The Silver Vault of Charleston opened in 1995 as a natural extension of the Brass and Silver Workshop. While the latter preserves heritage through restoration and conservation, we do so through procuring, researching, appraising, and placing superior, well-curated decorative arts. Deemed a standard-bearer among landmark shops by Garden & Gun Magazine, we specialize in fine silver from all over the world, with an emphasis on American coin silver from the South. Our criteria of condition, craftsmanship, rarity and provenance govern acquisitions, and provide you with distinctive, consequential selections. Our full guarantee assures optimum investment opportunities. Whether aiding institutions, production studios, collectors, designers, celebrities, or individuals, we recognize that long-term relationships based on earned trust is paramount to our continued success. We remain steadfast in our commitment to you for a thoughtful, educational and honest experience along the path to achieving your aspirations.
Alfred L. Crabtree, Jr. (1936-2022)
Al's illustrious career in restoration and conservation began in 1963. His brother-in-law was applying for a job as an electroplater and asked Al, who worked in research and development at Westvaco, to help him prepare for the interview. The two studied all weekend and his brother-in-law landed the job. The event sparked Al's interest in metallurgy, and his hobby developed into a new career conserving and restoring metals. Five years later, Al opened The Brass and Silver Workshop in the garage of his house, largely with skills he developed. In 1985 Al collaborated with the Charleston Museum to develop a conservation plan for their preeminent silver collection. He achieved the designation of Master Silversmith when he trained two apprentices enrolled at De Valschool, the Netherlands. In 2007 and 2011, Historic Charleston Foundation awarded Al the Samuel Gaillard Stoney Conservation Craftsmanship Award. His work is on view at institutions around the country like The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), the Governor's mansions in South Carolina and Florida, The Citadel, Colonial Williamsburg, The Flagler Museum, and The United States Air Force and Navy.
Charlotte M. Crabtree
Charlotte's passion for silver began at sixteen, when she landed a job polishing silver while shopping for her parents' silver anniversary present. After graduating from the University of Georgia, she established two silver stores that specialized in silverware pattern matching. Charlotte's interest in historical pieces and construction led her to Charleston and into partnership with Al in 1993. Since then, she broadened her education with diplomas from the Gemological Institute of America, completed the 2008 MESDA Summer Institute, became certified as a personal property appraiser (2012), and qualified as an expert in the field of antique silver by the state of South Carolina judicial system. In 2004, Charlotte and Al sponsored the exhibit "Sterling Faith: Three Hundred Years of Charleston Sacred Silver" at the Charleston Museum. She has served on the board of the South Carolina Archives and History Foundation, the Nathaniel Russell House Committee, and advisory board of Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Charlotte is a past president of the South Carolina Silver Society, and currently serves as co-chair of the First Scots Presbyterian Church Communion Guild, and member of the Nathaniel Russell Acquisition Committee. As an author of numerous articles on southern silver, she has been a featured speaker at The Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum, Henry Green Symposium, The Charleston Museum, The Huguenot Society of South Carolina, The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and International Society of Appraisers.