Published on March 16, 2019

00_photo_by_CeciliaLloreda_03 Pin It
Photography by Cecilia Lloreda

Charleston, South Carolina, has long held its reign at the top of what honestly seems like every destination guide we’ve come across as of late. And for good reason. The coastal city is ripe for exploration, a mecca for design lovers and foodies alike, with a now-buzzy scene of new restaurants, hotels, and shops.

This month, it’s a hot spot for a slightly different reason: the Charleston Antique Show. An event fitting of the destination’s rich, historic charm, the annual three-day extravaganza attracts fine art and antiques dealers from all over who showcase the treasures they’ve sourced from around the world.

imagePin It
Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Given Charleston’s storied past and position as an important seaport, it should come as no surprise that the locale is chock-full of antiques stores to begin with. “Importing antiques has been ingrained in the city’s heritage,” explains Michael Amato, a longtime resident and creative director of Charleston-based lighting brand The Urban Electric Co, as well as a self-proclaimed antiquing savant.

“Downtown Charleston has some of the best antiques shops in all of the country,” says Amato. Naturally, we tapped him to share his go-to spots in the renowned Antiques District.

Where to Shop

imagePin It
Courtesy of John Pope Antiques

John Pope Antiques, 180 King Street

Founder John Pope opened his eponymous shop in 2007, after completing a degree in historic preservation at SCAD. In the store, you’ll find textiles saturated with color, upholstery bearing bold floral motifs, and imported decorative accents influenced by his travels in Asia and Europe.

David Skinner125 King Street

From 18th-century, Neoclassical Italian end tables to ornate sconces from Imperial Russia, David Skinner doesn’t shy away from the extravagant. This is the place to score period lighting from the 18th and 19th centuries and historic furniture dating back to the early 1700s, sourced from the Caribbean and the West Indies.

Antiques of South Windermere22 Windermere Boulevard

This family-owned and -operated antiques shop has been a fixture in Charleston’s Antiques District since the late ’90s. The inventory spans the 18th century to mid-century modern and is sourced everywhere from Cape Cod all the way to Sweden.

Golden & Associate206 King Street

Filled with thoughtfully collected offerings—a highlight is 19th-century American and European finds—Golden & Associate’s massive 3,500-square-foot showroom promises hours of prime treasure hunting.

Fritz Porter701 East Bay Street #106

For a more curated experience, head to Fritz Porter. The design collective represents 15 dealers and runs the gamut from flea market to museum-quality pieces, while the on-site gallery displays works by contemporary artists.

Where to See Art

imagePin It
Courtesy of Ann Long Fine Art

Post-shopping, soak up Charleston’s emerging art scene with a visit to some of the many galleries in town. “There is an art gallery for every taste, ranging from contemporary to modern to Southern, all in walking distance of one another,” says Amato.

Ann Long Fine Art54 Broad Street

Rooted in classicism, Ann Long’s gallery carries collections relating to fine art and contemporary realism.

Charleston Artist Collective414 Whilden Street, Mount Pleasant 

Spearheaded by Allison Williamson, the Charleston Artist Collective has been dubbed a city gem, offering a rotating selection of works by local creatives.

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art161 Calhoun Street

From the College of Charleston School of the Arts, HICA highlights the works of emerging artists and young contemporaries.

The Southern—Contemporary Art Gallery2 Carlson Court

Featuring a highly curated collection of pieces by local artists, the Southern is one of Charleston’s must-visit spaces.

imagePin It
Photography by Cecilia Lloreda

See more travel guides:
Why Parma Should Make Your Travel Hit List in 2019
A Design Lover’s Field Guide to Upstate New York
A Design Lover’s Field Guide to Philadelphia

Discussion