Lambertville, NJ: Rago Arts and Auction Center, a full service auction house with annual sales of $33 million, is expanding its reach into Westchester County and Connecticut by adding a dedicated representative to the region.
David Rago, founder of the New Jersey-based firm, recently outlined his vision for growth: “Since the rise of the internet, Rago has been serving clients that were once only the domain of the largest houses. We built our reputation on world class 20th and 21st century design, but we handle it all, and well. We’re market focused and innovative.
It’s astounding to think how quickly we’ve grown – my first New Jersey auction was in 1996, and twenty years later we’re selling pearls for $800,000, tiles for $600,000, Cartier for $500,000, Calder for $200,000 and more masterworks by Nakashima and Paul Evans than any auction house in the world. New York City has long been one of our key markets and the natural next step is to invest in reaching our existing and new clients in Westchester and Connecticut, both sellers and buyers. A critical component of that effort is an experienced auction professional dedicated to driving this expansion.”
Jennifer Pitman, formerly Head of Sale, Silver at Christie’s, New York and a 20-year auction veteran, will spearhead the expansion. Pitman, a Westchester county resident, sees a bright future for smaller firms like Rago: “Over the years we’ve seen the larger auction houses move away from a number of traditional collecting categories and increase the minimum value for property they will take. This shift leaves clients with fewer options and a lot of property up for grabs. The simplicity and competitiveness of Rago’s fee structure, their diverse sale categories, and their nimbleness and flexibility in working with clients makes them a very appealing option for clients”.
Pitman says she’s eager to expand Rago’s loyal following by building the firm’s profile and client base in the region, embracing the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit and having fun doing it. Plans are afoot for lectures, sponsorships and valuation days, and a wide range of innovative ways to assist clients with appraisals, buying and selling.