Charleston, SC, is becoming a hotbed for design, and one of its best moments happens in spring, when the Historic Charleston Foundation hosts the Charleston Antiques Show and dozens of house and garden tours, which are taking place throughout the next few weeks.
Inspired by the rich historical architectural and cultural heritage, the 10th annual Charleston Antiques Show running March 22 – 24, is a showcase of English, European and American period furnishings, decorative arts and fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry and silver—all late 17th to 20th centuries. Exhibitors include Janice Paull, Stephen Kalms, Arthur Guy Kaplan, Taylor B Williams, Graham Arader, William Cook, Charles Puckett, Dawn Hill, Sallea Antiques, Yew Tree House and Bird in Hand.
Special events include a “Behind the Scenes Tour” and a luncheon lecture with Gil Schafer, the award-winning classical architect and author of The Great American House. Other educational and entertaining special events for collectors will focus on subjects including exquisite furniture and fine art, rare maps, jewelry, posters, prints and quilts.
The house tours run concurrently with the show beginning on March 22 and running through April 20 and begin at 2:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). Here’s a closer look at the tours:
The King Street Tour—March 22 and March 25: Untouched by the great fires that ravaged Charles Town, this street today boasts an astonishing variety of architecture, from early Georgian to late Victorian, from modest artisans' houses to outstanding examples of 18th and 19th century town houses and mansions.
Meeting Street Tour—March 23 and March 26: Vestiges of 18th and 19th century America survive in the traditional facades, stately drawing rooms, and important ironwork found on the Meeting Street tour. Stretching from the historic "Four Corners of Law" to the legendary White Point Garden, this tour includes residences that date from the earliest period of English settlement on the peninsula to the larger, more imposing dwellings built in the Greek Revival and Italianate fashion.
Wentworth Street Tour—March 24 and March 27: Originally part of a grant made to John Coming and Henry Hughes in 1671-1672, this beautiful area was home to a diverse population of scholars, artisans, and Charleston’s antebellum intelligentsia.
Gardens, Galleries & Gourmet—March 30: Experience all of Charleston’s pleasures during this walking tour in the Old & Historic District on Saturday, March 30.
Anson Street Tour—April 1 and April 5: With its concentration of early 19th century dwellings, this neighborhood is named after Admiral Lord Anson, a British naval officer who allegedly won this acreage in a card game in 1725.
Tradd Street Tour—April 2 and April 6 at 6:00 p.m.: Tradd Street, which stretches from the Ashley to the Cooper rivers, is one of the original carriageways laid out in the 1680 "Grand Modell" of Charles Town, and it reputedly carries the name of the first male child born in the English settlement.
East Battery Street Tour—April 3 and April 7: The always-popular East Battery tour features the links between maritime trade and local commerce that were the sources of prosperity in 18th and 19th century Charleston.
Charlotte Street Tour—April 9 and April 13: Impressive early villas served as the nucleus of this neighborhood, popular with wealthy Charlestonians seeking suburban residences.
Legare Street Tour—April 10 and April 14: In the prosperous decades preceding the American Revolution, some of the finest mansions in the city were built here.
Broad Street Tour—April 12 and April 15: The eastern end of Broad Street, one of the most recognizable streets in Charleston, lies within the old walled city.
Church Street Tour—April 16 and April 19 at 6:00 p.m.: Church Street, sometimes called the "most romantic street in America," is a visible record of Charleston history.
South Battery Tour—April 17 and April 20: Although South Battery was heavily bombarded during the Civil War, new construction of the postbellum era included fine Victorian houses as well as early 20th century waterfront mansions. The creation of Murray Boulevard in 1911 further enhanced this development.
The Antiques Show opens at 10:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
The walking tours are $50.00 each and can be purchased here. All proceeds benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation.