Are you ready for possibly my longest post ever? Grab some coffee and enjoy some lovely eye-candy from the talented vendors at the Marburger Farm Antique Show–and mark your calendar for the upcoming Marburger Show, April 2-6.
For years and years I resisted the temptation of the Marburger Farm Antique Show. I had heard from friends that it was amazing, but I was already familiar with the fields of Warrenton, and I just never took the time to venture over to Marburger.
For business reasons, I finally experienced Marburger Farm a few years ago. I immediately fell in love and have been returning ever since.
At the 2012 fall show, I was photographing, interviewing, and scouting for a feature story on the Marburger Farm Antique Show for Texas LIVE. Since the spring show is just a few weeks away, and the magazine isn’t running, I’m sharing some of my favorites here. I’m including vendor names so you can look for them when you visit Marburger. Be sure you tell them how you found them!
My advice as you plan your antique week–if you have limited time, skip the fields and go straight to Marburger. You might get lucky and find a great deal in the fields, but you’re going to spend a lot more time sorting through the junk you couldn’t even sell at your 1995 garage sale, and you’ll really have to dig to find the diamonds. At Marburger, the vendors have already done the hard work and even displayed their finds in ways that will leave you inspired. You might pay slightly more, but there are definitely countless bargains at Marburger, too.
One of my favorite vendors is Acanthus Studios. Located in one of the larger tent sections, they sell “Exotic accents inspired by nature.” No wonder I like them!
Harper and I have always joked about getting one of our chickens taxidermied. Wait–stuffed chicken? I’m sure it would be a great conversation starter, but the conversation might continue after our guests left our house. No worries, though, hopefully our chickens will all be alive and clucking for a long time.
One thing I’ve heard from many of the artists and vendors that sell at Marburger is that it’s the best show in the world. If I had only heard it once, I might take it as a Texas exaggeration, but I’ve heard it over and over from the artists, shop owners, and designers that I have interviewed/photographed. Many of them have even moved to Texas to be closer to the artistic hub of Round Top and the surrounding area. I’m not a fan of what it’s contributed to real estate prices around here, but it makes me proud that “outsiders” appreciate the beauty and inspiration found in our little part of the world.
A Century of Lighting
A Century of Lighting was another one that really impressed me. Like many of the vendors, they sold a lot of their merchandise in the first couple of days, so they were constantly reworking their displays. You can find more from Eric Brown (of A Century of Lighting) on eBay–Seller: ebrown.
Bleeker Street Antiques
Rebecca Looten’s Monsoon Imports was probably my favorite booth. She had the most beautiful and eclectic blend of vintage American and antique imports that I’ve seen. I so wish she had a storefront, but like many of the vendors, that would leave her with less time to hunt for the wares. So, you have to come to Marburger to see what she has! The colors, textures, patina, and patterns are enough to inspire the designer in anyone.
Dolan Geiman is one of the amazingly talented artists that shows at Marburger. His work is unique and beautiful. He uses found objects (material, paper, metal, wood, leather, etc…) to create his stunning mixed-media pieces. One of these days, I hope to buy one of his original pieces, but in the mean time, he also sells smaller prints of his lovely work. Dolan was extremely humble about his talent, which made me like him even more. You can visit his website or follow him on Facebook to see his latest creations.
jRae Vintage Decor
Part of the fun is that you just don’t know what you’re going to see next.
Around the old buildings and dining pavilions, they have large tents and smaller tents for the rest of the vendors. I like that there is room to drive between the aisles of tents to pick up larger items.
What to Wear
-I highly recommend wearing comfortable boots or some type of close-toed shoes. Remember–for most of the year this is a pasture. If it’s dry, your feet will be covered in dust; if it’s been rainy, you’ll have mud. These are not conditions suited for flip-flops!
-Come early. If you’ve ever been stuck on Highway 237 in traffic, you already know the benefit of arriving early in the day.
-Don’t leave without eating at Legal Tender Saloon. Their pimento cheese sandwich is worth almost getting a ticket from the grumpy DPS officer. (Their original location is right on the highway near Zapp Hall in Warrenton. Sadly, they are only open during the antique festival.)
-If you’re going to take pictures for your blog, try to ask for permission and give credit to the vendors. These vendors work so hard to bring their wares and create beautiful displays–they deserve the credit!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. Most sellers expect it to a certain degree.
-Bring a cart or a large tote to carry your treasures.
-If you love it, don’t wait to buy it. It will be gone. You will be sad.
If you want to see more about Marburger Farm before your trip, check out the Marburger Farm website and this great video by Down the Road featuring Clover and Rachel Carroll with Holly Mathis. The video really helps you know what to expect if you’ve never been–and it’s funny.