New England’s fall foliage, vineyard harvests in California, an after-summer-crowd beach holiday, sure, but Texas as a fall destination? Believe it, y’all. Everything is bigger in Texas (ask any Texan!) and that goes for antique shopping, a dynamite state fair, and all the pumpkins you’ve ever seen in one imaginative place. Plan a trip around any of the events in this and our upcoming posts (or all three like we did) and you’ll bring home some Texas-size memories.
For those of us who love to shop flea markets, the semi-annual Antiques Week, held around the tiny town of Round Top, TX, is no exception. This is the motherlode. Start with the Marburger Farm Antique Show, just north of Round Top on Highway 237 (about halfway between Austin and Houston). From the time the bell rings and the ropes drop at 10 a.m on Tuesday until the final hour on the following Sunday, the Marburger tents and buildings bustle with crowds of shoppers viewing the most inspiring arrays of vintage wares to be seen at any flea market around the country. Vendors here take pride in creating displays that will not only sell their wares but also capture buyers’ imaginations and give them unique ideas for incorporating antiques and vintage elements into their home decor. You will see everything from fine imported antiques to kitschy, cool midcentury collectibles.
Swedish, French, and Italian furnishings abound amid the booths at Marburger Farm. Fine antiques from Europe are beautifully and lovingly displayed throughout the show.
One of the many old buildings on the Marburger site, the Silver Dollar Saloon houses antiques and fine arts.
Leather luggage, brilliant pottery, and gorgeous trays—we want it all!
Artwork for the sporting set. Vendors take pride in creating displays that will not only sell their wares but also capture buyers’ imaginations.
Julie Harris Vintage Sports Antiques
632 Romany Road, Kansas City, MO
Painted circus signs offer a vivid splash of bold color.
Judy Hill’s displays never disappoint. We always leave her booth with new ideas and unique ways to repurpose salvage materials.
J Hill Designs
Judy Hill, 903/984-1487
Creamy ironstone offers timeless style.
Eager shoppers fill the aisles of the massive tents that dot the sale grounds.
Yes, it works perfectly! Care to dance? Bill Howard offers a nostalgic trip back in time with juke boxes, advertising signs, soda machines, and more.
Flash Back Funtiques
248 S Main, Boerne, TX
Billy Howard, 830/331-2200
This booth stopped us in our tracks. Nancy Clark from House Wren in Austin really knows how to catch your eye. Handmade lighting, gorgeous patinas, and dazzling details rewarded a prolonged visit to see it all.
House Wren Vintage Home & Garden
For the refined man cave. They don’t have to be just big-screen TVs and beer fridges.
Know Before You Go
Make your visit a resounding success by following these simple tips from frequent flea-market shoppers.
- Get the info: As soon as you arrive, grab a free copy of The Show Daily. It has good maps of the area and listings of which shows open when. Marburger offers its own useful brochure.
- Dress for success: April and October can be hot in Texas. Wear comfy clothes and sturdy shoes. There are few places to sit down. A hat or cap is a good idea. Hydrate often and apply sunscreen as needed.
- A fair deal: Many vendors will take a check and some will accept credit cards but cash will usually get you a better deal. Purchasing a quantity from one vendor may also save you money.
- Carry alls: Throw a large canvas bag over your shoulder for carrying the smalls. Most vendors will hold large items for later pickup. Don’t use a wheeled cart—the terrain can be rough.
- Write stuff: Keep a list in a small notebook of what you bought and from whom, especially if you’re going back to pick things up—we learned the hard way. Ask for receipts and store them in a coin purse.
- Come again: It’s worth it to go back to the show on another day if you’ve got the time. Many vendors restock their booths throughout the show and new things are always appearing. Don’t forget to peek along the outsides of the tents—there’s plenty of overflow. Vendors return to the show year after year so it’s easy to find favorites from one show to the next.
Just the Facts
Check out show dates at http://www.roundtop-marburger.com.
350+ vendors set up in 9 marquee tents and 13 buildings on the 43 acre site. Get there for the early bird shopping on Tuesday between 10 and 2 for a $25 admission fee that covers you for the duration of the show. Or wait a few hours and pay the regular one-time fee of $10. Both include parking (and the best sanitary facilities anywhere in the area!).
© Caruth Studio