Andrew Jones marking 40th year in auction industry

Auctioneer Andrew Jones. Courtesy Andrew Jones Auctions

LOS ANGELES – Auctioneer Andrew Jones, the president, CEO founder of Andrew Jones Auctions, is currently marking the 40th anniversary of his highly successful career. Concurrently, he and his team are also celebrating the first year anniversary of Andrew Jones Auctions, the newest auction house to make its mark on the LA art and antique scene.

Launched in Summer 2018, Andrew Jones Auctions is a unique venue that unites a team of specialists with decades of international auction experience, with the goal of delivering a fresh and diverse array of property culled from ancient times to today, and from every corner of the globe, at all price ranges, to new and seasoned collectors. Andrew Jones is regarded as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable appraisers in California, and also has a long-standing reputation of successful sales at an international level.

“I’ve loved what I do for a living every single day for the past 40 years, and it is with immense pleasure that my team and I have been fortunate enough to have quickly established ourselves within the Southern California marketplace in just one year,” said Jones. “Our very first sale, last September, offered our clients centuries of design – from Gothic to modern – ensuring there was something to suit all tastes and budgets. And our most recent sale, titled “Design for the Home and Garden,” offered spectacular property from important collections and estates that ran the gamut from third century B.C. antiquities to 21st century contemporary art. We pride ourselves on our eclectic collections, and we are humbled by being entrusted by people from around the world with some pretty serious collections.”

“We offer the nascent buyer the opportunity to reverse the trend of the throw-away world of today, by acquiring antique and vintage furnishings, and starting a breathtaking collection for themselves, while also getting an education, and developing their own style,” Jones added. “Every piece we sell tells a story, and it’s fun for us to explain them to our newer clients. In fact, many of our pieces can even be held in your hands.”

Pablo Picasso, ‘Pique III,’ linocut. Price realized: $36,000 + buyer’s premium. Andrew Jones Auctions image

“And established collectors will also find our establishment a place to obtain the perfect complement to a meticulously curated collection, as well as a decorative statement piece to enhance any room. Our goal is to give regular auctiongoers the opportunity to continue enjoying the cut and thrust of the auction world, whilst concurrently also introducing a new generation to the thrill of bidding with confidence at auction. Antiques and vintage décor are the ultimate way to recycle.” Jones notes.

Since its first auction in September 2018, Andrew Jones Auctions has sold a remarkable array of unique items culled from private collectors and estates from around the globe. These include:

– A rare and spectacular complete second edition of C.L.F. Panckoucke’s book Description de l’Egypte, selling for a world record price for this edition at a staggering $220,000.

– A 31-inch Tiffany Studios drop-head dragonfly table lamp, circa 1910, which sold at $200,000.

– A Jeff Koons Puppy Vase.

– Artworks by Pablo Picasso, including ceramics, an etching and linocuts.

– Items from the estate of actor Peter Falk (Columbo), which included a large late 19th century Berlin (KPM) porcelain plaque titled The Flight into Egypt after the painting by Wilhelm von Kaulbach and a sterling silver model of the Portland vase by Garrard & Co., among other pieces.

– A Roy Lichtenstein screen print titled Cubist Cello from 1997.

– A collection of eight Henry Miller watercolors from a private collection.

– A masterpiece of a Biedermeier tilt-top center table.

Tiffany Studios ‘Drop-Head Dragonfly’ table lamp, circa 1910. Andrew Jones Auctions image

The first item that Andrew Jones ever sold when conducting his first auction, at the age of 16, was a sack of carrots. He has come a long way since then. His new company, Andrew Jones Auctions, is located in a 37,000-square foot gallery in downtown Los Angeles, where works by Picasso, Koons, Gallé, Henry Miller, and many others, stand side by side with colorful collectors’ items, both large and small, from around the world, spanning Greek and Roman antiquities to contemporary art.

A native of Norwich, England, Jones began his career in the late 1970s at a provincial auction house, G.A. Key, in Norfolk, UK, a company that sold everything from fine art and antiques to produce and livestock.

“That was a wonderful way to learn the auction business from the grassroots level,” he says. In 1982, Jones left G.A. Key, and started with Phillips Auctioneers in London, where he worked in various departments, even going back to Norfolk to manage the regional office for Phillips. “This was a time of great excitement in the business, the market for antiques and fine art was booming,” he says. For 19 years, Jones was instrumental in bringing numerous major house sales to Phillips.

A pair of parcel ebonized and tufted leather library armchairs, early 20th century, from the
Estate of Peter Falk. Andrew Jones Auctions image

In 2001, Phillips merged with Bonhams. That year, Jones packed his bags and headed to California to join Butterfields – soon to become Bonhams and Butterfields. He’s remained in California ever since.

From 2002-2018, Jones was the Director of Furniture and Decorative Arts for Bonhams in North America, responsible for restarting the department in Los Angeles in 2004 after its closure in 2001. He took the company’s sales to a new high, in respect to the quality of items offered, the accuracy of the catalog descriptions, and the prices realized.

Recognized for his comprehensive insight of the auction business both in North American and within the international market, Jones has handled property from the estates of Richard Blackwell, Sammy Cahn, Michael Curtiz, Onalee Olson Doheny, Jose Iturbi, Ann Miller and Gregory Peck, and from the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Warner Bros. Studios, Universal Studios, Diahann Carroll, J.Z. Knight, Rod Stewart and Rupert Murdoch.

Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2001, Jones has also spearheaded the single-owner collections of Jean Perkins Stewart, Elizabeth Colyear Vincent, Maria Helen Smith, Sue Mengers, Sir Daniel Donahue and William Keck II.

An Elizabeth II sterling silver model of the Portland vase by Garrard & Co, London, 1963, displayed on a stand. Property from the Estate of Peter Falk. Andrew Jones Auctions image

Q&A with Andrew Jones:

What prompted your decision to start a new enterprise?

I’ve always wanted to run my own business. My passion is for the stuff we deal with. With the international major auction houses, the emphasis is, necessarily, on high-value items. That means that a lot of really neat pieces never get to the auction block in those companies, and buyers sometimes don’t have the chance to see and learn about those things. I wanted to be able to offer a broader selection of items to buyers and present them in fun, interesting ways. I wanted to be able to say to a consignor that we could take it all.

Aren’t there already several auction houses in Los Angeles?

True, there are. But I think there was room for one more. Downtown Los Angeles is a rapidly growing neighborhood, with a younger, affluent group of people. Many have little experience with antiques and fine art or auctions, and our goal is to try to attract those people. We also have to let seasoned collectors know that we have the background and expertise to present a wide variety of antiques and decorative arts that will appeal to them as well. We’ve been presenting monthly sales, some of which have been themed, and people here in LA have gotten to know us rather quickly. The key to our success is our ability to offer a wide breadth of items across all price ranges.

Do you think of antiques as recycling?

“Yes. We present fresh-to-the market objects across all price ranges, in innovative ways. We seek to persuade younger buyers to move away from their throw-away approach to things, by trying to convince them to furnish with vintage items and to develop their own look. We need to educate those buyers and make it fun for them to learn. We’ve been making extensive use of social media to get people to our exhibitions, and we will continue to present our events as an opportunity to meet new people and see interesting and exciting new things, a lot of clients are shocked to learn that they can purchase an item that is several hundred years old cheaper than a modern example will cost them.

How do you see the future?

There’s no doubt in my mind that the antiques market is recovering nicely from the doldrums of a few years ago. Our challenge has been – and remains – attracting new buyers and showing them that antiques are fun, often unique, and really, environmentally friendly and they can mix beautifully with modern living. Combining that with our ability to cater to established collectors, and I’m confident we will have a great future. I am confident that we will continue to grow, and as we refine our approach and learn more about what our clientele wants, we’ll create a tremendous niche for ourselves here in the Southern California marketplace and beyond.

Andrew Jones Auctions is a full-service fine art and antique auction house with an understanding of the market trends and foresight for the 21st Century. The company’s staff has a wealth of knowledge with international experience, having worked for many years at major auction houses in America and Europe, sourcing property from across North America.

Andrew Jones Auctions is located at 2221 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Visit: https://andrewjonesauctions.com or phone 213-748-8008.