Introduced to the antiques business by his father, a Londoner who owned a junk shop on King’s Road named Odds and Hobbs, Carlton Hobbs went on to become a world leader in antiques dealing, focusing particularly on Continental and British furniture of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Originally in business with his more flamboyant brother, the somewhat reticent and studious Carlton Hobbs went his own way in 1993. In 2002, his firm, Carlton Hobbs LLC, purchased the former Vanderbilt mansion on East 93rd Street in New York City for $10.6 million. After renovating for three years with Stefanie Rinza, his longtime business partner, the high-end antiques dealer began accepting clients by appointment.
This is not a walk-in business. There’s no sign advertising the exquisite interior of the five-story refurbished mansion. A 2009 Carlton Hobbs show, On Tops: Table Tops from the 2nd Century to the 19th Century, included an eclectic array of mosaic glass, pietra dura, neoclassical, and other designs priced from $84,000 to $1.6 million. Carlton Hobbs has exhibited at the world’s most prestigious antiques fairs, including those held at the Armory in New York City, Grosvenor House in London, and the Biennale de Paris. Top museums internationally also have featured his pieces, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Carlton Hobbs’ studious nature and attention to detail has led to the creation of an in-depth research department to verify provenance. He has amassed one of the world’s most comprehensive archives of antiques source materials and books numbering in the thousands. The company’s namesake publishes the firm’s research periodically in scholarly catalogues. When not hosting antiques shows or other gallery events or conducting business transactions, Carlton Hobbs supports animal-rescue efforts in New York City. He also posts industry updates and insight on www.slideshare.net/CarltonHobbs.