Litchfield County Auctions & Appraisal’s success story is the story of happy consignors and lucky buyers throughout the past three decades.
The roots of LCA stretch all the way back to 1965, when Weston Thorn traveled to Paris, fell in love with the architecture there and decided to apply to Columbia University’s Art History program. His Art History degree led to positions at The Drey Gallery and then Sotheby’s Park-Bernet where he was an appraiser, auctioneer and eventually director of Sotheby’s PB-84. In the 1970’s he and partner Yetta Pankin began “Pankin & Thorn Appraisals”; in addition to appraisals, he continued to settle estates, working with auctions and selling “to the trade”; eventually he opened his own art and antiques shop “Weston Thorn Antiques,” in Bantam, CT.
Weston Thorn Antiques thrived throughout the 1980’s, and in 1994, following the demise of a local auctioneer, Mr. Thorn saw an opportunity for a new regional auction house in Litchfield, and so Litchfield County Auctions was born. Operating originally out of his New York City offices on East 84th street, weekend sales were held at local venues like The Forman School, The American Legion Hall and finally The Litchfield Fire House.
In 2000, the Upper East Side offices were closed and relocated to space on the the second floor of the Weston Thorn Antiques shop. Mr. Thorn maintained a home office on West 72nd Street in the city. In 2004, LCA moved to its own quarters, a 10,000 square foot building, just south of “The Green” in Litchfield. 425 Bantam Road (Route 202) is where we remain today.
Over the years the staff has grown considerably from Mr. Thorn, plus a few assistants and some part time helpers, to a regular staff that includes approximately 20 full and part-time workers, plus a network of consultants in various specialized fields.
Finally, the scope and magnitude of the auctions have grown ten fold, while the sale process has evolved and adapted to the changing times. The first auction in 1994 was a strictly live auction, containing some few hundred lots with a total sales price of about $100,000. Subsequent auctions have grown in scale and dollar value, with as many as 1200 lots offered in a single auction and over 1.2 Million in proceeds for a total sale. From 100% “Live” auctions, to auctions that had phone and absentee bidding to auctions that had images posted online and events that incorporated tag sales and auctions, as well as on-site sales that displayed property to its best advantage, LCA now does it all with each auction.