History means a lot to Helen Rutledge. The Charleston native—whose great-great-great grandfather served as South Carolina’s first governor and great-great uncle signed the Declaration of Independence—had frequented the Mount Pleasant shop of beloved antiques picker Bill Musser for years until her opportunity to take over his space came in 2019.
“It was Bill’s tutelage and sourcing that got me started in this business,” says Rutledge, a Renaissance woman whose CV highlights include helping launch the iconic wrap dress for Diane von Furstenberg and directing the Charleston Antiques Show. Her boutique’s name, Bibelot, means “an object of rarity,” and its inventory lives up to the hype.
Storytelling is the cornerstone of Rutledge’s eclectic curation, seen in furnishings, objects and textiles culled from five continents—be it an 800-year-old Chinese carved-stone basin, 18th-century Indian warrior panel, turn-of-the-century Indonesian wedding bed or 19th-century Belgian potter’s table.