Wellington (Antiques) was founded by Neil and June Sellin at a Georgian townhouse in 1960 at 121 East 70th Street. Regular visitors included John Paul Getty, John Gutfreund, Henry Kravis, Jacob Rothschild, Henry Bloch, Saul and Gayfred Steinberg, Stephen Lash, Martin Gruss, Al Taubman, Donald Marron, Keno brothers and Mercedes Bass to name a few. Wellington continues to build upon the client base.
Thomas Sellin earned a B.A. from William and Mary. Like most successful private dealers, he grew up in the business. Graduate studies in art history were completed at Lingua Viva in Florence, Italy and Columbia University. A billionaire investor who has been collecting through Wellington and other dealers for twenty years, praises his ability to obtain works not previously for sale: “When you do a deal with him, there’s no hemming and hawing. He’s extremely knowledgeable and connected. He really delves into things and conducts a staggering amount of research. The good part of that is that it means you get a deal done.” In his spare time he has coached hundreds of children tennis in New York City and the hamptons.
Displayed on the walls of Wellington Fine Art are exactly the sorts of contemporary art trophies ambitious collectors are competing for: A Calder oil painting, master Surrealist works, a self portrait by Chuck Close, and a large Wesselmann nude. “There are a lot of novice collectors out there who don’t realize that you can’t run through the door and make your first purchase,” Mr. Zwirner said. “You have to finesse your way to that. Primary market galleries like us often have three-year waiting lists. We’re very picky.” This means that while advisers are selling the merits of a particular artist to their clients, they must also sell their clients to the gallery.
“I’ve definitely felt that there’s a certain hazing ritual in art buying,” said June Sellin, who often works with first-time buyers and young collectors. “Galleries literally want your C.V. and that of your client” before they will part with their best inventory. Buyers, in turn, want to be certain their works are “right”. “We learned the hard way,” continues June Sellin (click below ) As a result, we have developed connections at the foundations of all the major artists enabling us to expedite a cumbersome process. We are at the forefront of restoration techniques and know where to send works accordingly. We only work with the most experienced canvas and paper professionals. We guarantee effective, aggressive representation. Our history of success speaks volumes.