Southern Agenda

Singing Appraises

An illustration of a silver cup brimming with paintings, books, and jewelry

Illustration: Tim Bower

Between the world wars, the Charleston Renaissance saw the Holy City’s art scene flourish for the first time on a global stage. Half a century later, the launch of Spoleto, the city’s internationally revered arts festival, brought it back to a crescendo. If you ask Emily Grimball Longley, a Charleston native and a director at the newly opened Doyle auction house branch on King Street, the city is in the midst of a third revival. “Looking around, you can just see there’s a resurgence of interest in arts,” she says. The storefront welcomes potential sellers to have their heirlooms appraised and shoppers to preview national sales or peruse the silver and porcelain available for immediate purchase. The first auction house of its level to plant roots in the city, Doyle transcends region and era: You can find East Asian pottery alongside old master Dutch paintings and a pair of eighteenth-century French duck tureens. Stop in on April 9 to preview a national auction containing some of Doyle’s highest-valued jewelry, such as an emerald, ruby, and sapphire ring in the shape of an elephant. And in May, Doyle will collaborate with Spoleto to host the collection of the late, legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim.