Published: June 19, 2012
“I’m very excited to be here,” said New Orleans Auction Galleries’ new president, Ashton Thomas. Thomas confirmed to Antiques and The Arts Weekly that the auction house, which had been in a bankruptcy proceeding since April 2011, had recently been sold to Susan Krohn of Houston, Texas.
According to Thomas, Krohn, a businesswoman whose company Cakebread Art Antiques is the new owner of New Orleans Auction Galleries, purchased the firm’s assets for $1.3 million in an auction that was conducted on June 1 in the offices of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard, a New Orleans legal firm that represented the auction house in its bankruptcy proceedings.
Krohn outbid another New Orleans auction house, as well as Rau Antiques and lender Aschaffenburg Assets LLC in the assets auction.
New Orleans Auction Galleries founder Joan Vidos is no longer with the company, Thomas said. Thomas, a New Orleans native, has worked for Krohn’s company Brooks Staffing for 14 years.
The auction house had been operating with protection against creditors under the provisions of Chapter 11 bankruptcy law. News reports at the time had the gallery showing some $4 million in debt and about $500,000 in assets.
Thomas stated that New Orleans Auction Galleries is currently accepting consignments for a future auction. When asked what the situation was for consignors of the previously owned enterprise, he replied, “We’re still looking at that.”
The first sale under the new ownership is currently scheduled for July 21 and 22, and Thomas said the firm plans to adhere to the usual bimonthly auction schedule.
Currently employing about 15 people, the auction house will be staffing up, according to Thomas, especially in the areas of cataloging and bringing on an Asian specialist.
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