In an industry where some dealers are celebrating half a century or more in business, it is worth noting that younger individuals are making important contributions in their own right. One of these rising stars is Jeffrey Tillou.
Though only in his thirties, Tillou has an outstanding reputation among his peers, and is considered one of the industry’s foremost dealers specializing in eighteenth-and early-nineteenth-century American furniture and folk art, with a growing emphasis on the fine arts. Tillou credits his enthusiasm and love of the material to his upbringing in a family closely involved with art and antiques. He didn’t take his family connections for granted, however, and after graduating from college worked tirelessly around the clock to build his own identity and business.
A native of Litchfield, Connecticut, Tillou's admiration for the town inspired him to open a shop a decade ago across from the town common, known as The Green. For the last three years, he has been renovating an historic building adjoining his original space. Eight new showrooms, extending over 5,000 feet, opened in April, allowing him to quadruple the size of his inventory, which includes everything from high chests and folk art to paintings, Caucasian carpets, and period accessories such as delft, brass, and fireplace tools. "We have expanded in a direction most dealers are not going these days--into the higher end," says Tillou. "We're creating a destination for collectors and interior designers who are looking for quality antiques."
What accounts for some of Tillou's achievements is that he is a collector himself, and so understands the passions that drive others. "People want to buy interesting things," he states. Based on the comments of collectors and colleagues, it seems buyers are responding to Tillou's instinct for the business--having a gracious and warm personality no doubt contributes to his success.
Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, 33 & 39 West Street, Litchfield, Conn. 06759. 860.567.9693