Describing the dark arts that some auction houses indulge in, Kelley continued, “Someone else could have bought it and flipped it, but we wouldn’t do that; my brother and I were raised right.” In other words, the Kelley family business was more interested in honest dealing than sharp practice.
Kelley also remembered a second occasion when a client didn’t appreciate the true value of an item. “Another time we were doing a house clean-out for a client and found an antique rug in the dumpster,” she recalled. “We got $9,700 for the client, who threw it out because he thought it was a piece… with holes in it. You never know.”
Phil LeClerc of Weymouth, MA, won his vintage desk in November 2014 with a bid of just $40. The item is what is known as a Governor Winthrop desk, said to be named for John Winthrop, an Englishman who was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630.