Monday, March 06, 2006

Spring is Here - and that means Antiques Shopping!!

Here I am in Michigan, where we're known for Spring snows, and I'm convinced that this year we're actually going to have a wonderful Spring and no surprise snowstorms!

Yesterday was beautiful, with temps in the 60s. I've been seeing the newly-arrived sand hill cranes flying overhead, searching for the right place to settle, since February 28th. They are a sure sign that Spring is here. My daffodils are starting to show, and so are the crocuses. All this means just one very important thing - it's time to get ready to shop the Round Top, Texas antiques shows!!

If you haven't been to Round Top, you are missing a true treat in antiques. For two full weeks in March-April and September-October of each year, thousands of antiques dealers head for this tiny 91-person town. There are at least 2 dozen individual antiques shows and flea markets, showing a zillion antiques, collectibles and junque. You never know what you'll find. From the highest quality period antiques to a lot of imported reproductions, it can all be found somewhere, somehow at Round Top.

And soon I'll be on my way there! I spend nearly three weeks shopping and exhibiting in Roundtop shows. Most of the shows are outside, under tents. Acres and acres of stuff to search, day after day. For those of us who love antiques, it's heaven.

My favorite show is the Original Round Top Antiques Fair. With more than 300 dealers, it's been the best quality of the shows for more than 30 years. It's also the show I at which I choose to exhibit, mostly because of that wonderful high quality. You can find furniture from the 1700s through the 1900s, as well as spectacular folk art, textiles (hooked rugs, table linens, vintage clothing, more), jewelry, sewing items, glass and china, pottery, and much, much more - and it's all truly old.

The show manager goes to great lengths to vet the show so that reproductions are not allowed, even writes it in her dealer contract that exhibitors aren't allowed to display anything new.

This show has more country antiques than any other show in the area, which is probably why it's one of my favorites. I just love country antiques -they are practical and useful, have withstood the test of time, and show their age and patina so well. This is the show where Mary Emmerling, Creative Director for Country Home magazine, quietly shops.

The photos are from the Spring 2005 show, but will give you an idea of what a superb show this is. All the dealers are either in buildings or in a huge tent. The buildings are air conditioned and comfortable. You can easily spend a couple of days just at this show alone.

If you want to learn more about this show, click here for The Original Round Top Antiques Fair.

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