Charleston Antiques is a charming wonderland for designers, decorators, dealers and day-trippers. In 3,600 square feet, the shop manages to carry classics such as Chippendale furniture, 1800s French chairs (with Scalamandre fabric) and Italianate desks. More unusual finds include a pair of arms from an 18th-century religious icon, a Han dynasty tomb figure and a 19th-century Victorian Christmas fence.
Owners David Kinard, Nick Thedford and David Evans are well-regarded veterans of the Lowcountry antiques scene with more than 80 years combined antiques experience. Kinard spent much of his career at the now-closed staple Livingston Antiques; Thedford, whose specialty is furniture restoration, is known for his work at King Street’s English Patina; and Evans owns and operates Bachelor Hill in Walterboro, South Carolina. Though Kinard and Thedford are pleasant and quick with the jokes, they’re serious about antiques. “This isn’t just a hobby for us. We’ve spent our lives in this business,” explains Kinard.
There’s depth and breadth here, with items spanning from the 1550s to the 1950s. “We have the quality of King Street, but not the prices, and we have some of the best dealers in Charleston,” says Kinard, “including Jim and Harriet Pratt, Chris Kellogg, Susie Edwards, John Pope, Matthew Bees and Lisa Wilson.”
Dealers and decorators explore the shop for unique pieces. On a recent visit we spied duck decoys, ceramic food molds and a mounted eland head. Furniture, art, accessories, lighting and garden pieces have been selected with care and rotate frequently.
Most of the furniture is antique and some furnishings and decorative items are vintage. Lovers of not-quite-antiques will be charmed by a 1920s Felix the Cat tea set, a collection of hat pins or a 1950s figurine of a seamstress from the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Open for just a year now, the shop already has a collection of loyal shoppers, both local and tourist. A recent visitor from Maine proclaimed it “the nicest shop she’d visited in Charleston,” shares Kinard. “We’ve delivered things all over the Charleston area and as far away as California and Cleveland, Ohio,” says Evans.
New visitors can find the shop tucked away east of DuPont Road, directly across from Belgrade Avenue. “What we wanted was to offer another option for quality dealers to show as well as another option for our customers,” says Evans. For Lowcountry antiques lovers, it’s a priceless new find.
Tori Coscas is a freelance writer based in Charleston.