Los Angeles' Abell Auction Company goes online-only during pandemic

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Los Angeles' Abell Auction Company goes online-only during pandemic
Assorted Judith Leiber bags.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Abell Auction Co., Los Angeles’ original and 104-year-old auction house, announces its transition to a live online-only auction format in April 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is temporarily closing its gallery doors to in-person buyers and utilizing online bidding platforms to help honor its commitment to keeping every employee on payroll during California’s stay at home order. Prior to auction, buyers may view an online catalogue or request a virtual preview of featured items via a private video conference with an Abell auctioneer.

Prior to the current health crisis, Abell was distinguished as one of the only remaining auction houses in the nation to host live weekly auctions – drawing up to 300 in-person buyers to its gallery every Thursday. Having survived the Spanish flu epidemic, World Wars I and II, and even the Great Depression, it was forced to close only once before in company history. After being destroyed by fire during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Abell ceased operations and reopened for business just three weeks later at its current location in Commerce, east of downtown Los Angeles. The auction house currently employs 27 staff, ranging from warehouse workers and office personnel to appraisers and translators.

“Abell is transitioning its business model during this unprecedented crisis to save jobs, offer consumers online luxury shopping options and fulfill our commitments to consignors,” said company CEO Don Schireson. “Our key staff is handling essential business operations remotely and will be accepting absentee bids via telephone, as well as utilizing the LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com bidding platforms for internet sales. During this difficult time, Abell is pleased to offer the community a way to purchase a stunning array of vintage and designer goods from the safety and comfort of home.”

April 16 Weekly Auction
Abell will host its next general auction on Thursday, April 16 at 9 a.m. utilizing the new live online-only auction format. A catalog featuring approximately 200 items from premier Southern California estates will be posted at www.abell.com at least a day prior to each weekly sale that is announced. Auction highlights include vintage and designer fashion, jewelry, collectibles, furnishings and fine art. Estimated values range from $100 to $3,000.

April 28 Luxury Auction
Abell also will host a spring luxury online-only auction on Tuesday, April 28 starting at 10 a.m. This live sale will feature vintage jewelry and clothing, fine glassware, sterling appointments, professional photography equipment, a large collection of Chanel and Judith Leiber handbags, Louis Vuitton luggage, and other fashion and accessories by Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Yves St. Laurent, Hermes and more. A complete catalog is available at www.abell.com. Buyers may schedule a video conference with an Abell auctioneer to preview featured items by calling 323.724.8102 at least a day prior to the sale. Estimated values range from $100 to $10,000.

“We are proud to implement changes that will keep every member of our Abell team employed during this crisis, even while they’re staying at home with their families. Through the years, our company has endured many unforeseeable challenges and emerged with strength and resilience,” said Schireson. “We are committed to continuing this strong legacy, reopening for business in the future and continuing to provide buyers and sellers the high level of service, trust and integrity synonymous with the Abell name.”

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