Landrum Wanderings: Do you love antiques?
Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 7, 2017
Are you an antique hound? I mean real antiques, at least 100 years old. Then take a drive to Gramling, just a mile past Campobello on the Asheville Highway, to Buffy’s Timeless Treasures.
Buffy Halford has been learning about antiques since a child, following her father, Bobby Grigg, around the countryside in search of old treasures. Bobby owned Country Store Antiques in Campobello when Buffy was young. They would drive the back roads of South Carolina, knocking on doors and asking people if they had anything old they wanted to sell.
“You probably couldn’t do that today,” Buffy laughs. “Back then we would go down to the Low Country, to places like Folly Beach, find people renting rooms in little towns along the way so we had places to stay. Then we would search for antiques. It was our vacation.”
As she and her sister, Beverly, grew up, they often worked in the shop. “It was just part of our life,” she explains. In 2012 Buffy’s mother passed away at the young age of 52. “It was a very difficult time for us. I began to reassess my life and think about what I wanted to do. I realized how much I disliked the job that I had and knew it was time to get back to antiques. I opened this shop in April, 2015,” she tells me.
Her father, Bobby, joins us in the shop. I ask them if they could remember any unusual items they’ve sold in the past. They both remembered a Victorian ice chest. “It was very large,” Bobby describes. “It looked like a sideboard.” They both also remember slave chains and shackles that they found in a dugout basement in Charleston. “It was difficult to see these and know what they represented,” Buffy recalls. “But it’s history. It happened and we need to remember it.”
We wander around the shop and she tells me about some of the interesting pieces in the shop. A large French, Victorian bedroom set catches my eye. It’s made from a light wood that Bobby tells me is yew wood. The detailed carving is ornate. The dresser has an inlaid rose marble top. A chamber pot stand resembles a cupboard or night stand and sits next to the bed.
I inquire about a magnificent corner cupboard. “It’s one of my favorite pieces,” Buffy says as we admire it. “It was probably built around 1790 to 1810. There are 16 panes of glass. The shelves are a butterfly design. Each shelf is quite large, but cut from one piece of wood.” She opens the door to show me. “It’s made with wooden pegs, the wood is walnut.” As I examine the cupboard, I can see that it’s in pristine condition.
We come across an interesting table that Bobby calls a pub table. He also mentions that he saw one on Antique Roadshow that they referred to as a tea table. “It’s from the 1800’s. They are always off sides,” he says. He shows me how the round top isn’t centered on the table. One side is set farther off on one side.
Another interesting table is a half table called a demi-loom. They point out a burn mark on the table. “This came out of a house in lower South Carolina. The house was burned during the war, but the table survived with just a slight charring.” If this table could talk…what a story it would tell!
Buffy has lovely chinaware and glassware. She shows me one dish with an unusual pattern with Japanese lanterns. “And I love this Victorian chair,” she comments.
“It’s such an unusual shape but it’s comfortable.” I try it out and she’s right. It is comfortable. “We try to limit our purchases to things 100 years or older. But sometimes if we’re buying an estate, we get things that don’t really qualify but we will sell them.
We both comment on some old, well-worn, cane seat chairs. “Can’t you just see someone sitting in these on an old front porch, looking out over the countryside?” she says dreamily. Buffy loves her antiques and appreciates the past lives they represent.
Next she points out an old, small, rustic bed with a design hand carved into the headboard. “Maybe you can help us?” she inquires. “People have told us they think this bed came from the early days at Pine Crest. We’d love to find old photos of the inn that might show a bed with this design. We also think that it was made by one of the toymakers in Tryon, not by the toy company but by one of the laborers.” So, if you are a reader who happens to have any knowledge or photos of a bed as shown in the photo, please contact Buffy at 864-809-1834, or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve enjoyed this visit, seeing the noteworthy pieces and meeting Buffy and her father, Bobby Grigg, but rain is threatening and it’s time to head home. Take some time to explore Buffy’s Timeless Treasures, 14960 Asheville Highway. She’s open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. You’ll enjoy meeting Buffy and Bobby and you’re sure to discover a special treasure to add your antique collection.