Where should I stay in Round Top?

This article will give you some quick links on where to stay in Round Top. My advice is to book accommodation as early as possible.  Many of the best places are pre-booked 6 months in advance!
If you are looking for a room always call the local Chambers of Commerce as they keep updated lists of who has accommodation available.

Round Top Area Chamber of Commerce
Tel 979-249-4042

Carmine Chamber of Commerce
Tel 979-278-3273

Brenham Chamber of Commerce

La Grange Chamber of Commerce

Giddings, TX Chamber of Commerce

Brenham, TX has several of the big chain hotels, such as Comfort Inn, La Quinta, Holiday Inn Express. Hampton Inn, Best Western, and Roadway Inn.

If you don’t mind the drive there are oodles of options in Houston (1 1/2 hour drive) and Austin (1 1/2 hour drive).

If you have an RV, here is a link to local RV parks 
Are you an antiques dealer?   You can often park your rv at the show.  Note that very few shows have sewage facilities, just water and electricity hook ups.  Always ask exactly what “full hook ups” includes, you may find it is a hose, 15 Amps of electricity and some grass.  I have seen some RVs having their tanks pumped by K & H Portable Toilets, telephone: (979) 836-0552.  Otherwise you will need to drive to one of the local RV parks to use their dump for a fee.

Where are the ATMs near Round Top, TX?

It is a good idea to come ready prepared with lots of cash to Round Top (some dealers will only accept cash), here is a list of ATMs near Round Top.


Round Top State Bank
Close to the Round Top square

Carmine State Bank

Fayetteville Bank

The following shows also have an ATM

Marburger Farm
La Bahia

Remember that MAPSandART accepts cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Amex.  Come and see us at Blue Hills.

Texas Longhorns near Round Top, TX

Top 10 Antiques Shows in Round Top, Texas

Time to shop the Round Top Antiques Shows.  We have made a list of what we think are the best Antiques shows  in Round Top.  Sure, there are many, many more, but this is our best of list.  You can find a full list of antiques shows in Round Top at or

We are antique dealers at the Blue Hills @ Round Top show. We love the show because it is a quality venue with affordable, exciting antiques.  You can come by our booth in Barn A and we can give you free tips on where to shop in Round Top.  Just drop by.

Arbor International Antiques
1503 N SH-237, north of Round Top.
Free admission. Open 9a-6p.
Free on-site parking.

Why we love it – Easy venue to walk around with fabulous high end dealers.

Big Red Barn the Original Round Top Antiques Fair
SH-237, north of Round Top.
Admisison fee. Free on-site parking.

Why we love it – High end Americana.

Marburger Farm Antique Show
2248 SH-237, just south of Round Top.
Admission fee. On-site parking.

Why we love it – Lots of dealers with high quality and very varied merchandise.

Bill Moore Antiques
1352 N SH-237 just north of Round Top.
Free admission. Free on-site parking.

Why we love it – It looks interesting from the road (we’ve been too busy to stop and visit, but think it’s worth a stop!).

SH-237, north end of Warrenton
Free Admission.

Why we love it – Creatively displayed, fun smalls.

Cole’s Antique Show
3637 SH-237 at FM-954, Warrenton.
Free admission. 9a-6p.Free on-site parking.
Why we love it – An old style antique show – many treasures to be found.

3907 SH-237 at FM-954, Warrenton
Free Admission. Free Parking.

Why we love it – Enormous architectural vintage pieces.

Zapp Hall Antiques Show
SH-237, Central Warrenton
Free Admission.

Why we love it – Funky venue with fun smalls.

La Bahia Antiques Show & Sale
La Bahia Hall, 550 SH-237, Burton
SH-237 north of Round Top near SH-290.
Free admisison.  

Why we love it – Historic venue and great smalls.

Shelby Antique Shows at Harmonie Hall
FM-1457 at FM-389, Shelby, 8 miles from RT.
Free admisison. Free on-site parking.

Why we love it – Old time antique show with varied merchandise.

3 Tips to Choose Antique Prints for a Gift

Choosing a gift is not always an easy task, especially when dealing in a domain we are unfamiliar with. We hope we can make it easier to choose antique prints for a gift by offering you some knowledge you can immediately use while shopping at antique malls, antique shows or even on the web.

As experts in original art, antique prints and old maps for over 15 years and as collectors for over 25 years we have accumulated a fair amount of knowledge in regards to determining authenticity of antique works of art on paper. We have dealt with over 100,000 different antique engravings, lithographs, etchings, watercolors and drawings some dating over 500 years. It is not as difficult as you may think to determine authenticity, however determining value is more demanding.

Your ultimate goal in choosing antique prints is getting the real thing, in a good condition and at a reasonable price.

  • So first of all, what is the real thing? An authentic antique print must be authentic, meaning it is not a recent reproduction or a restrike (ie: a secondary pull from an engraving plate that was not the original intent of the artist or original publisher.) Reproductions or restrikes are common and worth a fraction to virtually nothing compared to their original counterpart, so you should avoid these.
  • Secondly you should be searching for an antique print which is in good to excellent condition because this affects not only the esthetics of the piece you are buying but also it’s value. This means you are looking for a piece of paper that is described as such by a reputable dealer. eBay would not be such a place, you need someone that knows what they are selling and know where the print is from so you can avoid theft and misrepresentation. Each dealer will have their own definition of condition. For example, we do not believe there is such a thing as mint condition for prints. They all have some imperfection which has affected it over time. What you are looking for is basically a piece of paper with no tears, foxing, water stains or mold. If an antique print is described as good to excellent it should have none to very few of the problems we’ve listed.
  • Thirdly you should be considering price. Antique prints have the convenient nature of being printed and there should be more than one of each out there in the world and with some luck there will be several to choose from on the web. Use your favorite search engine to find, using the exact words, in the title of the print if there is one or use as keywords the words from the title provided by the antique dealer you are working with. This only works if you are shopping on line, but your iPhone or blackberry is handy for this when at an antique mall. It is important that when you shop on line you compare two identical items, they must be of the same date of printing and be in a similar condition.

There you go, in a nut shell, you have the three elements necessary for choosing antique prints as a gift, may it be a gift for your loved one or a gift for yourself.


How Old is your Antique Print?

How old is your antique print? Read on for some helpful tips to find out if it is really an old print, or a modern reproduction.

Old prints by their very nature have been printed. Printing is most commonly associated with Johannes Gutenberg‘s innovation of movable type in the issuing of his famous Bible in the 15th century. Therefore your print will be less than 550 years old (non-Western prints can conceivably be older, but this is beyond the scope of this article).

Now, how do we determine how old your print is?

Professionals have many criteria at their disposal, which include the paper on which the image has been printed, the method of printing used to print the image, printed signatures or initials and the presence of a copyright year. Each one of these takes years of experience and knowledge to address, however you can get a ball park idea by studying your prints visually and by touch.

For your date inspection, you should clean your hands and prepare a clean space free of clutter and safe of oily substances or liquids. Remove the print from it’s frame or protective sleeve so that you can touch it and have a closer look. Take notes while you go through the following three criteria so you can get an idea how old your print is.

The first criteria is the type of paper that was used. You will need to touch the paper. If it feels rough and a bit like a paper towel, fairly rigid but not crumbly then you are probably holding hand made rag paper. This paper was used from the 1450s until well into the early 1800s. A further clue is to lift it up to the light and you should see hundreds of lines in a row. These are from the fine wires that were used to hold up the paper pulp during its manufacture. There could also be a watermark, a transparent symbol or sign designating the papermaker.

If the paper is smooth to the touch, is more brittle and shows no lines up to a source of light then you are looking at a print dating from today til the early 19th century that was made from wood pulp.

The second criteria is determining the method of printing employed to make your print. This demands a much greater level of expertise which is beyond the level of this project. There are hundreds of variations of printing techniques used over the last five centuries such as woodcut, copper engraving, etching, steel engraving, lithography, wood engraving, chromolithography and off-set in chronological order. However off-set is easy to distinguish.

Use a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe to take a close look at a section of the image of your print. If you see a multitude of even overlapping circles in the image then you are in the presence of a modern off-set print. These prints were made in the twentieth century and are most often of little to no value.

The third criteria is a signature. These are mostly printed signatures. Look on Wikipedia for the artist or engraver and write down their dates. Signatures customarily have the engraver’s name on the bottom left and artist’s name on the bottom right.

Finally the fourth criteria at your disposal is a copyright year printed on the print itself. The printing of a year on prints started in England in the late 1700s, but are most commonly found on late nineteenth and twentieth century prints. You can generally trust that the date on the print is close to the year of printing.

Tip: If you have an off-set (described above) with a date in the 1800s then you have a fake.

Take all the notes you wrote down during your inspection to determine your date.

Keep in mind that these tips are very general, but they will help you get started.


Is your Antique Print in Excellent Condition?

In this article we will give you tips on how to tell if your antique print is in excellent condition.  Antiques are all unique in their condition and no two are exactly alike. Antique prints are especially fragile to the vagaries of time. Many have perished in fires, floods, under a child’s marker, were trimmed down or most often just thrown away.

Old prints that have survived could have been passed down several generations and have been stored or displayed in different environments. Unique conditions such as dampness, heat, sunlight, dust, old framing can each damage the print in different ways.

Here are the things you need to consider:

  • Dampness or humidity – Old prints hate moisture. Moisture from humid walls, damp cellars or attics destroy prints. Don’t acquire prints with water damage. Their stains are expensive to remove if done professionally (beware of quick fixes online). You should avoid water stains and its companion mold. You will easily recognize these from the discoloration or water line created from the stains. Mold appears with a dot and a ring around it.
  • Heat – Big changes in temperature change the structure of paper and can make it more brittle over time. Add heat to dampness and mold thrives. This is harder to see, but experience will teach you to get a feel for paper which has undergone many temperature changes.
  • Light – Prints left in the sun or even indoor lighting will fade over time and loose their vibrancy. Black and white prints on the other hand can sometimes benefit from sunlight by whitening the paper or killing mold. Avoid prints which have faded colors.
  • Dust – Prints left unprotected from the elements gather dust and get grimy. Smoke from fireplaces and cigarettes attacks the paper and deteriorates the print over time. Foreign material in the paper creates a phenomena called foxing. This grows and looks like mold and is not desirable. Avoid dirty, grimy, dusty prints.
  • Framing –  Today we have conservation framing techniques which most framers offer at a reasonable price, however that was not the case only 30 years ago. Was the glass an anti-UV (ultraviolet) light glass which stops the colors from fading? Does it have conservation matting and back board? It is doubtful. When you buy an antique print in a frame, ask for the seller to take it out so you can inspect it. In our business we have found that over half the prints are glued to a board. This is expensive to remove and it should be removed. There are acids in the board that are attacking the integrity of the antique print. Avoid prints in old frames, unless there is a conservation letter behind the frame describing the steps taken to preserve the print.
  • Tears and repairs – Paper can be repaired in many ways, most are not desirable. The worst is scotch tape as it has acids and synthetic solutions which irreparably damage the print. Avoid tears and repairs unless they are professionally done with conservation materials.

All of these reasons combined are why acquiring antique prints from reputable antique dealers is recommended. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about condition as it affects the price.

What is the condition of the print?
Are there any signs of water damage, mold, dampness?
Are the colors faded?
How clean is the print?
Are there any tears or repairs?

How to Find Out the Value of Art

In this article we will explain several ways  to find out the value of art.

The easiest way to determine the value of your art work is to try to sell it on eBay, however this often depends on how you present it for sale. You will also then know the rock bottom price! In all marketplaces there is the importance of presentation and circumstance in determining price. An art gallery can get more money for artwork than a thrift store or ebay, for example.

Just putting a piece of art on the market is not the best way to achieve the highest price. You are better off having some prior knowledge of its value before releasing it to be sold. Auctions are often limited in scope, some are rigged, art galleries take a fifty percent cut, eBay is a madhouse, you name it each market has its share of unknowns.

We often think that we have an invaluable piece of work and are incredulous when someone tells us that in fact it is worthless. We always hope to have a hidden Picasso. The art world could surely need a good dose of modesty. This applies to the seller and the buyer.

As international art dealers ourselves we use a variety of mechanisms to determine price. Our objective could be to always make a immense profit by buying low and selling high, but that would be very short sighted. We have found that attaining a fair price during the buying stage and selling stage is what matters most to us. So if you have spent 30 hours painting a landscape you should expect it to be worth your while, but it is best to sell several in the future at a reasonable price than just waiting for a single sale in the distant future.

If you are the owner of a piece of art and have no idea of its value, you should start to educate yourself by reading the biographies of the artist, researching their exhibits, visit any website that is dedicated to that artist, search for art sales catalogs that contain artwork from your artist. Basically have fun exploring and discovering what is known about your artist. The more you know about them the better you can represent them when you wish to sell the piece of art or if not selling you will gain an even greater appreciation for your piece art.

There are also some very useful search engines that will help you determine a general idea of the value of the works of some artists. We like to use the search engines and You have to pay to use their services but they list over 400 000 artists and the results from their art work sold at auction. A real goldmine if your focus is just on price. This is quite useful if you have several piece of artwork from a variety of artists. Artprice and Artnet’s focus is mostly on paintings and prints.

Blue Bonnet roadside flowers near Round Top, TX

Blue Hills at Round Top, TX Show Dates Spring 2016

Come and join MAPSandART in Round Top, TX at Blue Hills at Round Top  for the 2016 Spring Antique Show.  It’s a huge event in the antiques and vintage world and a great day (or days out)!  As an added bonus the Blue Bonnets will be in bloom! We will be bringing thousands (yes thousands!) of beautiful original artworks, antique prints and vintage maps.

We will be open from Saturday March 19th thru Saturday April 2nd 2016, 10am to 6pm.

Here is a map of how to get to Blue Hills and Round Top.


We are located 4 miles north of the lovely village of Round Top, TX on Hwy 237 between Austin and Houston, TX.

Our booth is in Barn A, the first barn on your right as you drive in, next door to the Methodist Mens BBQ.  (The Methodist Men’s BBQ was mentioned in this Houston Chronicle article “5 Things to do in Round Top“).

As the Blue Hills show seems to be getting bigger every time, here is a map showing you where the barns and buildings are.


Map of the Antique Show at Blue Hills at Round Top, TX – Online guide to the Round Top antique show venues.

Show Daily – print magazine for the Round Top antique shows

You can find more information about Blue Hills and Round Top, TX in our other blog posts.

Evening Scene of MAPSandART's booth at Blue Hills at Round Top, TX

Antique Maps St Augustine, FL

Some people may wonder where our shop is in St Augustine, FL. When participating in an antique show we are often asked where our shop or gallery is in St Augustine. I like to answer: “You are in our gallery right now”, even though we may be in Round Top, TX.  We also get the same question from our online inquiries.

The fact is that our business, MAPSandART, participates in antique shows and has always avoided the constraints of a shop or gallery. In this way we can offer a greater variety of vintage maps, works of art and antique prints to a wider audience. We have maps of Indiana when in Indiana, maps of Texas when in Texas and maps from all over the world when exhibiting at the resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Sun Valley or Jackson Hole.

Now you can visit our “stores” online from wherever you are and find an overwhelming and ever changing selection.  You can find us on 1st, and

So the question is, if you cannot find us in St Augustine where can we find you?
Easy! Just go to our Show Schedule to find dates and locations of our future venues, or visit our web site at

How to Identify an Antique Print in 8 Steps

Here are 8 steps on how to identify an antique print.

Secret 1: We are going to assume you have an authentic old print and that it is not a reproduction. Reproductions are usually not worth very much money because they are more recent and have been mass produced. Your first secret is that only an antique print can be considered a real antique.

Secret 2: What is the subject matter of my print? This may seem obvious, but can you describe it in a couple of words: Red Rose, Eiffel Tower, lake landscape, religious saint etc. Here you want to write down a few possible two word descriptions that describe your print.

Secret 3: Is there a title to my print? Often a title is present below the image of your antique print describing the location, people or subject depicted. This is one of your most valuable bits of information in identifying your print. Write this down.

Secret 4: Is there a copyright at the bottom of your print? If there is a copyright year then your print is probably less than 200 years old. The English had started printing copyright years in the late 1700s and this was followed by other printers in the 19th century. Take note of the year.

Secret 5: Is there any fine print on the bottom left? This is traditionally where the name of the artist from which the print was made is listed. The name is often followed by the letters del, delin or delt which is the latin abbreviation and term for “drew”. This is the artist’s name. Many classical prints of the 19th and earlier centuries carry this annotation. Don’t forget to write this down.

Secret 6: Is there fine print on the bottom right of your antique print? This is where the name of the engraver is found. The engraver was the one who engraved the image of the art which is on your print. The engraver’s name is often followed by the latin abbreviation sc. for sculptor. Write this down as well.

Secret 7: Take all your notes and start searching on the internet for the specific names you have written down. If the title is “Schonenberg Castle at Dawn” type those in Google exactly as they appear on your print and put them in quotation marks to get a search with those specific words. You may be pleasantly surprised to find another print like yours in a university or institution whom you can trust in the identification of your print.

Secret 8: Repeat your search for artist names and engraver names. In the absence of a title for your print use your second secret and search with your own description title. Don’t put these in quotation marks. This will take you more time, but you should find it in the end.

Now armed with this information you may like to search how much it is selling for. Look for your newly identified print on line!