Cloche Designs | Marvelous Marburger Magic
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Marvelous Marburger Magic

Written by: Laura Nell Burton
Photography by: Christin Gish

Every night I tell myself…tonight it will be:


But it’s 3:51 a.m. and I’ve only been asleep for four hours…

Dear 3 a.m.,

We’ve really got to quit meeting this way! Don’t you know by now that I’d so much rather sleep with you?!?

I’m desperate to drift back into dreamland, but my brain won’t stop talking to itself…

Before we were married, my cute husband diagnosed me with gerbil syndrome. The nature of this quasi-illness is that seemingly there is a pair of gerbils gleefully chasing each other around a wheel inside of my brain.

Hold, please. I have some confessions to make…

In elementary school, I was obsessed with small animals. Evidence of this obsession: in my bathroom (God bless my mother – she was better than me in every way) I tended to guppies, frogs, mice and a pair of gerbils named Panda and Cinnamon, who would scurry from one side of their cage in a tube over my sink into another compartment (where the wheel was) while I brushed my teeth and hair. All of these ancillary members of my family were very productive – meaning they produced regular offspring – which I would sell to the local pet store to buy stickers, erasers, and costumed mice dolls made out of rabbit fur at my favorite store, Jam & Jelly. It was quite a lucrative business venture at the age of nine.

As this relates to gerbil syndrome, I agreed with my soon-to-be husband regarding said condition, and shared with him, being the sentimentalist that I am, that these gerbils in my brain should be called Panda and Cinnamon (but of course!).

Let’s just say, he did not think it was a good idea for me to dignify them with names…

I try to fall back asleep, but it’s impossible because, today is opening day of the 20th anniversary of the Marburger Farm Antique Show, a bi-annual gathering of more than 350 dealers from across the globe! Truly, it’s my adult version of Disneyland.

At the age of 25, I met the Oushak rug that now graces our foyer during my very first trip to Marburger – although worn through to Holiness in places (how it got that way is another story for a different day), isn’t it wonderful that we are still together?!? The Turkish dealer who sold it to me – to this very day – can be found in the same place on the side of Highway 237, and, nearly two decades later, is now my old friend. Indeed, Marburger, and surrounding antique shows, are special because dealers return year after year and treat each other, and buyers, like a great big family. Navigate your way around once, and then every year is basically the same map.

Marburger beckons interior designers, collectors, and treasure hunters. On this Tuesday morning, after breakfast is made, lunches are packed, and the kids are dropped at school, the Cloche treasure hunting team hits an eastbound road to Round Top, Texas for a fix of Marburger magic.

Some Marburger and surrounding Round Top dealers we loved this visit:

We were awestruck by the artful Kokedama string garden pieces at the Garden Co. Marketplace & Café, a nursery, landscape, irrigation and floral designer out of Schulenberg, Texas (thank you for the Mimosas!).

For a client, we sourced fabulous circa 1860 Chinese import rose mandarin and rose medallion pieces for Easter brunch centerpieces from our experts-in-porcelain friends at Tim Ters Antiques out of California and Higgins Antiques out of Atlanta, Georgia.

We swooned over antique and bespoke textiles and monograms at Pandora de Balthazar.

We fell in love with everything we saw at Bird Dog Interiors out of Houston, a delightfully-nice mother-daughter team dealing vintage glassware in every beautiful color of the rainbow. These were made by a company called Blendo — and we learned that the 1950s term “blendo” is a.k.a. today as ombré (suffice it to say we’ve come a long way in our lingo, ladies!).

We were captivated by Maison Pernoud’s onyx pieces (does anyone need a new powder room sink, please?!). Owner Kate Pernoud just happens to have a B.F.F. who runs an Onyx mine in a top-secret location).

It was a day full of marvelous Marburger blessings, awaiting us at every turn.

Until next time, from the luxurious linens at Pandora de Balthazár, the Cloche treasure hunting team sends you a final Marburger Hallelujah and Amen!

Can I Get A Hallelujah?