Over sixty years ago, when Caroline Faison first started the consignment shop that predated Caroline Faison Antiques in Greensboro, North Carolina, she knew relatively little about the material in which she traded. But by the time the brick and mortar Caroline Faison store closed in 2020, “Carolina!” was quick on the lips of the antiques dealers all over Europe with whom she did decades of business.

From that first consignment shop, Faison built her antiques business one relationship at a time. After learning all she could about the material that was being consigned with her, she began taking buying trips to England. According to Faison’s grandson Ben Cochran, who moved from Richmond to Greensboro in 2012 to help his grandmother with the business, in those early days it was quite a bit easier for an American to do business in England than on the continent, due to the obvious language barrier and banking regulations. In general, the Italians sold things to the French, who sold them to the English, who sold them to the Americans, who brought them back to the U.S. But gradually Faison’s English contacts introduced her to dealers in France and Italy and she began to do business directly with people in those countries. She worked particularly closely with Paolo Romano, a third-generation Florentine antiques dealer, who would not only work with Faison in Italy but would also travel to the United States to visit the antiques fairs here.
Faison loved Italian paint-decorated pieces and Delft. She loved gilt and artistic flourishes. Most of all, she loved things that were beautiful or interesting just because they could be. As Ben tells it, when they would go on buying trips, while everyone else was oohing and aahing over a showcase piece somewhere, Caroline would be around the corner, seeking out the most unusual piece she could find. People went to Caroline Faison Antiques not for antique shop standards, but for one-of-a-kind pieces that truly evoked the specific circumstances from which they came.

The Caroline Faison Antiques Collection
Thursday, April 1st
10:00am (EST)

Featured Items from the Collection