Main Auction Galleries, Inc.

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About Us

About Main Auction Galleries, Inc.

Main Auction Galleries Inc. is the oldest auction house west of the Allegheny Mountains, founded in the 1800s and purchased by the Karp family in 1870. Jonas Karp, our vice president and co-owner, is now the fifth generation of our family to work in our family-owned-and-operated business. Throughout the past century, we've become one of the largest auction houses in the state of Ohio. Our firm has enjoyed incredible success because of our values of honesty, integrity, and loyalty between our consignors, buyers, and our customers. We're proud to have set numerous world auction records over the past years.

A Full-Service Company

Our service includes extensive advertising in all major antique publications, as well as the Cincinnati Enquirer. A gorgeous pictorial brochure is produced for our catalog auctions. Our website features pictures and information on our weekly Tuesday auctions as well as our specialty and catalog auctions. We offer skillfully arranged exhibitions with displays of:

  • Fine 18th, 19th, and 20th Century Furniture
  • Works of Art
  • Paintings
  • Oriental Rugs
  • China
  • Bronzes
  • Jewelry
  • Decorative Objects
  • Pottery
  • Silver
  • Glass
  • Antique Dolls
  • Toys
  • And Other Fine Objects

About Our Staff

J. Louis Karp
J. Louis Karp is the President of Main Auction Galleries Inc. Originally the youngest auctioneer in the state of Ohio at the age of 15; he is the most well-known charity auctioneer in the Cincinnati area. He attended Woodward & Walnut Hills High Schools, and the University of Cincinnati. He has been featured in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Antique Weekly, Cincinnati Magazine, and The Cincinnati Enquirer, to mention just a few. He has lectured for the Mensa Society, women's clubs, public libraries, banks, and organizations.

His expertise is 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-Century furniture, Rookwood, art, books, oriental rugs, jewelry, cars and decorative arts. He has volunteered his services over the years for nonprofit organizations that include:

  • Cancer Society
  • Leukemia
  • Caracole
  • March of Dimes
  • Stepping Stones Speech & Hearing Center
  • Xavier
  • Shriners Hospital
  • University of Cincinnati
  • WCET
  • "Pig Gig"
  • Contemporary Arts Center
  • Taft Museum
  • Local Schools
  • BaT Auction
  • Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame

Jonas Karp, 5th Generation
Jonas Karp is the vice president and co-owner of Main Auction Galleries Inc. He attended Purcell-Marion High School and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. A fifth generation member of our family business, he has been with our firm for over 16 years and has become 1 of the leading experts on Mid-Century & Designers Objects, Textiles, Pottery and the unusual. He also volunteers his skills in the field of auctioning for several charitable organizations. He is respected by his peers for his honesty, integrity, and kindness to everyone.
Sandy Kueffner
Sandy Kueffner started as our office manager in 2015, but has worked with us during our larger quarterly sales on and off for more than 20 years. She has also been a customer, as both she and her husband are avid collectors of Cincinnati Art Pottery. It was a natural transition for Sandy to start working for Main Auction Galleries, Inc. full time. Sandy has worked for several other auctioneers and auction houses over the years and knows the business well. She handles all things "office," as well as the typing of our large quarterly auctions and takes and organizes all of the phone bids for these auctions. Sandy has an extensive background in management and holds a degree in project management. She also works as an event manager in the evenings for different entities around the tri-state area and is active in the world of music, concerts, and security.

Beth Karp
Beth Karp has been associated with our firm for over 35 years. She is our expert in the field of antique dolls, doll houses, Christmas, toys and holiday collectibles. Her dolls have been featured in several antique magazines, and she's been recently featured in the new book Identifying German Character Dolls by Mary Gorham Krombholtz. She has lectured for several doll clubs and other organizations. You can trust her to give you an honest appraisal and accurate description of your collection, helping you obtain the best possible prices. Her dolls and Christmas collections have been loaned to several museums. Beth is also involved in landscape design, and her gardens have been toured by hundreds of people. These amazing gardens have recently been cataloged in the archives of the Smithsonian Institute for the Gardens of United States of America.

Ralph Brewster
Ralph Brewster has been with our firm for over 37 years. His loyalty, honesty, and dedication are unmatched in the auction business. He works with attorneys, trust officers, bankers, executors, and individuals, bringing in their merchandise to our headquarters with meticulous care.