The Chattanooga Auction House, at 2423 South Broad St., is closing after over 20 years in business.
At the same time, another top local name in antiques and collectibles, Southside Antiques, will be moving.
Stan Carnahan, who has long operated the auction house with Perry Voclain and Mike Smelcher, said Southside Antiques will be moving from its longtime location on Williams Street. It will lease the current Chattanooga Auction House building.
Mr. Carnahan said, "They will be expanding from 4,000 square feet to 8,500 square feet" with the move.
Southside Antiques is currently having a "moving sale" at its present location.
It was started in 1994 by Connie Knox and Jo Althaus. The business was sold in May of last year to Lonna Hamblen.
Mr. Carnahan said he and his partners are ready "to slow down" after years auctioning antiques and collectibles. Stan and Perry are 62 and Mike is 56. He said, "You finish one sale, then it's time to start getting in another shipment and getting it ready for the next sale."
Also, he said the auction market is not what it once was. He said, "Peoples nowadays aren't interested in big, heavy furniture. Also, people are not collecting like they once did." He said many people are more interested in "downsizing" than collecting antique furniture and accessories.
He said at one time "we would get an Oriental vase for $1,500 and know we could sell it for $2,500. Now we're lucky to get $300 for it."
The trio formally began in the auction business in the 1990s under the tutelage of the late Charles Clements Sr. Eventually they opened their own retail shop in 1998 specializing in antiques, home décor, reproduction furniture, fine art and oriental rugs. Then they were approached about conducting an auction for a local organization. After conducting several benefit auctions, the partners realized they had outgrown their location.
Mr. Carnahan purchased The Chattanooga Antique Mall where, from a humble beginning in the back room selling old canning jars and railroad spikes, with only 14 buyers present, the Chattanooga Auction House began to take form.
There are only two sales remaining at the auction house. One will be June 29 and 30.
There will be a goodby party at the auction house on Saturday, July 20. It will also serve as a preview for the final weekend of sales (July 27 and 28).
Mr. Carnahan said all three plan to keep their licenses as auctioneers and maybe do some sales from time to time.
As for "slowing down," the auction house partners are not exactly going into a retirement center. They have moved to the New Salem community on Lookout Mountain and bought the former Geneva's Restaurant. They made a number of updates and run it as the Mountain Top Cafe. Mike is the cook, Perry serves and Stan is the front man.
Mr. Carnahan said they have a couple of other ventures planned on the mountain as well.