Lewis & Maese Auctions preps for big move

Lewis & Maese Auctions preps for big move

Original article by Diane Cowen, printed in the October 4th Houston Chronicle newspaper.

The moving sale at Lewis & Maese Auctions, which starts Oct. 8, should be nothing less than a massive treasure hunt, as shoppers sift through 30,000 square feet of merchandise all marked at least 40 percent off in preparation for the auction house's move to a new Spring Branch location.

David Lewis, who with his business partner Ernest Maese has auctioned off all kinds of goods from estate sales for 36 years, said the pair learned their landlord has pit the building they've rented since 2012 on Sawyer Street up for sale. Knowing how much merchandise they have and how long it would take to move it, Lewis and Maese decided to start a clearance sale now so they can start fresh in their new location.

Antique and vintage furnishings, new furniture, fine art, fur coats, designer handbags, swanky watches and quirky items such as 19th-century stagecoaches and a 7-foot-tall statue of Darth Vader are among the inventory.

Shopping hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Wednesday will be devoted to replenishing merchandise for at lest the next few months. As time goes on, discounts will get even deeper.

At a time when supply chain issues and labor shortages have turned ordering home furnishings into a major waiting game, the sale of on-hand home goods that come with a bit of patina or merely the need to be reupholstered will be welcome news for many shoppers.

Lewis and Maese have held regular in-person auctions - complete with an open bar and food  for many years, and a lot of unsold items have accumulated, creating an inventory of thousands. Since their lease gives them only 60-days notice if the building sells - and they know it could take many months to empty it - they're starting the clearance sale now.

The new location will be in a 12,500-square-foot building purchased at 7777 Blankenship near Hempstead Road in Spring Branch. When they start hosting auctions there, it will be with a completely new inventory.

In the Sawyer Street venue, though, they've set up furniture vignettes to show off furnishings and many of the 2,000 to 3,000 rugs Lewis says they have in stock.

Lewis said they'll keep up the fun, party atmosphere they create for their regular auctions during this sale, with drinks and live music daily.