Doyle recently opened the first major auction house in Charleston. Last fall, the grand opening of Doyle’s office on King Street put Charleston on the map of cities represented by the auction house, which has a worldwide reputation for expertise in fine art, jewelry, furniture, silver, coins, books and more. This family-run auction and appraisal company, launched in 1962 in a flagship New York City gallery on the Upper East Side, hosts live and online auctions from New York and Boston and accepts consignments across the country, from its offices in Palm Beach, Florida, to Beverly Hills. The company has specialists across a range of categories, some of whom you may have seen in action on the well-known PBS TV series Antiques Roadshow.
“Doyle stands out in the world of auction houses. As a family-run business, the kindness and care with which we treat clients is part of our success,” says Emily Grimball Longley, a native Charlestonian who oversees the new Doyle Charleston gallery. Along with Grace Toshach, the two are available to help Lowcountry residents throughout their collecting and selling journeys.
Doyle’s Charleston office will serve as the Southeastern hub for its services. Doyle completely renovated a space into a new King Street gallery in the heart of the famous shopping scene. “We breathed new life into the building, which is a classic Charleston single house with a gallery on the first floor and two apartments upstairs. It is close to both residences and retailers in a very walkable location,” Longley says.
Doyle brings fine art, furniture, jewelry and much more to Charleston. “You don’t have to fly to New York anymore to see the exciting options we have. Buyers have the ability to pick up well-priced items in our market, and now many of the items will travel to Charleston for in-person preview,” says Longley.
While the gallery has a revolving display of fine furnishings, handbags and collectibles to preview in a wide range of price points, it also has a Buy It Now program, where buyers and sellers can avoid the auction process and complete transactions instantly. Although Charleston does not currently hold live auctions, its gallery is on the radar to serve as a live venue in the near future. “We are always reviewing markets, and Charleston is right for live silver, jewelry and antique furniture auctions,” Longley notes.
While the benefits of buying through Doyle are obvious, there are also many benefits to sellers, who can consign individual items or an entire estate. Doyle’s specialists appraise and estimate the fair market value of items, and they offer both drop-off and in-home pickup of consigned items. “Doyle’s global exposure facilitates the sale of our clients’ items quickly in our auctions,” Longley says. “And the energy of the bidding process is exciting for those looking to purchase sought-after items.”
Doyle’s goal is to make the consignment process easy and accessible to the Charleston market. The process is as effortless as calling the Charleston gallery to bring in an item or email photos for appraisal by a specialist. “We advise clients on the auction process, and we have the marketing and shipping processes in place to handle the details,” Longley says. While people can come into the gallery anytime to consign items, Doyle also regularly holds Consignment Days, when specialists are on hand to provide estimates for potential consignments. The next Consignment Days are January 12 and February 15, 2024.
Doyle has many other exciting events coming up, such as a sporting art display that occurs simultaneously with February’s Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE). Doyle appraiser-specialist Peter Costanzo will be on hand at Doyle’s Charleston gallery during SEWE. Antiques Roadshow participants Kevin Zavian and Reid Dunavant also will appear regularly in Charleston to appraise items. Zavian specializes in watches and jewelry, and Dunavant appraises silver, decorative arts and furniture. The local gallery also sponsors cocktail parties during which participants get an opportunity to preview auction items and purchase anything available in the Buy It Now program.
“Charleston has deep roots in the art world. We have the Library Society, Gibbes Museum of Art, International African American Museum, MOJA Arts Festival, Spoleto and the Gaillard Center. Doyle chose Charleston because it saw it as a market to complement the galleries. Doyle is the piece Charleston was missing,” Longley says. “We’ve had an incredible reception in this market. People are so excited we’re here. We saw that in the turnout for the grand opening event last October.”
The Charleston gallery wasted no time in sponsoring collaborations and planning events for local residents to get an up close and personal opportunity to view, buy and sell at auction. “We are taking Charleston’s love of the arts and combining it with the opportunity to bring in pieces from other parts of the country,” Longley says. “We bring the gems to Charleston and make auction participation easy and accessible to all.”
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.