Antiques festival lets visitors see cultural aspects of Aiken

Ron Cockerille/Staff
Kim M. Conder (from left), of The Granary Antiques & Accessories, of Camden, S.C., showed Pia Hagler and Agnes Mirshak, both of Augusta, some of her merchandise during last year's Antiques in the Heart of Aiken show.

Antique lovers can browse or buy to their heart's content at the eighth annual Antiques in the Heart of Aiken taking place this week.


Serious antiques aficionados can get a jump on other patrons by viewing or purchasing fine antiques at Thursday's preview party. The evening will include heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar.

Twenty-two dealers from around the country will display their goods in the Aiken Center for the Arts' 9,000 square feet of galleries. Patrons can shop from a selection of American and European furniture, art, books, silver, porcelains, vintage linens, oriental rugs and estate jewelry.

"It's a high-quality show with a wonderful, positive spirit behind it," said Kristin Brown, the director of the arts center. "One of the goals is to share with everyone how special Aiken is."

The show, which attracted more than 2,500 visitors last year, is made possible by hundreds of volunteers, Ms. Brown said.

Patrons also will have the opportunity to learn more about antiques at lectures being held in conjunction with the event. Tickets for the lectures, which cost $20, are available at the arts center.

For the Love of Linens and Lace will be held from 9-10 a.m. Friday in the Brown Pavilion of the arts center. Connie Marks, of Victoriana, will discuss creative ways to use vintage linens and lace. She also will offer tips about their proper care and storage. Coffee and muffins will be served.

An Antique Look at Scotland, scheduled for 9-10 a.m. Saturday, also will be held in the Brown Pavilion. Patricia Williams, of Vandiver-Williams Ltd., will talk about fine Scottish antiques. Tea and scones will be served.

"These are dealers that give you so much information," Ms. Brown said.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113, or


WHAT: Antiques in the Heart of Aiken

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Feb. 4; preview party 7-9 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St. S.W.

COSTS: $6, good for all three days of show; $50 per person or $95 per couple for the preview party; available at Aiken Center for the Arts

INFORMATION: (803) 641-9094 or