News-Antique.com - May 10,2011 - DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions LLC, has announced the appointment of Brian Estepp to the position of director of promotions. In his new role, Estepp, who previously served as an expert consultant on selected Morphy sales, will be involved in business development through personal contact with collectors at shows, conventions and other events.
“Brian will be a tremendous asset to our team,” said Morphy. “He has a great reputation in the business and brings a wealth of knowledge in many categories that we regularly sell at our gallery.” Estepp’s appointment takes the number of full-time employees on Morphy’s roster to 26.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Estepp holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University and has an extensive background in retail sales management. He said he feels right at home at Morphy’s – with its broad variety of specialty sales – from having grown up around antiques of all types.
“My mom and dad were both antique dealers and collectors. Our home was filled with early Americana, majolica, Shaker pieces, doorstops and toys,” Estepp said.
One of the specialties for which Estepp is particularly well known is antique and vintage marbles, a category he has helped to develop at Morphy’s through his extensive connections in the hobby.
“I’ve had a fascination for marbles ever since I was five years old and found a box of marbles in a closet while playing hide and seek. I thought they were beautiful,” Estepp said. “When I would travel with my parents, I would look for marbles. Years later, when I was in my early twenties, I started doing research in the area around Cambridge, Ohio, where the Christensen marble factory was located. I met many of the Christensen factory workers and was able to build a large collection of both handmade and machine-made marbles through those contacts.”
Estepp is arguably the dean of antique-marble collecting. He is the president of the Buckeye Marble Club and promotes two marble shows annually in Ohio. At least eight reference books contain images of marbles from Estepp’s collection and historical information he provided – among them, Paul Baumann’s Antique Marbles and literally all of the Everett Grist books. Estepp is credited as having been the inventor of many nicknames now commonly used to describe particular marbles, e.g., flames, cobras, cyclones, submarines, red devils and blue devils.
In his new role as Morphy’s director of promotions, Estepp expects to be traveling extensively. “People know me from shows,” he said. “I spent years on the show circuit, going up and down the East Coast. As a Morphy Auctions representative, I’ll be setting up at large shows like Brimfield and the Portland Expo, as well as the Amana, Iowa, marble show and smaller shows in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. The goal is to network and locate people with collections that are fresh to the market.”
Estepp continued: “I’ve known Dan Morphy and his family for at least 20 years. I joined Morphy’s because I