brien has been “doing Carmine forever,” she said, offering early linens, mostly for the dining room.
Carmine also hosted several dealers in early silver. Marilyn Luder, Houston, Texas, filled several showcases with small silver items from several early vesta cases to smoking accessories and small table flatware. Clifton House Antiques, Houston, also was showing large silver pieces, including Georgian-era candlesticks and tea caddies. She was also showing some of her collection of early tortoiseshell tea caddies and boxes.
The Continental Tent was again filled with dealers of antiques from Europe and Asia. Steven Postans was in the front corner with his all-English collection, mostly furniture. Just inside the tent, Richmond, Va., dealer Robert Martin was selling from his English, French and Austrian collection. Martin offered Biedermeier, rococo, and early English furniture. Among his fun pieces was an early Black Forest bear cub, life-size, standing upright, holding out a serving plate fit for snacks or business cards.
In the back was Patina Loft, a dealer from Qing Hai, China, with early Chinese furniture and some accessories. Their sales included several early tables made with rough sawn boards held together with heavy iron straps, an early door also fastened with iron and several more delicate chairs. Their collection included several architectural vents and painted cupboards.
Susan Franks was pleased with the show, saying, “We had a great crowd for the week, good activity for the exhibitors, selling a wide range of antiques with an emphasis on the smalls. One dealer from Georgia selling books sold out his entire booth.” The show will have its encore on April 3‶, and there is the smaller Winter Antiques Show at the Big Red Barn on January 18‱9.
For additional information, www.roundtoptexasantiques.com or 512-237-4747.
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