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Stories of purchases

In 1986 Helen Kippax opened The Antiques Brokerage House, Ltd as a consulting business to offer private collectors and interior designers the option of buying art, furnishings and other decorative objects with her guidance.  Helen had worked for the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Philip Colleck of London Antiques, Sotheby’s and William Doyle Galleries and saw a niche business to act as a broker for collectors and designers using the wholesale market of auctions to form collections and furnish their homes.


By buying at auction, bidding side by side with top dealers she could bring her clients art and period pieces before they hit the Madison Avenue and 57th street galleries and the premium price tags. The business’ transparent service provides the client with the auction house invoice which is important provenance for the history of a purchase.  


Connoisseurship and an eye for the best, partnered with online research capability enhances the guidance provided to her clients. When you work with an art advisor you have access to their expertise and connections which protects you from the glut of material on the market. If you are starting to collect a certain artist you want to know if the painting you identify in an auction has been offered in other auctions in the recent past with no interest from buyers.  Is it stale inventory from a dealer?  Conversely, the provenance of a respected dealer’s label on an estate item might be a great value to a new collector offering a great buying opportunity. 


 ‘Caveat Emptor’ buyer beware is rarely advertised on auction sites as buying art has become a click away and we often agree to terms without really reading the agreement. New web sites smoothly impose additional fees on the hammer price of auction items costing unknowing buyers premiums.


Find a jewel toned palace size carpet for connecticut country home. 

Antique Serapi Carpet, c. 1920

As the market for orientals continues to dwindle among millennials there is a unique opportunity to purchase top quality carpets. I purchased this elegant Serapi for my client. This unique piece with its ivory field and rich jewel tones sold for $35.000 at Bonhams New York. This type of carpet if purchased retail would easily be in excess of $100.000. 

They are hand woven, unique, beautiful and endangered!  


Historic clock returns to Nantucket.

Aaron Willard Clock , c. 1800

In 2016 I noticed an auction in New England with an Aaron Willard tall case clock that included the provenance of a Nantucket family.  I brought it to the attention of clients who collect fine American furniture and also have a beautifully restored home on Nantucket.


Aaron Willard was an 18th century clock maker from a well-known family of horologists who worked in the Roxbury, Massachusetts area. Inside the door of the clock was a piece of paper chronicling the ownership history of the clock. This is important provenance, often lost over time adding to the value of the piece. 


The client decided to purchase the clock and then had it shipped to their Westchester home to opine on restoration and the ‘fine-tuning’ of the clock works. 


My restorer of 30 years cleaned and polished the dry case. Following polishing of the brass finials and the fluted quartered columns and a coordinated visit from the one of the few remaining expert clock restorers, the Aaron Willard clock again chimes proudly in the front hall of a Nantucket home.


Find extra table for large family gatherings

French Empire Mahogany Oval Library Table

Expandable Dining Table circa 1830 with ability to expand to include 6 leaves and measures 13 feet fully extended.

This table was discovered in a Christies Auction for $1750. If offered by established retailer, this table could have sold for multiples of that. 


Helen found for us a remarkable 19th century European extendable dining table in beautifully figured mahogany.  When closed, it can function as a side table, and when fully open it seats up to 18!  If not for her advice, we would never have known such a piece existed, nor had the pleasure of using it at so many family holidays.


Stephen & Jane Land

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