Charleston welcomes spring with antiques show, house & garden tours

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Known as “a city set in a garden,” Charleston will welcome the return of spring in 2008 with two events that allow visitors to experience antiques, as well as sneak peeks into the city’s finest historic private houses and gardens.

Organized by Historic Charleston Foundation, the 2008 Charleston International Antiques Show (CIAS) will kick off the 61st Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, March 13-April 12. Proceeds support the Historic Charleston Foundation, founded in 1947 to protect the architecture, history and culture of Charleston.

Held during city’s blooming season, the festival offers guests the opportunity to see inside the private residential interiors and gardens of about 150 historic houses in 12 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods.

More than 30 dealers will feature antiques from the late 17th to the early 20th century, including American, Asian and European furniture, silver and porcelain, textiles, ceramics, vintage jewelry and clothing, and garden furniture.

“Founded in 1670, Charleston rose to prominence as the colonies’ most significant seaport, importing 18th and 19th century material culture,” said Kitty Robinson, HCF executive director. “Today Continental, European and Asian influences can be found in its architecture, interiors and gardens.”

Both CIAS and the Festival offer entertaining and educational programs, including the CIAS Preview Party and Young Collectors Soiree, lectures, behind-the-scene tours, a harbor cruise, and plantation visits, musical concerts and wine tastings.

A complete calendar of events and ticket prices can be found at