What the Levys Learned from Disaster
One of America's premier family-owned antiques firms split apart in the 1970s. Out of the wreckage was born a successful new father-son partnership.
By Barbara B. Buchholz, Margaret Crane
The business started out as a junk shop on New York City's Lower East Side, founded by two brothers-in- law, John Ginsburg and Isaac M. Levy. It grew into one of the nation's most distinguished antiques galleries, with wealthy clients like Henry Ford, Henry Francis du Pont, and Richard Loeb. Through 72 years the founders and then their sons managed to work together. Ginsburg & Levy Inc. was the country's oldest antiques firm selling Americana when a running argument in the families broke it apart in 1973.
The dissension had come to a head one morning in 1969, …
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