For Jessica Fairbrother of Sacred Heart Antiques, each piece is personal. Each one has meaning.
When asked about her creative process, she says, “I spend about three months each year in France, Italy and Belgium. When I'm on a buying trip, I look for pieces that I love enough to keep myself. To pass the test, a piece needs to be old, have a history. It should be beautiful, showing its age, and it should tell a story,” she says.
“I have to fall a little bit in love with the piece. I look for things with meaning. Things that touch my heart. Things that stop me in my tracks. I never know who I'm buying it for, but my things always seem to find where they are meant to be.
In a way, Jessica feels it’s meant to be how she arrived at Market Hill.
“Round Top is the biggest and most exciting antiques event in the U.S. Any antiques dealer worth his salt wouldn't miss it.”
Jessica had been setting up at Round Top and Warrenton for more than 17 years at several different venues.
She says, “Paul Michael bought from me years ago. I never would have imagined he would have built Market Hill. I was sold on it immediately. I actually said, ‘You don’t have to sell me on it. I’m there.’ It’s a good place to be.”
Sacred Heart Antiques now exclusively sells at Market Hill.
“Last year, I sold my warehouse in Tupelo, Mississippi,” Jessica says, “in order to relocate my import business to Market Hill. It's a great working facility to receive my containers. When the show opens, we are able to offer a comfortable, clean environment to our customers with air conditioning, a good restaurant and other modern amenities. But the real magic is the combination of vendors who appear with fantastic finds from around the world. Each one brings his own wonderful aesthetic and personality. Market Hill houses some of the best antiques dealers in the country.”
It’s hard for her to name one piece she’s looking forward to sharing in the spring show.
“I am excited to bring the whole collection to the show,” she says, “Each piece is special in its own way. One of the most interesting things I found this trip is a large desk with 12 secret drawers. When I found it, the drawers were empty. The dealer I bought it from had already cleaned out over 20,000 euros in gold coins. But the possibilities of what those drawers held over the years intrigued me more than the money he had found in it. Was it secret love letters? Information about the French Resistance? The formula for creating the perfect Bordeaux? You never know what history and secrets a piece holds,” Jessica says, leading into another great story.
“Several years ago, I bought a chest of drawers in the south of France. The bottom drawer was locked, and I finally found a key back at the warehouse in the North where I packed my containers. In the drawer, I found the ashes of two dogs. I was advised to throw them out in the field and be rid of them. But I didn't have the heart to dump them out on cold strange soil. So, when I went back South, I took them to a spot near the Mediterranean, sort of a makeshift dog park by the sea where dogs are always running in the hills. I took my dog by that spot on my last buying trip. I told him the story, and I swear he listened and nodded with approval.”
To see some of the pieces offered by Sacred Heart Antiques, “like” them on Facebook.