ROUND TOP, TEXAS — Susan Franks filled the Big Red Barn, its two satellite tents and the Carmine Dance Hall for the 46th annual spring edition of the Original Round Top Antiques Fair during its April 2–5 edition.
Presenting more than 300 exhibitors offering early antiques from around the country, Latin America, Europe and Asia, the show featured a diverse mix of dealers and merchandise. As show promoter, Susan has replaced many dealers as they retire from the business, and she finds dealers offering interesting early period collections, often times featuring items outside the garden variety antiques.
Connie O’Reilly, Northport, Ala., deals in what she calls mantiques, featuring carved animals, paintings and also an assortment of early New England clocks. As a first time dealer here, she was pleased with her results, selling some paintings from the Nineteenth Century, Black Forest carvings and smalls.
Ted Fuehr, American Spirit Antiques, Shawnee Mission, Kan., was also new to the show. Fuehr has a passion for early American hardwood furniture, especially tiger maple pieces. He usually has a good supply of weathervanes, including several Ethan Allan running horse examples from the Fiske foundry of Newburgh, N.Y. Sales included a corner cupboard and several tables, along with a large assortment of small pieces. Another newcomer to the show was Ari Milner, New York City. His collection was dominated by the original working drawings for stained glass windows.
DaVon’s Antiques, a recent addition in the Continental Tent, sold furniture with an elegant French flair. Dealer Jeff Gorman, Morris Plains, N.J., sold several lacquered pieces, painted consoles, a set of gilt chairs and more furniture. He also reported good sales in small accessories.
Butte’s Antiques, Thomasville, N.C., was offering exceptional early furniture. Jim Butte, not exactly a newcomer but returning here for the first time in a few years, said his tall case clock was by Wm. Cummens, Boston, and was in its original case, with the rocking ship in the face, and original brass finials. Another of his special pieces was an Eighteenth Century Pembroke table, with painting in the manor of Angelica Kauffman. Sales included two sideboards, a set of nine chairs, a Chippendale bench and a sea scene painting that hung in his booth over one of his sideboards.
A hundred copies of Welcome Home were published in book form in 1910 for the dinner guests invited to greet Teddy Roosevelt upon his return from traveling in Africa after his term as president. Dealer Petra de Groot of Eccentric Books, Missoula, Mont., was pleased to offer one of the original copies. She reported sales of many high-end collectible books.
Sharing an enlarged double space in the Big Red Barn for many years, James Young, Atlanta, Ga., and Kay Wilbanks, Knoxville, Tenn., mix together their merchandise, which includes silver, early silverplate and fine china, porcelain and glass for the dining table. Young reported that they together had more than 100 transactions and saw steady sales throughout the show.
Glenwood and Martha Vernon, Brenham, Texas, were there with a large offering of early furniture. Their exhibit is popular for the pure Texas look they stock. Early sales included a tall cupboard in long leaf pine, an early food safe, another smaller cupboard and two early tables. Local Texas woods used to build these pieces included more pine but also some oak and cedar.
Fred Cain was just across the aisle with items largely found near his Fort Myers, Fla., home. Among his sales was an early small cupboard that had an angel caricature painted across its front and top. It went off to California.
Florida dealers Woody and Nancy Straub were there with transferware and small pewter in addition to their typical inventory of early fine art and furniture. Nancy said she has been a collector of blue transfer for many years and recently they were able to obtain more stock allowing for this month’s display and good sales.
Black Forest carvings were selling well for Tennyson’s Antiques of Atlanta. Dealer David Herndon has been offering Chinese Export and early English earthenware, but he chose to add the bears, cows and other animals for this Texas audience.
Michelle Piccolo of Dusty’s Vintage Linens, Heath Springs, S.C., has been refocusing her show activity in the last few years. The Big Red Barn is now among the few shows at which she still exhibits. She features vintage linens for dining and kitchens.
Betty Bell, Dallas, specializes in early holiday decorations. She often fills her booth with Christmas items, but this month she went over the top with more than 30 Easter bunnies and many related items. There was a garden setting in miniature for the Easter egg hunt, various bunnies in flocked or composition materials doing a variety of cute things. Sales included the mother bunny holding two babies, a couple of cast iron fences and more than half the bunnies she brought to the show.
Patti Walsh of Historic Mayo Tavern Antiques, Chappell Hill, Texas, was selling well from her two booths. Among her first day’s sales were a pair of early Jacobean side chairs in chestnut, with highly detailed turnings and Nineteenth Century petit point seat covers, an early Connecticut brace back continuous arm Windsor chair and a large number of small wall pieces. Sales later included a corner cupboard.
From Phoenix, Ariz., Faith Viland was selling folk art. Collectors’ Collections from Rapid City, Mich., sold early vintage patio furniture in rattan and iron. Victorian fashions for the ladies were selling well for Connie Marks of Rocky Mount, N.C. Antique firearms were the mainstay of Axe Antiques, Denver, N.C., while Elmer Diederich, Big Timber, Mont., sold cowboy apparel, including cowboy boots for children.
“We had a wonderful audience this week, shoppers were there for the antique furniture, collectibles, fine art and folk art. It was rewarding for the dealers, for Bo and me and even the shoppers who obviously enjoyed the experience,” Franks said.
Susan conducts the show twice each year, always ending on the first Saturday of April and October. The next show will be October 1–4. For more information, 512-237-4747 or www.roundtoptexasantiques.com.