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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Brocante at Round Top

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Round Top Antique Show has something for everyone. Spread out for 10 miles along Texas highway 237 and for 9 miles along Texas highway 1457, the semi-annual antiques show has multiple venues with wares ranging from early Americana to industrial vintage to European fine antiques with  everything in between.

Advertised as the largest antique show in the United States, Round Top is THE antique show for worldwide antiquers and is on many people's bucket list to experience the more than 2000 vendors over 17 days.  The best known sites are Marburger Farm, Blue Hills, Warrenton, the Original Round Top Antiques Fair, and Big Red Barn.  The dates this fall were September 19 - October 5, but most of these big sites were only open September 30 - October 4.

French Brocante at Round Top 

French by Design had these antique French flags made from fabric. 
At least one of them was hand sewn. However, they were not for sale and 
were only part of the booth styling.  I tried to buy one, but the owner said the 
flags are getting very hard to find, even in France. If you see one for sale, 
snatch it up.  Buy two if possible, and sell one to me. 

French is in.  All kinds of French... rustic, ornate, architectural salvage, garden containers, linens...  Blue Hills, Marburger, and Arbor International Antiques & Interior Design Show were my three favorite spots for French antiques. 

The real thing.  
A massive stone carved coat of arms cut from a larger stone in France 
is my favorite from the antique show.  
The Round Top experience lets us dream of possibilities. 

Way out of my budget, only possible in my dreams... 
integrated into the stone above a stone fireplace, behind a Viking stove, 
in a sculpted garden, the centerpiece of an interior stone wall in a conservatory,...

Fleur-de-lis iron finials from old French fences 
were in my budget.

A French mirror is on my wish list. 
Not for my living room, but for my master bath. 
One that has French bones, but one that is not as formal as this one.  

So many beautiful mirrors from which to choose. 
Budget, style, and size constraints are all part of the selection. 
My favorite in this group? 
The one at the top left in the trumeau style, but it is too big for my space. 

No, this is not a mirror, but a salvaged wood carving that may have been part 
of a trumeau mirror at one time. 

What is it about a French handwritten document that is so appealing? 

I spent the most time in this one spot during 
my 3 1/2 days rambling through Round Top. 
French by Design's owner was so gracious.  She went to her car 
and got two more boxes of authentic French documents for me to peruse. 

Original documents with embossed seals, including some with bleu seals, are from the 1800s. 

The 'copies' embossed seal is so much more elegant than our current day 
stamped notary seals.  This document is an original 'copy,' which means 
that both an original document and copies were made at the same time.  
No copy machines back then means handwritten copies were made. 
Sounds very similar to when my will was made.  I have the original in a safe, 
but there were copies made for those named in the will. 

Old handwritten pages were glued onto the recessed areas 
of the door and drawer panels of this chest. 

Hydrangeas, a blue feather, and a blue bottle are perfect companions 
for the multi-paged antique French document with a blue cover. 

RF on the tricolor sign stands for Rèpublique Française (French Republic).

Grape pickers' wooden buckets would be beautiful filled with flowers. 
As with most of the French antiques, the vendor's prices were not bargains. 

Of course, my favorite grape picker bucket was this blue one, 
a metal version, but still expensive. 

Look closely at the top edge of this carved door with its original color. 
The door is c u r v e d.
One of a two-door French door set. 

Two designers from Houston were loading the doors 
into their truck when I entered this booth at Marburger Farm.  
A builder will custom build a curved corner pantry 
in a new house just for this set of French doors. 

The doors were sold the first morning that Marburger Farm was open. 
A perfect example of why designers, builders, and name-brand store buyers 
(Pottery Barn) pay $25 for an early-bird ticket to the first morning at Marburger Farm. 

I did not see anything that indicated this carved wooden horse 
came from France, but carrousels have been popular in France for centuries, 
beginning with elaborately-dressed live horses and riders in the 1600s. 

Parisian children can ride on beautiful carousels scattered throughout Paris 
for about €2.50 for a 3-minute ride.

Cactus Creek Daily Round Top Guide
See my Pinterest board, Round Top Antique Show
for more information, including links to Guides to Round Top. 

While the carved stone coat of arms is my favorite in the 2014 fall antique show, 
the blue curved French doors would have been a REAL temptation 
had they not already been sold. 
I did buy some of the French documents and fleur-de-lis finials.

What is your favorite item pictured? 
Did you go to the Round Top Antique Show this fall? 
Did you find any treasures to take home? 

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