News | February 24, 2012

Quinn's Auction Relocates to Falls Church, VA

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - In order to meet the demands of Washington, D.C.’s booming market for art and antiques, Quinn’s Auction Galleries has relocated to a more spacious venue in the heart of suburban Falls Church. The new 14,400-sq.-ft. premises at 360 S. Washington St. encompass three floors, with the gallery and reception area at street level, the Fine Arts department on the second floor, and executive/administrative offices on floor three. Goods to be offered in future sales are stored at a secure offsite warehouse.
“Having dedicated areas available for each aspect of the business has streamlined our operation. We really need the extra room, because we’ve never been this busy before,” said Quinn’s Vice President Matthew Quinn. In addition to cataloged auctions of fine and decorative art and antiques, Quinn’s conducts regular Wednesday night auctions. Its sister auction company, Waverly Rare Books, is also headquartered at the new location.
The South Washington Street gallery is technically Quinn’s third address since opening for business in 1995. Co-founded by Matthew’s father, antique dealer Paul Quinn, and elder brother David, Quinn’s was originally based in a building on Maple Street in Falls Church. Father and son #1 started out hosting monthly auctions but soon progressed to holding weekly sales that attracted both collectors and the trade.
Matthew had joined the family business, which was on an upswing when, in 2001, tragedy struck. A 6-alarm electrical fire swept through Quinn’s warehouse premises, leaving the business in total ruin and with losses approaching $3 million.
“We refused to be disheartened,” Matthew Quinn said. “We agreed that we had to rebuild, and immediately started drawing up plans for how the new layout should look.”
The community of Falls Church loved the local auction house that sold world-class antiques, and supported the reconstruction effort. “Thanks to the understanding people at Jennings - who owned our burned-out building - the City of Falls Church, and Marriott, who allowed us to continue doing business under a tent on a piece of land they owned, Quinn’s Auction Galleries soldiered on,” Quinn said.
Six months and three days after the fire, the Quinns returned to their newly rebuilt facility to conduct a grand re-opening and fundraiser benefiting the city’s firefighters and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
With a new space, a new look and a renewed sense of confidence, the Quinn triumvirate acquired Waverly’s, a respected auction company specializing in books, maps and manuscripts; and adopted new technology - Internet live bidding - which multiplied their annual revenues to a peak figure of $4 million. At around the same time, Washington lost its century-old auction house Sloan’s, which left a sizable market share open to Quinn’s. Thus began Quinn’s ascent to the next level: national recognition.
“Since then, we’ve more than doubled our annual revenue and expanded our very loyal following. The move to the new venue is the next step forward for us and will enable us to keep up with Washington’s demand for an estate-oriented fine art and antiques auction house,” said Quinn. “The nation’s capital is a sweet spot for ‘old money’ estates, diplomats’ residences and the homes of other people with very good taste who are now at a stage of their lives where it makes sense to downsize. The treasures just keep on coming, and we’re ready for them.”
Quinn’s Auction Galleries and Waverly Rare Books are located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Tel. 532-5632, e-mail Online:
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