When people ask what's unique about Market Hill and its vendors, advertising signs and country store antiques and Don & Marta Orwig come to mind.
Located on the center cross-aisle near the food, Don and Marta always bring a huge amount of amazing Americana to Market Hill. "I usually have around 2,000 signs and country store antiques in inventory most of the time. Everything from gas and oil, grocery, farm and factory to great figural trade signs. I deal in about everything that advertises anything," says Don.
New for the spring show will be a collection of lighted arrows, bar signs and several flashing motel signs. "I've been in business since 1971,” stated Don. “Everybody has their own thing. Some people like toys or fancy crystal chandeliers, I like this old store stuff.”
Among the Americana he has amassed is a huge eight-foot-long hollow anvil-shaped trade sign that in its original life was on top of a three-story brick ironworks factory in Rhode Island. Originally there was a 12-foot-tall mechanical man with a hammer in his hand that would strike the anvil. The man blew down in a hurricane in the 1950s but the anvil survived. Somebody needs to add a 12-foot oval glass top and a set of bar stools to this. You could name your game room ‘The Anvil Bar and Grill.’ You would be the only one with one like it,” Don adds.
As for how Don finds all this stuff, he says most are already in collections that resurface on the market. “We only keep these things for a while,” he states. As for his own collection, Don laments that his inventory is his collection. "I want to own a really large amount of things for a really short period of time. My wife Marta says I have a warped sense of humor, but I have this hope that if I'm fortunate enough to go to heaven when I die, I would love to see everything I've ever owned lying along the road as I pass up to the pearly gates and visit them just one more time."
In addition to Don and Marta and all those antiques, their friends Polly Hitt from Tyler, Texas, and Gilda Metzler from San Antonio, Texas, will be set up at Market Hill. Gilda who owns Gilded Gardens will have her collection of garden furniture, garden urns and accessories and her amazing plants. Polly, a renowned jewelry designer, will have her "Neck Collections" line of repurposed big, bold and beautiful necklaces and wearable art.