I have come to view antiques shops as uncurated museums. I not sure that any antiques dealer shares my view. My sense is that they expect to sell their antiques. I am not above spending money but I am at the point in my life where I need to get rid of something to bring in anything big. I don’t really need anything. Lust does rear its ugly head and I have been know to buy something small. It’s been 16 months since I bought something big.

I am at the capture and release point in my antiques career. I look at an interesting piece, take a few pictures, put it back and move on. If I bought something every time I went out I could neither afford nor walk through my house.

Museums have better lighting. They may be dark but they are usually evenly lit. Antiques shops have rows of bare bulb fluorescents, badly aimed spot lights, desk and floor lamps, big bright windows and dark unlit corners. Mixed lighting sources makes it difficult to color balance a set of pictures or even two pictures of the same piece. I do the best I can.

Museums don’t usually don’t stack furniture in their collections. They don’t pack their collections so tightly that you can’t walk between them. They don’t use the secretary to display linens, books. glassware and other chotskies. To be balanced, museums don’t let you open drawers and doors and rearrange their displays. They really don’t want you to touch their stuff.

As I’ve said before, we live in an imperfect world.

Museums don't do this.

Museums don’t do this.

But you can't do this in most museums.

But you can’t do this in most museums.

Today starts a few days of antiques in and around Charleston. This is a set of pictures from shops along King and Market Streets in the historic downtown area. High end stuff. Must be a high rent area.

Click on this picture to see the full set of Charleston antiques.

Click on this picture to see the full set of Charleston antiques.