Antique clock dealer and early American furniture expert Gary R. Sullivan has passionately pursued the world of antiques, since the age of 10 and is now a nationally recognized authority on early American clocks. Gary has been involved in the antiques business on a full time basis since age eighteen. In 2010, Gary Sullivan Antiques proudly celebrated 35 years in the business. As president of his Sharon, Massachusetts based business, Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc., he specializes in early American antique furniture from the Queen Anne through Classical periods, with particular emphasis on important American clocks. Gary has long been established as a knowledgeable and trustworthy antique clock appraiser and dealer and has earned the respect of both his clientele and his peers.
His passion for collecting as a youngster developed into a rewarding vocation. Beginning as a self-taught antique furniture restorer, his early career was principally devoted to the restoration of furniture and clocks, which quickly transitioned into buying and selling antiques. This experience with furniture restoration provided him with an excellent working knowledge of early furniture making methods and construction techniques, which have proven invaluable for authenticating antique furniture.
As a trustee of the Willard Museum, Gary shares his extensive knowledge of fine antique clocks and his commitment to their documentation and preservation. In order to stay in step with the ebb and flow of the constantly changing antiques market, he has found it necessary to reinvent his business model countless times through the years. With each diversification, he raised the level of quality and sophistication of his product. Throughout each of the changes he has maintained his specialty and kept a sharp focus on the clock market. In the 1970s he began at the ground floor of the business, exhibiting at flea markets, clock collector’s meetings and small antiques shows. Initially, he handled Victorian and “golden oak” furniture, which was in fashion, after which he migrated to the Classical and Empire forms that were in vogue during the 80’s. As the market matured, so did Gary’s expertise. For many years, he conducted his business as a “picker”, liquidating estates and supplying higher level antique dealers with material. During the 90’s and through the first decade of the new millennium, the demand for important, high end early American decorative arts became the focus of the market, and Gary has kept in step with the change. Today, his business is devoted to the finest examples of American clocks and furniture available. He works with private individuals to assemble collections of fine authenticated antique furniture and clocks. He is frequently called upon by institutions, auction houses, antiques dealers and collectors to appraise, authenticate and catalogue rare examples.
Mr. Sullivan has shared his expertise in ongoing guest television appearances on PBS shows Antiques Roadshow, Find! and The New Yankee Workshop. He has also lectured on early American clocks and has contributed to books and scholarly research on that subject. With the sponsorship of Winterthur Museum, he co-authored the award winning book entitled "Harbor and Home; Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850".
Working as an independent scholar, Mr. Sullivan has gathered information on New England clockmakers for over twenty years, particularly those working in Southeastern Massachusetts. He maintains and continues to compile a comprehensive computerized database of all known illustrations of early American clocks from every available print sources, some over 100 years old. Those sources include books, magazines, trade publications, auction catalogues and photographs. This database currently includes over 13,000 entries.
His professional affiliations include, current board member at the Willard House and Clock Museum, membership in the Society of American MENSA, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association and Massachusetts Better Business Bureau. He lives in Sharon, Massachusetts, with his wife and family.