Quinn’s Auction Galleries Finds New Home, Stays in F.C. City

Quinn’s Auction Galleries of Falls Church has called its Maple Avenue location home for the past 16 years, but on Jan. 2 the auction house and estate sales business relocated to a larger spot on South Washington Street.

Quinn’s Auction Galleries has been located at 431 N. Maple Ave., Falls Church, since it was founded in October 1995 as The Auction House of Falls Church by David Quinn and his father, Falls Church Antique Company owner Paul Quinn. David’s brother, Matthew, later joined the family owned and operated business.

For the past three years, Matthew said, the company has been watching the real estate market and considering moving from its current rental space to a building of its own.

“We wanted if at all possible to stay in the City of Falls Church,” Matthew said. Not only was the business able to stay in The Little City, they were able to find a new space less than a mile away, at 360 S. Washington Street.

The new building is about 40 percent bigger, allowing the ever-growing business to expand into larger quarters, and its three floors allow the Quinns to drawn greater distinctions between its subsidiaries.

The first floor will be an auction gallery. The second will house McKay Painting Restoration, a subtenant of the Quinns at their current location, and the fine arts collections of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Waverly Rare Books, the Bethesda-founded business Quinn’s Auction Galleries acquired in 2004, will be on the third floor.

The premiere auction at the new location will take place Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.

Quinn’s Auction Galleries sells a variety of items, like fine art, furniture, antiques and jewelry. As Matthew and David reminisced in an interview with the News-Press before the move, their Maple Avenue location has been the site of many memorable sales firsts for the Quinns. They found the first Picasso and first Renoir the auction house sold memorable, but the Quinns also remember the milestone sales numbers they’ve reached over the years as the business has grown to multi-million dollar yearly revenues and about $80,000 in sales on the average weekly Wednesday auction.

The company is also provides estate sales services, and the many estates they’ve handled have also left an impression on the brothers – like the library of Howard K. Smith and its copies of books by John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon signed to Smith, the moderator of their first-ever televised debate, or the lot of autographs from Nevell Summerfield Greenaway including signatures of Thomas A. Edison to P.T. Barnum that the collector lovingly wrote about.

Talk of selling curiosities they’ve come across, like a 350-year-old Chinese snuff bottle, elicited smiles from the brothers, and excitement came too at the thought of moving into the new building, having found a place that will allow them to start the next chapter of the Quinn’s Auction Galleries history.