Round Top, Texas, population 77, is about four hours from Dallas, although the Google map estimates it a little less. A Friday without any scheduled activities provided the reason, if there needed to be one, to head south for a first sojourn into Central Texas.
The drive each way limited the time there, but a town with that few people couldn’t possibly warrant an overnight stay, or so I thought. There were at least three simultaneous shows for Texas Antique Week, although after returning I’d have to clarify that as three major shows. Looking at the map I received on the way in, I’m not sure how to count how many separate shows there actually were.
From the advertisements in Maine Antiques Digest, as well as showcards I had picked up at the Dolly Johnson Show in Fort Worth, the Marburger show seemed to be the one most suited to taste. The GPS lead us in by way of a long narrow road, barely wide enough for two cars to pass. There were few signs of people, so few I was at one point wondering if I had gotten the dates wrong. Finally arriving at the entrance, I concluded not many other GPS systems found this route, because there was no shortage of cars in the parking lot.
The $10 per person entrance fee was paid from the car before parking. A golf cart arrived to whiz us the few feet to the door. It seemed a little silly, but better to save energy for several hours of walking. I commented to the driver that the experience seemed a little like Woodstock, although I don’t have a personal Woodstock experience to draw from.
Entering the first tent, the quality of items immediately pleased. This was going to be a good show. Indeed there were many interesting things to look at, including a William Hart painting, two upholstered French wing chairs, some Parians and a daguerreotype of some musicians and a kitten.
I didn’t think dealers from the East Coast shows would be here, but there were more than a few familiar faces—and dealers from all over—Denver, Syracuse, Philadelphia and even Amsterdam. Talking with promoter and dealer Jay Melrose on the phone from Ohio, I also learned that Janet Fanto, a rare book and antiques dealer from Maryland was just up the road in the red barn.
Most of the dealers I talked to said sales were pretty good at the show. A handful of others said the opposite. Several booths had more than a couple “sold” signs. It’s hard to tell what kinds of things were selling, some furniture dealers didn’t seem to be selling much of anything, but others were able to clear the booth. The woman I wrote a check to for a Walnut desk chair seemed to have quite a stack for deposit.
It’s a long way to travel, and a long week of selling Antiques. Limiting the trip to one day meant the Original Round Top Show, La Bahia and others would not be reached before the closing time at five. There may not be much else to do in Round Top, but there’s certainly enough there during Texas Antique Week for a few days of antiques.