A Stroll in Search of the Perfect Treasure

Treasures along the stroll

Charleston is so fortunate to have a premier collection of shops featuring antiques—as well as fine and decorative arts—situated within just two city blocks along lower King Street. Housed in historic buildings, these shops not only offer an amazing cornucopia of treasures, but also a lovely ambiance while shopping.

About six and a half years ago when fellow Board members Barbie Kratovil, Ruth Baker, and I were brainstorming ideas for the Museum’s Art with a Twist program, we thought that the close, walkable proximity of the shops to one another, combined with their outgoing owners and staff, might be the perfect combination for “A Stroll in Search of the Perfect Treasure,” as the event was initially titled. So, the idea for the Stroll was born and, happily, it was met with the very enthusiastic support of the dealers and the Gibbes staff.

George C. Birlant & Co. presents a stunning display of silver

George C. Birlant & Co. presents a stunning display of silver.

With everyone on board with the plan, we needed to decide how to design the program so that it would be fun, instructive in an informal sort of way, and interactive in a manner that would inspire conversations between the dealers and the participants. But, we also thought we needed additional perspectives and so we decided to reach out to local antiques and decorative arts experts, as well as local designers. That way, we would have not just two perspectives but four unique viewpoints—from the dealers, participants, decorative arts experts, and the designers.

Hoping to foster the social aspect of the evening, the dealers very graciously offered to serve wine and cheese along the way.

Tucker Payne Antiques

A small sampling of the inventory found at Tucker Payne Antiques.

With the framework in place, we reached out to Charleston experts in the design and decorative arts communities and were very gratified to receive positive responses in terms of their participation.

Several successful strolls later, the event has become a unique, annual Gibbes program and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from design and decorative arts experts about a wide variety of fabulous art objects and collectibles.

While browsing some of Charleston's finest antique shops,, like the Silver Vault shown above, visitors have a chance to learn from experts in interior design, antiques, and decorative arts.

While browsing some of Charleston’s finest antique shops,, like the Silver Vault shown above, visitors have a chance to learn from experts in interior design, antiques, and decorative arts.

This year, with fellow Board member and new co-chair Shannon Gillespie, we are so pleased to announce that the Stroll will feature the shops of Birlant & Co., Golden and Associates Antiques, Tucker Payne Antiques, Alexandra Designs, and the Silver Vault. We are also honored to have Grahame Long of the Charleston Museum, Lauren Northup of Historic Charleston Foundation, and Alice Patrick of Alice Patrick Associates as leaders and experts on antiques and decorative arts. We are thrilled, too, that William Bates of the American College of the Building Arts, Amelia Handegan of Amelia T. Handegan, Inc., and Mark Maresca of Maresca & Associates will share their unique perspectives on design.

We hope you will join us for a very fun and festive evening on Wednesday December 6th. We will gather at the Gibbes at 5:45 and will walk over to King Street together and begin the stroll at 6pm. I look forward to seeing you there!

—Sally J. Smith, Gibbes Board Member and guest blogger

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