The Round Top Fair Returns this Spring!

Round Top, Texas. Photograph by Andrew Disney.

One of the nation’s biggest antique shows brings designers, collectors and treasure hunters of all stripes to tiny Round Top, Texas.

Written by Constance Dunn

The year was 1968. Aretha Franklin had five songs in the Top 10, including I Say a Little Prayer and Chain of Fools, and John Wayne was starring as Col. Mike Kirby in the hit movie The Green Berets. In the tiny central Texas town of Round Top, local antiques dealer Emma Lee Turney had mailed a press release to Life magazine announcing a new antiques show to be held at Round Top Rifle Hall.


More than half a century later Ms. Turney’s modest show of 26 antique dealers has blossomed into one of the largest in the nation—Round Top Antiques Fair. Three times a year, hundreds of thousands of eager shoppers, designers and collectors descend on Round Top Texas (population of about 100), and increasingly, beyond its town borders, to seek out, browse and acquire antiques, collectibles and objects from around the globe.


The spring Round Top show happens in March, and the fall show happens in October, while January is when a scaled-down, winter version takes place. From rare and exquisite items, to kitschy and bric-a-brac, countless dealers and their wares are stationed among the nearly 100 venues—from event halls and decorative barns to acres of simple tents—that are interspersed along many green-country miles of Texas State Highway 237.


Photograph by Andrew Disney.

Consider the Big Red Barn the flagship of the “The Show,” as regulars call Round Top, spanning about 30,000 square feet of high-end objects—from fine paintings and glass to antiques and jewelry. Right next door is The Annex, for posh vintage and mid-century finds, and The Continental Tent, a showcase of globally sourced, high-quality antique furnishings.

Seekers of upmarket goods can make their way down Highway 237 to destinations like The Compound, where six barns contain collections including French antiques, historic arms and estate jewelry. Marburger Farm is akin to an antiques market in Europe, featuring over 300 vendors showcasing original artwork and distinctive choice wares in tents and ages-old structures stationed across more than 40 acres.

By contrast, treasure hunters can comb Bar W Field for flea-market finds and collectibles of the 1970’s lunch box and thrift-shop sort. Or visit Excess I & Excess II, where salvaged and re-purposed finds, including off-beat home and garden goods, folksy signs and decorative fabrics, are displayed in converted barn stalls. A lid for every pot comes to mind when considering the sheer number and array of goods available at Round Top—from fine to funky—and the mélange of seekers who come to the Lone Star State from everywhere to connect with and tote home their special new treasures.


Photograph by Andrew Disney.

Photograph by Danny Tran.

Photographs courtesy of the original Round Top Antiques Fair