Heart of Country - American Country Antiques Show
Heart of Country Feb. 2-4, 2012 Horse weathervane

People are talking about Heart of Country 2013! 

Look for Heart of Country Antiques Show to be a featured destination in the February issue of Martha Stewart LIVING Magazine!"

Here's a great article published recently in Mature Lifestyles Magazine:

'Granddaddy of Antiques Shows' to return to Nashville

Heart of Country Antiques Show set for Feb. 14-16, 2013 at Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Nashville, TN — Celebrating its 32nd year, the famed Heart of Country Antiques Show is expected to draw thousands of antiques and collectibles enthusiasts from across the country next month.

According to show promoter Susan Kramer Hunkins, whose parents founded the celebrated antiques show, visitors can expect to see an array of antiques – including paintings, folk art, furniture, toys, signs, ceramics, jewelry, quilts and historical Americana – over the course of the show's three-day run.

"The great majority of the antiques will date from the late 18th century to the early 20th century and will be largely American antiques," she said. " … We try to present a broad range of dealers whose specialties complement each other and represent authentic Americana in all of its forms. If I had to choose an ever-popular type of antique that always sells well at the show, I would say it would be American country pieces with original painted surfaces, whether it is on furniture, baskets, decoys, game boards, toys, tin or folk art. 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!"

The second runner-up, in terms of popularity, would be folk art – particularly animal-related art such as early American weather vanes and hooked rugs, Hunkins added.

She noted antiquing has become increasingly popular in recent years with the success of numerous television shows which spotlight auctions, antique pickers and, of course, PBS' "Antiques Roadshow."

With this boom in popularity, it's little surprise that roughly 10,000 guests regularly attend the once-a-year show.

"(Nashville) is in a central geographic location that exudes fun and history, and (guests) love the hotel, which is a destination in itself," Hunkins said. "The show is so much fun because it brings people together from all across the country who are like-minded in their curiosity about the treasures of America's past and love to be around others who think it's fascinating, too. People come to the show from nearly every state, even Alaska, to see some of the best of America's decorative heritage – and some of the most unusual."

The three-day show will kick off on Valentine's Day, Thursday, Feb. 14 with a special Opening Night Preview Party at 6 p.m., which will include a glass of champagne, "the best southern buffet ever," live country music and plenty of shopping from 80 friendly and knowledgeable Heart of Country dealers.

"People love the Preview Party, not only because it is the first opportunity to shop the show and great Nashville banjo-picking music, but also because the southern buffet has become as anticipated as the antiques," Hunkins remarked. "Many of the recipes are my mother's recipes … which the Opryland chefs have amped up for a huge presentation on opening night. Some of the favorites are southern ham served on heart-shaped cheese biscuits, marinated black-eyed pea salad and old-fashioned cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. When guests enter the show, they don't know whether they should eat or shop first!"

Tickets for the Preview Party are $60 (in advance) or $65 at the door. The Preview Party is open to anyone, and the ticket allows free re-entry through the close of the show on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. General show dates are Friday, Feb. 15 (10 a.m. until 8 p.m.) and Saturday, Feb. 16 (10 a.m. until 5 p.m.). A daily ticket is $10, and a two-day pass is $15. Admission includes daily lectures. Free parking is available.

Each year, the Heart of Country Antique Show features a Showcase Booth as its centerpiece.

"It is a large booth designed around specially selected items from all of the exhibiting dealers for presentation and sale," Hunkins explained.

The theme for the 2013 Showcase Booth is "All Creatures Great & Small." Some of the items to be offered include an American folk art painting of a pouncing cat (signed and dated 1887), a collection of stuffed shorebirds and wildlife panoramas from the eastern seaboard area (late 19th century), an American folk art hooked rug featuring a pair of blue rabbits (1913) and an American carved heron bird decoy from Pennsylvania (mid-19th century).

Daily lectures will cover topics such as tracing the ancestry of signatures on paintings and quilts as well as the annual dealer panel, which will offer in-depth information about what to look for at a quality antiques show, steps to building a meaningful collection, investing wisely and finding the best value in genuine antiques.

And while there is not a specific appraisal event at the show, Hunkins said all 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 of an item.

She added the show will include antiques to suit nearly every taste and budget.

"The dealers bring a big variety in every price range, but most interestingly, each booth reflects their own regional interests and specialties. Each antique dealer's enthusiasm is contagious, and they know that their customers walk away with a new appreciation and, usually, a new acquisition to treasure," she said.

To learn more about the 32nd Annual Heart of Country Antiques Show or to purchase advance tickets, visitwww.heartofcountry.com or e-mail mailto:susan@heartofcountry.com.