Expert Advice: Navigating Charleston’s International Antique Show

International Antique Show

Swedish wedding clocks, bloody marys, gospel choirs – those are just a few ingredients in the mix for the 10th Annual Charleston International Antique Show. Hosted by the Historic Charleston Foundation, the International Antique Show has long been a favorite springtime activity for our guests. Set against a perfect backdrop of blooming flowers and shining sun, this annual weekend in late March also serves as the official kick-off to the foundation’s Festival of Homes and Gardens.

Antique-hunters and history buffs, rejoice. This year’s impressive list of Antique Show exhibitors and stellar extra-curricular event lineup will guarantee a return home with a car full of treasures. Fanio King, Manager of Events and Marketing at Historic Charleston was kind enough to offer us a little sneak preview of this year’s festivities. Enjoy!

Congratulations on year 10! What kind of plans are in the works to commemorate such an exciting anniversary?

“Historic Charleston Foundation is taking the 10th Charleston Antiques Show, March 22-24, to the next level. It will be best show in the event’s history. We’ve found the perfect setting- Memminger Auditorium at 56 Beaufain Street.

I would encourage everyone to stop by on Sunday, March 24, for complimentary Bloody Marys from noon-2 p.m. on the show floor. A one-day show pass is only $15. Guests will see everything from period furnishings and decorative arts to vintage jewelry, porcelains, silver, maps, prints, quilts, rugs and architectural garden accents. There’s something for everyone!

Make Sunday, March 24, an entire “Fun-day” by going on the nearby Wentworth Street Tour in the Harleston Village neighborhood from 2-5 p.m. The area features some of the city’s finest examples of Federal, Regency, Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, not to mention the magnificent Second Empire style Wentworth Mansion, which will be on tour!”

Are there any particular antique dealers that really stick out this year?

“American Antiques will be represented by Antique American Wicker who will feature sets of Heyward Wakefield wicker circa 1920, perfectly suited to the beautiful porches of Charleston or a beach house on Kiawah Island. One of their favorites is a rare side-by-side courting chair by the Wakefield Rattan Company of Wakefield MA. Circa, 1890.

Dawn Hill Antiques, a specialist in Swedish painted furniture of the 18th and 19th century, will feature a Swedish wedding clock from Jamtland with a crown and elaborate floral carving on the body, circa 1820.

Antiques for the garden will be featured by Kaye Greg and Marty Shapiro of the Finnegan Gallery.  Their mysterious, yet inviting booth will offer up fabulous pairs of urns from England and France as well as stone pieces from the 19th century. Of special interest especially for the Charleston show is a rare English Coalbrookdale bench in the horse chestnut pattern.

Fine jewelry, always a popular attraction at a show will be represented by Arthur Guy Kaplan. Among his many offering is a micro mosaic bracelet of doves in a day and night motif set in 18K gold with Etruscan granulation, Italian, circa 1865.”

What special event are you most excited about? The Thursday night Preview Party sounds incredible.

“The spectacular Opening Night Preview Party (March 21st) celebrates the show’s 10th Anniversary with hand-crafted cocktails, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres by perennial local favorite Hamby Catering, and a live gospel choir. Memminger Auditorium provides a dramatic and colorful setting for the exhibitors, and the glamorous crowd at the party will be the first to see the beautiful items they’ve brought to Charleston from across the country. Come dressed in your finest fashion to mix and mingle with Charlestonians and visitors amid unique and rare antiques.”

Do you have a few tips on the best way to navigate the antique shows?

“Spend the day at the show and you can enjoy lunch by Foodie Truck, one of Charleston’s premier food trucks, which will be located on site during lunch hours all three days! Show hours are: Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.”

Historic Charleston Home and Garden Tours

Spring is without a doubt, one of the best times to visit Charleston. One of those reasons being Historic Charleston’s infamous Festival of House and Gardens! Care to share some information about the festival’s 66th year?

“The 66th Festival of Houses and Gardens, March 21-April 20, will showcase Charleston’s beautiful gardens and historic architecture with an array of events including Wine and Spirit Tastings, Harbor of History Boat Cruises, Oyster Roasts, Eat & Run Luncheon Lectures, Morning History Walks and Musical Concerts. Hallmarks of the Festival are the daily house and garden tours, during which guests enjoy the exclusive opportunity to go inside private houses and gardens in the historic district.

Just down the street from Kings Courtyard Inn, and the same weekend as the Charleston Antiques Show, is the King Street Tour on Friday, March 22, 2-5 p.m. Untouched by the great fires that ravaged Charleston, this neighborhood boasts architecture from early Georgian to late Victorian. All ticket purchases support the preservation initiatives of Historic Charleston Foundation.”

Thank you Fanio and friends at the Historic Charleston Foundation for a sneak preview! We can’t wait to celebrate year 10.

For those looking to add another layer of history to their stay in Charleston, we invite you to soak up the city from Charming Inns’ beautiful, historic properties. We hope to see you soon! 

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