Learn the story of Stair, four generations of a family tradition.
Colin’s great-grandfather, Arthur C. Stair and his partner, Valentine S. Andrew, established their antiques business, Stair & Andrew, Ltd., a firm specializing in fine antique English furniture.
Alastair Arthur Stair, Colin’s grandfather, joined Stair & Andrew, Ltd.
Mr. Andrew retired and Alastair bought the business, renaming the firm “Stair & Company.” He relocated the company to a beautifully restored townhouse at 59 East 57th Street.
Colin’s father, Alastair John Stair, completed his tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and his service in Vietnam. John relocated to London and worked at Sotheby’s under the great mastermind, Peter C. Wilson. John was invited to join Sotheby’s Board of Directors, with the understanding that he would eventually return to New York.
John opened his own gallery with Ward Landrigan, a former Sotheby’s colleague who currently owns the iconic jeweler, Verdura. John then reunited with Sotheby’s to launch the company’s Restoration Division.
John Stair moved most of the operations of Sotheby’s Restoration from Manhattan to Claverack, NY. Under John’s supervision, the department achieved a national reputation for excellence in historical restoration. Meanwhile, John’s son, Colin, had been working under John at Sotheby’s Restoration. Colin also spent time cataloguing furniture at Sotheby’s in England.
Colin opened Stair Galleries, an auction house specializing in fine art and antiques.
May 25, 2002
Stair Galleries set a world record for the artist Paul Seifert (1840-1921) selling his watercolor depiction of a Wisconsin farmhouse for $66,700.
September 17, 2005
The first sale in our new building was held, where we brought $1 million in sales for English and Continental furniture, paintings and decoration. Diana and a Satyr, a European School oil painting, sold for $86,250.
December 1, 2007
We sold Search for the Right Address, an oil on canvas by Mark Tansey (b. 1949) for $247,250.
We sold over $3 million in property within one month in our Salander-O’Reilly bankruptcy auction and our Antiquities and Modern Art sales.
October 8, 2010
We set a record for a Middle Easter Carved Ivory or Bone Plaque which sold for $230,000.
January 15, 2011
We had a record-breaking sale for Stair Galleries, which nearly topped $1 million for Asian, Middle Eastern and Ethnographic items. A Greek Carved Marble Bust of Hercules, from the Collection of Robertson and Mary Paige Alford in Norfolk, CT, sold for $74,750.
Stair & Andrew became the first London antiques firm to open branch offices overseas. A gallery was opened in Manhattan, which included a decorating department that sold architectural woodwork from historical English interiors. Additional galleries were opened in Palm Beach and Williamsburg, VA. The firm also maintained a fully staffed restoration company, Oxford Restoration.
Stair & Andrew was one of the initial exhibitors at the inaugural Grosvenor House Fair.
Alastair A. Stair transferred to the New York branch to work with Mr. Andrew.
Alastair A. Stair founded the Winter Antiques Show in Manhattan, a benefit for East Side House Settlement. He also founded the National Antique and Art Dealer’s Association of America.
Sotheby’s purchased Parke-Bernet. John Stair, working with Louis and John Marion, spearheaded the effort to make Sotheby’s an international presence. In the process, they created the largest fine art auction house in the United States.
Alastair A. Stair sold Stair & Company to David Murdoch, a Los Angeles financier. Alastair then joined Sotheby’s New York where he served as a well-respected consultant.
John Stair retired and Colin took over Sotheby’s Restoration as Managing Director and Vice President.
Sotheby’s closed their restoration division. Colin purchased the facility and created his own company, Stair Restoration, a firm that continues the highest standards of excellence established by its predecessor.
October 20, 2001
The first auction was held at Stair Galleries, with 481 lots totaling $235,538 and within the first year and a half, the sales totaled $3 million.
With business rapidly growing, Stair Galleries relocated to a 25,000 square-foot building on Warren Street in Hudson, NY.
April 22, 2006
At our first sale of only American and European paintings, featuring the Thomas Van Loan Collection, which sold over $1.7 million in fine art, we set records for the artist William Mason Brown (1828-1898), with his White Mountain View, oil on board, selling for $43,700, and for Frank Anderson (1844-1891), selling his oil painting of the Hudson Highlands for $212,750.
May 23, 2009
In our American Indian Works of Art Sale, we offered property from the Collection of Herbert G. Wellington. A Sioux Woman’s Dress sold for $12,650.
November 20, 2010
We sold property from the Estate of Dominick Dunne, an American writer and investigative journalist.
October 27, 2012
We offered property from the Estate of Ralph Vallone, as well as from the Estate of Katherine W. Mellon. A Fine George III Carved Giltwood Oval Mirror, from a Private Collector, sold for $69,000.
October 26 & 27, Lot: 125
AN IMPORTANT FABERGÉ IMPERIAL RUSSIAN CARVED HARDSTONE PORTRAIT FIGURE OF KAMER-KAZAK N.N. PUSTYNNIKOV, THE PERSONAL COSSACK BODYGUARD OF EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA, ST. PETERSBURG, DATED 1912
Estimate $500,000-800,000 Sold for $6,084,000
October 26 & 27, Lot: 419
GEORGE INNESS (1825-1894): “ALEXANDRA BAY ON THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER”
Estimate: $7,000-9,000 Sold for: $153,270
October 26 & 27, Lot: 726
GEORGE II CARVED MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE, COMPOSED OF 18TH CENTURY ELEMENTS
Estimate: $10,000-20,000 Sold for: $70,200
October 26 & 27, Lot: 122
RUSSIAN PORCELAIN FIGURE OF KAMCHATKA WOMAN FROM THE “PEOPLES OF RUSSIA” SERIES
Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Sold for: $52,650
October 26 & 27, Lot: 123
RUSSIAN PORCELAIN FIGURE OF A SAMOYEDI HUNTSMAN FROM THE “PEOPLES OF RUSSIA” SERIES
Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Sold for: $40,950
October 26 & 27, Lot: 121
RUSSIAN PORCELAIN FIGURE OF A TATAR FROM “THE PEOPLES OF RUSSIA” SERIES
Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Sold for: $37,440
October 26 & 27, Lot: 490
FRENCH SCHOOL, AFTER SEURAT: CLOAKED FIGURE (DOUBLE-SIDED)
Estimate: $150-250 Sold for: $35,100
October 26 & 27, Lot: 401
JAMES CAMERON (1817-1882): “BELLE ISLE, FROM LYON’S VIEW”
Estimate: $3,000-5,000 Sold for: $33,930
October 26 & 27, Lot: 302
PIETER BOEL (1622-1674): HOUNDS BRINGING DOWN A BOAR
Estimate: $10,000-20,000 Sold for: $32,760
October 26 & 27, Lot: 124
RUSSIAN PORCELAIN BOWL, IMPERIAL PORCELAIN MANUFACTORY, ST. PETERSBURG, PERIOD OF NICHOLAS II, DATED 1911
Estimate: $1,500-2,500 Sold for $29,250
November 15 & 16, Lot: 122
COTSWOLD SCHOOL SPLAYED-LEG ELM TABLE, BY STANLEY DAVIES, FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOHN ALEXANDER LIMITED
Estimate: $400 – $600 Sold for $1,872
November 15 & 16, Lot: 131
DIMINUTIVE COTSWOLD SCHOOL MAHOGANY FOUR DRAWER CHEST, FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOHN ALEXANDER LIMITED
Estimate: $200 – $400 Sold for $1,989
November 15 & 16, Lot: 156
ENGLISH ARTS AND CRAFTS LEADED DOOR CUPBOARD, FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOHN ALEXANDER LIMITED
Estimate: $800 – $1,200 Sold for $2,925
November 15 & 16, Lot: 427
PAIR OF LOUIS XV STYLE CREAM PAINTED BEDSIDE TABLES, FROM THE ESTATE OF ALYENE MASSEY, NASHVILLE
Estimate: $300 – $500 Sold for $2,340
November 15 & 16, Lot: 480
FEDERAL STYLE CARVED AND GILTWOOD CONVEX GIRANDOLE MIRROR, PROPERTY FROM A WESTCHESTER COLLECTOR