Ronald and Debra Pook
463 East Lancaster Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19335
Phone: (610) 2694040
The firm of Pook & Pook Inc. was founded in 1984 by Ronald and Debra Pook. Located in Chester County, Pennsylvania the offices reside in an old stone inn built in 1761. The auction company grew out of the Pook’s antique business, which they had started a decade earlier in the same location. Right from the start, the auctions at Pook & Pook were a draw for major museums, estate representatives and serious collectors.
Pook & Pook’s first auction in 1984 grossed $125,000, a respectable amount for a new auction house run, at the time, by the Pooks and one part-time employee. By 1999 the firm had evolved many times over and broke records when a Philadelphia piecrust tea table brought 1.4 million, making Pook & Pook, Inc. the first auction house outside New York City to break the million mark on a single item. In June of that same year, Pook & Pook, Inc. held its historic William Koch sale, the largest on-site one-day auction ever held in the U.S., grossing over $4.3 million.
In 2001 renovations of the 1761 building, which holds their offices, as well as built an adjacent state of the art auction facility, were completed. These renovations afford the buying public greater ease of access to sale items through more auctions and expanded exhibition hours.
Successful sales have continued to receive widespread attention from the collecting public. In 2007, the Americana Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Donald Shelley brought $10 million. This was followed by the Richard and Rosemarie Machmer sale in October of 2008, which despite economic gloom, again achieved spectacular prices, and $4.7 million total. In June of 2009, while still under the cloud of an unsettled economy, Pook & Pook sold the collection of the Master family of Robesonia, PA. The collection brought $2.4 million, well above the projected high estimate for this collection.
Debra and Ron lead by example as they work closely on researching, photographing and handling the fine antiques offered during their high-energy auctions. Today Pook & Pook, Inc. holds up to 12 auctions a year, each of them unique. The Period Furniture and Decorative Accessories Auctions include a wonderful selection of high end antique furniture, fine art, folk art, oriental carpets and period accessories. The Variety Sales feature a range of items including furniture, art and accessories. Fun and fast paced they offer bidders the opportunity to take home unique pieces for reasonable prices. While all of Pook & Pook’s auctions include art, a wide range of artistic styles can be found at the Fine Art Sales, where twice a year the firm puts on smaller auctions that only offer fine art and sculpture. Pook & Pook gives both buyers and consignors a range of buying and selling opportunities. As the firm grows in their new state of the art headquarters, more and more museums, educational institutions, trust and estate representatives, and serious collectors are utilizing the various expert services offered.