Farrow legacy

Brandy Culp with the Historic Charleston Foundation and auctioneer Fred Skipper look out over the thousands of items from the estate of Emily Farrow. About an acre of the warehouse is covered with her furniture, artwork and other possessions that will be auctioned off Saturday.

What does a century-old Louis Vuitton trunk have in common with an antique Bible stand, an original drawing from Charleston artist Alfred Hutty and a metal baby crib?

All these items and several thousand more have been arranged on a concrete floor inside a North Charleston warehouse and will be sold off at 10 a.m. Saturday to benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

The thousands of objects for sale have something else in common as well. They belonged to the estate of Emily Ravenel Farrow, a philanthropist who lived on Ashem Farm next to Charles Towne Landing.

Those organizing the auction have been assembling the objects for several months, said Brandy Culp, a curator with the foundation.

Many significant works of art and other items were donated to local museums, while some of Farrow’s personal papers and effects will remain in local archives to preserve the story of her life.

Farrow, who died last year, asked that the items be sold off to benefit the two groups. Her will also placed her former Ashem property in public hands.

Fred Skipper said he has handled hundreds of estates while working with Seymour Auctions, but Saturday’s event stands out. He already has received inquiries from all over the country.

“We anticipate a large crowd,” he said. “It’s going to be a significant auction for Charleston. ... Generally, these items stay within families.”

Culp said many items are special because of where they came from. Farrow amassed most of the objects, but she inherited some from the Ravenel and Roebling families. The Vuitton trunk once belonged to Washington Augustus Roebling, who helped build the Brooklyn Bridge.

While it’s unclear how much money the auction might raise, Farrow’s positive impact on Lowcountry conservation and preservation is not in doubt, said Elizabeth Hagood, director of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.

“This is a very generous way for her to benefit our organizations,” she said. “Anything that comes in to our organizations is just a great gift. We’ll be grateful for whatever it is. I think it will be more than a bake sale.”

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.