Wellington (Antiques) was founded by Neil and June Sellin at a Georgian townhouse in 1960 at 121 East 70th Street. Wellington Fine Art continues to grow the client base through an exclusive inventory of photography and Korean paintings in addition to the difficult to find masterpieces.
Thomas was lucky to tag along to client collector dinner parties his parents were invited to most memorably John Paul Getty in Surrey and Gilbert de Botton in Paris. 90% of Paul Allen’s French Impressionist paintings belonged to de Botton who was a cultured genius, suave, witty, modest and authoritative – an impossible combination to resist when first meeting him.
Thomas Sellin holds 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. 1996- 2006 TS worked at Citibank advisory and North Fork Bank. From 2008- 2012 Thomas assisted John Paulson, Joe Sitt and other collectors to acquire close to 100 off market works by Alexander Calder. From 2012 to the present, the prescient decision to build an inventory of Korean art and photography was made.
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.”
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, Primary market galleries like us often have three-year waiting lists. 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.
In his spare time he has coached hundreds of children tennis in New York City and the hamptons.
“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.