The Last Unicorn is the lair of Gaines Steer, architectural antique collector, and the magical unicorn. Beginning in 1975, this antique business specialized in furniture and art on consignment. Over the years, Gaines and the unicorn narrowed their focus to architectural antiques, particularly wrought iron gates. The Last Unicorn now carries one of the largest collections of wrought iron gates in the Southeast.
These two, as business partners wrap magical ideas around ordinary objects and create art. Each piece in The Last Unicorn’s collection is hand picked for its unique design and potential. With the guidance of Gaines and the Unicorn, customers can design something unique for their homes. In the words of Gaines Steer, “Together, we co-create ideas, while ideas discover us.”
Gaines is a bit of a character. (He has been called worse!). A benign fellow who delightfully commingles his diverse interests and skills with humanistic, social, and spiritual values in a down-to-earth (often whimsical) style uniquely his own. He is a progressive Southerner whose combined personality, perseverance, and vision exhibit elements of charisma, lightly disguised and exhibited as a muse via the arts of writing, storytelling, group facilitating, and his legendary creative whatchamacallits. (Don’t ask!). Pinned down (easier said than done), he refers to himself as a Community Organizer.
“He finds, hoards, loves, sells, restores and installs the parts and pieces of our handsome past, working from his 5 acre fantasyland…”
~ The News and Observer
Photo: Chris Seward.
"Gaines Steer smiles through the bars of an old jail door, part of his vast selection of gates." The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC) Home Section.