For a century, Abell Auction Company has skillfully practiced and passionately preserved the American tradition of the public auction. Now in its fourth generation and still family-operated, it is distinguished as Southern California’s premier marketplace for fine estate furnishings, art and jewelry – drawing an international audience of buyers and sellers.
Born in Kiev, Russia, Abraham N. Abell immigrated to the United States in 1907, settling in California. Shortly after his arrival in Los Angeles, he ventured into the business world by purchasing a furniture store from a relative.
Abraham N. Abell purchases a furniture store and transforms it into a thriving auction house called Liberty Auctions.
After relocating to the West Adams area, Abell Auction Company received its current name. Catering to the trust and estate communities of Southern California, Abell was the first permanent auction house in Los Angeles showcasing fine estate property – a tradition that continues today.
During World War II, Abell celebrates its 25th anniversary as Los Angeles’ first permanent auction house showcasing fine estate property—a tradition that continues today.
Abraham N. Abell
Abell Founder Auctioning
Abell Auction - May 6, 1979
Abraham N. Abell Auctioning
Old Abell Building West Adams
Following the death of Abraham N. Abell, a new generation of family leadership continues his legacy of trust, integrity and community service.
Abell is destroyed by fire during civil unrest, but reopens for business just three weeks later at its current location east of downtown Los Angeles.
Hosting a record 54 auctions per year, Abell is Southern California’s marketplace for fine estate furnishings, art and jewelry.
Abell’s weekly general and quarterly fine art and antique sales drawing a global following of in-person and online bidders. Located in the nation’s second largest market, it has successfully fused its century-old brick and mortar business model with internet sales while maintaining a key differentiator—its personal touch.
Abell’s skilled professionals are among the best, ranging from appraisers, catalogers and gemologists to translators who speak Mandarin and Cantonese to accommodate the growing Asian market. So respected is Abell’s reputation for trust, integrity and the ability to sell, that many clients and employees have stayed with the company for decades.
In today’s competitive marketplace, Abell combines the intimacy of a live auction with the global reach of internet sales. These are ingredients for success that come only once in a hundred years.
100 YEARS IN BUSINESS, 300 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Abell Auction Company’s leadership team brings nearly 150 years of combined industry experience. Its three most tenured employees add another 150 years of combined experience.
Abell has handled the treasured belongings of high-profile clients ranging from a former U.S. president to legendary Hollywood celebrities, such as silent screen idol Francis X. Bushman, costume designer Edith Head and “Gone with the Wind” actress Anne Rutherford, to name a few.
In 2004, Frank Sinatra’s martini-stained Steinway piano and a platter that served up steak to Cary Grant were among the items auctioned from L.A.’s famed Perino’s restaurant, the last of the legendary eateries from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Abell recently sold property belonging to Bess Meyerson, the only Jewish Miss America ever crowned; Louis Zamperini, subject of the book and film “Unbroken”; and Sam Simon, co-creator of “The Simpsons,” to benefit the Sam Simon Charitable Giving Foundation, supporting animal welfare, poverty alleviation and disaster relief.
Notable Auction Items
Not only has Abell sold the estates of actors and producers on Hollywood’s “A-list,” but of many people who were the backbone of Hollywood such as writers, set designers, and stylists like Sydney Guilaroff who created Lucille Ball’s iconic hairdo.
Gene Kelly’s Yamaha grand piano
Flip Wilson’s Mercedes 280SE 3.5 convertible, custom-designed Harley Davidson motorcycle and clothing from his popular television character “Geraldine”
Gene Autry’s Steinway grand piano on which he composed “Here Comes Santa Claus”
Vincent Price’s library of books
Loretta Young’s lifetime of correspondence with her fans, and personal and studio still photos
Cecil B. DeMille’s museum-quality Italian Renaissance furniture, rare books and incunabula
Lili Damita’s trunk containing love letters to and from Erroll Flynn and 1920s-era Fortuny gowns
Jack Warner’s furniture by renowned designer William Haines
Barbara Stanwyick’s, Danny Thomas’ and Loretta Young’s fine estate furnishings
Deeply committed to giving back to the community, Abell has donated its auctioneering expertise to raise over $5 million for local non-profit organizations, causes and schools.
Allergy and Asthma Foundation
American Cancer Society
Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters
Children’s Cancer Research Fund
City of Hope
Exceptional Children’s Foundation
Holy Family Church
Jewish Big Brothers
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Music Center of Los Angeles
Pasadena Children’s Guild
Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club
Verdugo Hills Hospital
Wheels for Humanity
Alverno High School
American Jewish University
College of the Desert
Loyola High School
Loyola Marymount University
Mayfield Junior School
Mayfield Senior School
Santa Teresita School
St. Matthew’s School
St. Monica’s School
Verbum Dei High School
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