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‘Granddaddy of Antiques Shows’ returns to Nashville

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

Heart of Country Quilts DisplayCelebrating its 32nd year, the famed Heart of Country Antiques Show is expected to draw thousands of antiques and collectibles enthusiasts to Nashville from across the country this February.  

Visitors who join the fun this February 14, 15, 16, 2013 at the legendary Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, can expect to see an array of antiques – including paintings, folk art, furniture, decorative arts, toys, signs, ceramics, silver, jewelry, civil war, nautical, historical Americana, quilts, and everything in between – all for sale from America’s finest dealers. It’s a once a year trek to the heart of the country for an amazing gathering of antiques and antiques lovers. Events include the exciting Opening Night Preview Party opening sale on Thursday night, Friday morning’s popular walking tour with expert collector guides, informative lectures and special exhibits to inspire new and seasoned collectors alike. The award winning Opryland Hotel restaurants are open for lunch Friday and Saturday. Free parking is available to attendees on Lot E. 

The three-day show will kick-off on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14 with a special Opening Night Preview Party 6-9 p.m. for the first opportunity to shop the show! Advance Ticket price of $60 ($65 at the door) includes glass of champagne, the best southern buffet ever, live country music, and shopping a wide selection of antiques and decorative arts offered for sale by 80 friendly and knowledgeable “Heart of Country” dealers who bring their best to this show every year. The Preview Party is open to anyone, and the ticket includes re-entry and daily lectures through Saturday. 

General Show dates are Friday, February 15, 10-8 p.m. & Saturday, February 16, 10-5 p.m.

Daily ticket price is $10 or two-day pass is $15. Admission includes daily lectures.

 Each year, the Heart of Country Antiques Show features a Showcase Booth as its centerpiece. This year’s offering is called, All Creatures Great and Small; A Heart of Country Peaceable Kingdom. America’s affection for Puff, Spot, Black Beauty & Old Bessie have led both trained and untrained artists to immortalize these creatures throughout America’s decorative history. This stunning “center aisle” booth will be filled to the brim with selected items from all of the exhibiting dealers and available for purchase! This special presentation will highlight some of the finest examples of this enduring love affair with the whimsical and wild, feathered and furry as depicted in folk art, paintings, textiles, hooked rugs, decoy form, and all manner of antiques.

 The following Daily Lectures are free with admission.

 Friday, February 15 – 11 a.m.  Heart and Soulful – Embrace your Passion for the Old, the Worn, the Well-Loved and the Soulful. Join the always spirited Barb Conner, popular antiques writer, blogger and owner of Simply Iowa Antiques, as she explores why we love “old” things so much and what to do about it! Collecting since a child, she specializes in country farmhouse, garden, architectural, and farm related fragments.

Saturday, February 16 – 11 a.m.  Speaking From the Heart – Annual Dealer Panel

This forum allows novice buyers and seasoned collectors alike to gain rare in-depth information about what to look for at a quality antiques show, steps to building a meaningful collection, investing wisely and find the best value in purchasing genuine antiques.

Friday Morning’s Popular Pre-Show features the Walking Tour. Take this unique journey through the show before it opens with one of several esteemed collector/experts for personally guided walking tours Friday morning promptly at 8:30 a.m.  Perfect for new collectors and seasoned collectors alike, this is a Heart of Country favorite!  Tickets $25 each at the show.  

Susan Kramer Hunkins, daughter of show founders Libby and Dick Kramer, has steered the show for the past five years and is often asked what is the most popular genre at the show. “Everything is popular at Heart of Country – truly! We try to present a broad range of dealers whose specialties complement each other and represent authentic Americana in all of its forms. An ever popular type of antique that always sells well at the show would be American country pieces with old original painted surfaces whether it is on furniture, baskets, decoys, game boards, toys, tin, folk art, or just fantastic old finds. People love to see the “hand” of the craftsman as reflected on the decoration of a special piece. That brings a piece to life and shows the heart and often the whimsy of its creator! In terms of popularity, the second runner up would be folk art, especially animal related such as early american weathervanes and hooked rugs. And third, would be patriotic Americana, especially featuring the stars and stripes of our American flag!” 

Susan noted that while there is not a specific appraisal event at the show, many of the exhibiting dealers are happy to look at a photo and give their best impression of the history and purpose of an item – and usually an estimated value. 

Heart of Country show-goers love to kick up their heels in Nashville! Nashville’s famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel spans 16 acres of lodging and indoor gardens to create a southern destination experience that never disappoints! The Heart of Country Antiques Show takes place every year at Opryland where tradition and history take center stage blending the welcoming southern spirit of down home fun and warm hospitality with a ton of amazing amenities, restaurants, river walks, and honky-tonk fun! Staying at the Opryland Hotel and walking indoors to the show is a great way to spend a southern getaway in the middle of February. Free parking is also available for those who drive in to attend the show. The Nashville international airport is ten minutes away, too. Attendees come to the show from 42 states as of last year, including Alaska! To reserve the special Heart of Country rate of $189 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel call 800-947-8243 or make reservations online at www.heartofcountry.com

For show information or advance ticket purchase visit www.heartofcountry.com or contact Susan Kramer Hunkins at susan@heartofcountry.com or 314-962-8580 or send check with ticket request by February 1st to Heart of Country Advance Tickets 168 Parsons Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri, 63119.