Nautical Antiques, Lighting And Decor
Culpepper & Co.’s nautical antiques, lighting and décor is owned and operated by David A. Culpepper since 1995.
After years of living in the mountains of North Carolina to raise three sons (all adults and married now) David returned to South Florida where he was born and raised.
He grew up boating, fishing and loving the sea and everything nautical. He always missed Florida and being close to the ocean and hoped that one day he’d go back.
In 1995 he left North Carolina – sold his knife handle manufacturing business he started in 1976 to his oldest son, Joe – and headed back home to Florida. To learn more about the knife handle business, go to: www.knifehandles.com
Back in the tropics, his retirement was short lived. Being a former boatswain mate in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) with a deep love of the sea and enthusiastic collector, he thought an enjoyable and perfect enterprise for him would be ship salvage. For many years he had been involved in international trade in Asia and the South Pacific so he decided to begin his search for authentic nautical items in that region.
It was like being on a treasure hunt and hitting the mother lode when he came across his first nautical items. He bought enough to fill one 40-ft. container and shipped it to West Palm Beach, FL.
By 1996, he was acquiring seven (7) container loads per year. That was it. He knew it then. Culpepper & Co. was started and it is now the largest wholesale distributor of nautical antiques, ship lights and décor.
At first he sold mainly to the Florida and Caribbean dealers and has now grown to provide their items nationally and internationally to distributors, dealers, stores, decorators, theme parks, movie/theater production companies, restaurants, etc.
They are always looking for items and travel abroad several times a year to different parts of the world such as Asia, the South Pacific and Indian Ocean and bring in 10 to 15, 40-foot containers a year.
Salvaged maritime and seafaring products and collectibles.