Many visitors to Round Top understand the joys of a good treasure hunt, but few go the distance that Bill and Sophie Moore do. The husband and wife, who own Bill Moore Antiques and County Line Antique Show, take their searches overseas.
Their antique finds come from Europe, and have since the business’ start.
It all began with Bill more than 40 years ago, when he attended an antiques sale with items sourced from European countries. He liked what he saw and decided to give it a go himself for his own business — but soon learned you had to know where to look.
“Myself and a friend went over there and started in London, but that didn’t do any good,” he explained. “So, we kept going north until we got to Scotland and found the right prices. We brought stuff over and were successful with it, and we’ve done it ever since.”
Eventually, one of those European excursions changed his life — in 1995, he and Sophie met while abroad.
As time progressed, the couple grew the business and for years sold their finds during the Round Top Antiques Shows. Around 2010 they purchased the County Line Antique Show venue, and about a year later they moved to the area permanently.
The plan was never really to sell their wares year-round, but the demand was there, so they made it work. Today, the couple focuses on selling solely antiques — no reproductions — and does a majority of business with wholesalers.
“We pride ourselves on carrying good stuff at a very reasonable price,” Sophie explained. “The pieces we sell have to speak to us and have the right look.”
Of course, a couple that spends so much time helping wholesalers and shoppers find treasures is bound to come across a few of their own. One of their favorite items they’ve purchased through the years? A daybed once owned by Princess Diana’s family.
“It was really cool to have something from someone who was such a strong woman — a figure who represented so much,” Sophie said.
Life has changed quite a bit in Round Top in the years since they opened, with new year-round businesses moving in and the antique show’s continued growth. Both husband and wife said they’re glad for such growth, as Round Top is cementing its spot as a year-round retreat.
“We welcome the competition,” Bill said of new antiques operations making their way to town. “It brings more people out here.”
As for folks planning to head to Round Top for the antiques show, both Sophie and Bill recommended a bit of advance planning. Some vendors carry old items, while some focus on new, Bill said, so it’s best to know what you’re looking for — and where you might find it.
Sophie added that there’s a lot of ground to cover, too.
“To go through and see everything, you’d have to be here for the whole duration of the show,” she said with a laugh. “If you can, pick up an antique guide — and if you want something specific, ask around.”