Thursday, March 30, 2006

Antiques in Texas - New & Old

You’d think that the Texas shows would feature mostly western antiques, but that isn’t the case. There are plenty of western-related antiques, but you will also find just about any kind of antiques here, with country antiques being quite strong.

So many Texans live on ranches, and country antiques fit their casual lifestyle well. Painted furniture, hooked rugs and vintage garden items do well here. However, many antiques lovers live in metropolitan areas like Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and Houston, enjoy big city life and are interested in more “big city” upscale antique furnishings. European and decorator furniture from the 20th century are the right styles for them.

Because the shows at Round Top attract buyers from all over the U.S. and Canada, you’ll never know what surprises you might find. Dealers from everywhere come to sell and to buy - and they bring their favorite antiques, meaning that any kind of old and vintage item might show up. There’s glassware, china, pottery, jewelry, country store antiques, toys, architectural items, vintage linens, quilts, just to name a very few categories. Whatever you are you looking for, you probably can find it here during Antiques Week in Texas.

One must shop carefully, though - there’s a huge amount of reproductions from Mexico and China throughout all the shows, and in many categories of antiques. Lately, new Chinese furniture is everywhere, and Mexican wire garden accents have been popular for many years. Some sellers claim their wares are old. The shows are a great place to learn about reproductions - you’ll know after one day of shopping, since you’ll see the same style of items over and over again.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a reproduction antique, especially if it appeals to you and the price is appropriate to the item. Reproductions are getting better and better in quality, and buying a new item might be the answer when you aren’t prepared to pay the price of the antiques version. Cast iron garden urns can be found for less than half the price of the antiques version, and maybe that’s perfect for your budget and decorating needs. Know what you are buying, and buy what speaks to you!

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