James D. Julia
President & Auctioneer
Jim Julia is a lifelong resident of Central Maine and has spent nearly all of his working life in the antiques and auction business. It began in the late 1960s when his father, Arthur Julia, opened a small antique shop and later a small country auction business. In the beginning, while Jim was attending the University of Maine and earning a degree, he helped his dad at every opportunity. As he became more knowledgeable about antiques, he was given a pocket of cash and the use of the pickup truck to canvas the countryside where he would spend the day knocking on doors to buy antiques. Jim often refers to these times as like being in the Klondike in 1895, the year before the gold rush. There were treasures everywhere. Most were small treasures but from time to time, there were major treasures; all there for the discovery. Of equal enjoyment were the people he met. Frequently they were older Yankees whose ancestry dated to Civil War, to Revolutionary war or in some rare cases the Mayflower. Encounters did not always mean financial success but frequently another insight into early Maine history. Purchases usually resulted in a reasonable return, sometimes a loss, but on some rare occasions, a significant profit. With a windfall situation, there were always two reactions; excitement and thankfulness for success but the second, a twinge of guilt because the purchase had not benefited the seller equally. On more than one occasion, Jim went back to people he purchased things from and gave them more money after the item had sold at auction.
In the beginning, Julia auctions were a convenience to dispose of the residual items from estates purchased by Jim and his dad. In 1974, Jim purchased the auction company from his dad and eventually made the transition from antique dealer/auctioneer to a full-time auctioneer.
The auction business had proven to Jim over and over that great and rare items generally brought very strong prices and it was a better way to convert things to maximum cash. At the same time, auctions also satisfied a quandary of Jim’s buying career. Now when a client wanted to monetize quality items, they were encouraged to consign to auction where it would seek its highest rate of return. Thus the original owner would be most fairly compensated for the goods. Jim and the seller became allies in the marketing process and when one of them won so did the other. A comfortable situation for both parties.
By the mid 1980s, James D. Julia’s had evolved into one of the major New England auction houses. A significant transition was made from the traditional estate auction business. In order to give his clients better exposure and ensure the ultimate rate of return, special catalog auction divisions were created. Each division was led by a department head and had a network of consultants or experts that were used to vet and catalog merchandise for upcoming auctions. By doing so, it provided a very high level of expertise for the catalog descriptions. These lavish catalogs were distributed in North America and across the globe.
The catalogs soon became some of the best in the industry and featured a nearly unique guarantee. In the auction business, standard protocol is caveat emptor or “buyer beware” and even today 98% of all auction houses in North America sell their goods “as is, where is.” However the Julia Auction Company is one of 2% of all auction houses in North America that guarantee what they sell; a unique approach which benefits the buyer and also benefits consignors by netting a stronger return. This practice ultimately established Julia’s name with a reputation over these many years for honesty and fair dealing.
Today, the Julia Auction Company, based on annual sales, is one of the Top 10 Auction Houses in all of North America. The Julia team’s personable but professional approach with their clients together with continued innovations to better market their clients merchandise has resulted in tremendous success.
The three divisions that make up Julia’s Auction Company are:
1. Rare Firearms & Militaria Division. In this field, Julia’s is the leader in the world for high end valuable firearms. There is no other auction house anywhere on the planet earth that sells a greater number of high end, expensive guns in a given year. Julia’s firearms auctions are also the largest grossing in the world. In October of 2008, when news media was implying that world financial order could collapse, Julia conducted a major firearm auction which generated an extraordinary $12 million in sales. It also produced a new world record for a firearm at auction with a rare Colt Walker which generated nearly $1 million.
2. Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry Division. This division is one of the Top 3 of its type in the world today.
3. Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Division. This division is one of the leaders of its type in North America today. In February of 2010, this division sold a small hand drawn map of the Siege of Yorktown which generated over $1 million.
The philosophy established many years ago was to continually provide a professional, personable service to all clients and they have held true to that mantra consistently.
Jim has been an active member of Rotary International for over 30 years and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by the organization some years back. Both he and his father have been inducted into the Maine Auctioneers Hall of Fame. Jim was also recognized as Businessman of the Year at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and most recently was recognized by Governor LePage as one of the top businesses in the State of Maine.
Jim and his wife, Sandy, live on Great Pond in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. Jim has two sons, one residing in Telluride, Colorado and the other in Maine; both are entrepreneurs. Sandy has a daughter who lives in Indiana. Jim is an avid hunter, fisherman and adventurer of all sorts.
Sandy is vice President of James D. Julia Auctioneers and has earned the position with almost 30 years of experience with the company. Sandy is a native of Greenfield, Massachusetts and focused on an early age to go to the Zion College where she followed her Baccalaureate education. She also attended Thomas College in Waterville, Maine for business studies. Approximately 30 years ago, she came to Julia’s and has held almost every position associated with managing and leading the administrative functions in the company. Sandy’s genuine interest in people makes her interaction with our customers a truly pleasant experience for everyone. Sandy is one of the warmest and most caring people you could ever meet with a genuine smile and a laugh that warms the room.
Sandy enjoys travel, shopping and her many varied responsibilities at James D. Julia Auctioneers. Interacting with our employees and customers fits her personality perfectly. She has a daughter, Wendy and three beautiful grandchildren who live in Indiana.
Department Head, Fine Art, Asian, & Antiques Division
Bill has been in the antique and auction business for over 30 years. He has handled over 100,000 items and has participated in over 1,100 auctions and written hundreds of appraisals. During his long career in antiques, Bill has been “hands on” with all aspects of the auction process. As a result he is in a unique position to determine values of items and establish comprehensive marketing and promotion programs to maximize the values realized at auction. This continual handling and selling of items has allowed him to keep abreast of the changing antique market.
Bill started his career buying and selling antique bottles in the late 1960s. He participated in his first antique bottle show in Keene, New Hampshire in the early 70s. He was a frequent visitor to western Massachusetts auctions and participated in local flea markets and antique shows. He went to the University of Connecticut at Storrs and graduated in 1977. In 1979/1980 he attended a course on identifying antiques at the University of Massachusetts and graduated from the International Auction School in 1980. In 1980 he was hired by Douglas Auctioneers, a regional auctioneer, focused primarily on Estates where Mr. Gage was involved in auctioning general Estate items, Real Estate, Automobiles, Antiques and Fine Art.
In 1995 Bill joined James D. Julia, Inc. as head of the Americana and Victoriana Division. In 2014, Bill returned to his hometown of Amherst, MA and continues his leadership of the division through our Woburn, MA office. During Bill’s tenure, the division’s sales have grown over 400%, and the breadth and scope of offerings have changed as well. The division changed its name to the Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Division to reflect this change in focus. Significant collections and estates include the Woolworth (F.W. Woolworth store founders estate), J. Hollis Wyman Estate (Ex-Maine Senator), Donelson Farquhar Hoopes Estate (past art director of the Portland Museum of Art), and the Armsden Estate of Kittery Point, ME which included the sale of a map depicting the siege at Yorktown with Tobias Lear (George Washington’s Aide de camp) provenance, selling at $1,150,000.
Mr. Gage has been responsible for thousands of appraisals in his years of service with Julia’s and regularly does appraisals for the Maine State Museum, local Historical Societies, private citizens as well as estates and attorneys, charity events and company promotions. Mr. Gage teaches and is a member of the faculty of the International Auction School where he teaches auction business and its use of auction catalogs. This auction school is one of only a handful of accepted schools teaching auctioneering in the United States. Mr. Gage has also conducted several seminars involving identification and evaluating antiques, silver, art and porcelain.
Assistant Department Head, Fine Art, Asian, & Antiques Division
Tony Greist graduated from Tufts University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & French, with a certification in teaching. He then received his Master’s Degree of Education in Clinical Counseling in 1972. He then worked as a Mental Health Therapist from 1972-1973, at which point he decided to pursue his hobby of buying and selling antiques and the restoration of furniture. This quickly became a full time adventure, resulting in sole proprietorship of his company from 1973-2001. The business evolved from roots in the Oak & Victorian American furniture market through early American antiques, and later the inclusion of English and European antiques.
Early on, Tony learned that to be successful at wholesale and retail levels, the auction market would be an important element. This resulted in his attending auctions on a daily basis for the first 10 years of the business. In the 1980s, he fostered relationships with English and European antiques dealers, resulting in an extensive wholesale operation involving both the import and export of many of the antiques he was handling. This included ventures in England, Western Europe and Scandinavia.
By 1984, Tony took on a partner and together they built and opened a 23,000 sq. foot, state of the art facility in Southern New Hampshire. This quickly became one of the largest wholesale retail antique centers in operation at the time.
By the mid-1990s, Tony had sold this business and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he opened a wholesale antiques warehouse from which he continued to operate as a base while purchasing antiques throughout the Southeastern United States. During this period, literally thousands of miles of travel were necessary to discover and obtain the high quality antiques that the market demanded.
In 2000, Tony had accepted a position with a prominent auction house in New England where he continued to work until 2007. At this time, Tony re-established his contacts at James D. Julia, Inc., with whom he had done business so long ago in the 1970s.
Since 2007, Tony has worked alongside Bill Gage in the Fine Art, Asian & Antiques division. To fill the auctions of the division his extensive knowledge and experience with furniture and furnishings from the 18th & 19th centuries is constantly called upon.
Tony’s focus is in establishing relationships based on trust with clients: both consignors and buyers.
Administrative Manager, Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry Division
Julie Killam is our Administrative Manager for our Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry division. She started at Julia’s in 1997 as our receptionist but was quickly promoted to this role in 2000. Julie skillfully supports Mike Fredericks, the division head, by working with current and potential consignors, collectors and dealers to ensure the best auction experience possible. She also assists with evaluating items for auction, research and day-to-day department administration. Before joining the Julia’s family, Julie was an assistant manager at a clothing store. When not providing top tier customer service in the office, Julie is probably on the road with her daughter, a talented performer who travels all across the country to participate in dance competitions.
BATF Compliance/Inventory Manager & Class 3 Specialist
John Keene is a full time staff member at Julia’s. He leads our BATF compliance efforts as well as being responsible for identifying, evaluating, appraising and cataloging specialty military firearms for auction. He specializes in Class 3 machine guns from the first half of the 20th century. He also has expertise with machine guns from the 1950s onward, as well as last century military firearms. Complementing this encyclopedic knowledge is his understanding of the complex rules and regulations associated with different machine gun classes as defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). As such, he is a huge asset to Class 3 buyers and sellers, able to facilitate and complete transfer forms properly as well as make updates and corrections to the all-important BATF Class 3 registry.
Mr. Keene is a retired Army combat veteran who has proudly served our country for over 28 years. Keene was a charter member and officer of the Hiram Maxim Historical Society.
Chief Executive Officer
Mark was raised in an area rich with antiques and history, York, PA. At an early age he was exposed to “antiquing” on weekends with his parents, as well as frequent visits to Valley Forge and Gettysburg. This exposure to history at an early age developed into one of his passions. At six years old, the family moved to a small farm on the outskirts of York. He and his brother started a small business, and has been owning or managing businesses ever since.
Mark graduated from Bentley University in 1982 with a degree in Accounting. He was active in many different aspects of campus life, serving as President and Vice President of a leading honor fraternity, as well as other campus organizations. After graduation, he began working at Price Waterhouse Coopers in various roles in both the audit and tax divisions.
In 1988 he made the decision with partners, Jim, Jeff and Kathy Corey, to purchase an old time Maine jewelry firm, Day’s Jewelers. Day’s had been a leading retailer in New England with over 20 stores in the 1960’s. As the shopping patterns changed, the company reduced its footprint until there was only one store remaining. From 1989 through 2012, Mark, and his three partners focused on rebuilding Day’s into its old glory. At the time of his departure, Day’s was the largest jewelry retailer in Maine, and one of the top 100 retail jewelers as measured by volume and number of stores in the country.
Their innovative approach, large stores (typically 3 to 5 times the footprint of a typical store), large merchandise selection, aggressive marketing, and embracing technology allowed them to grow organically over his tenure. Mark held many different leadership roles during the 25 years he was there, including VP of Finance, VP of Marketing, and CFO. He played a key role in the strategic growth of the company during these critical years, including the development of an independent board of advisors.
Mark joined Julia’s in 2012 to provide a succession plan to the Julia family. His key objectives are to build a sustainable organization that continues family atmosphere of Julia’s and its focus on fair and honest dealings with all our clients. His expertise in technology, marketing, strategy, and building a scalable organization are critical as the organization continues its growth.
Mark is a supporter of the Waterville Rotary Club where he served as President and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He has been involved in numerable charitable, and community based activities serving as board member, President, Vice President and other positions in various organizations including Maine General Health, United Way, Waterville Main Street and others.
Mark currently lives in Belgrade with his wife, Sandy, and they have two adult children.
Senior Consultant and Sales Representative, Firearms Division
Wes Dillon has more than 25 years of fine and collectible firearms merchandising and marketing experience. A skilled communicator and marketer, his expertise in evaluating quality and maximizing opportunity have produced notable enterprise growth in the specialty/luxury retail sector. Wes joined the Julia firearms staff in 2007 bringing a broad base of product and marketing knowledge with a focus on antique and modern sporting arms.
As a co-founder of Cabela’s Gun Library in 1991, he capitalized on the unique opportunity to recreate the concept of the gentleman’s gun room within the confines of the World’s Foremost Outfitter. With an emphasis on superior customer service, attention to detail, and the guarantee of complete customer satisfaction, Wes quickly gained a reputation for professional excellence among clients and peers alike. With an exceptional track record of profitable client partnerships, top and bottom line growth, and successful new Gun Library openings, Wes was promoted to Product Manager responsible for all pre-owned firearms sales and Gun Library operations.
Wes also had an impact on profitability and service at the entrepreneurial success story Game Fair Ltd., of Nashville, TN prior to his appointment with Cabela’s. Here he was exposed to the concepts of best quality sporting goods and the importance of developing customer relationships; he parlayed his appreciation of the outdoors and fine sporting arms and accoutrements into a meaningful career.
Raised in the outdoors, born on the Delta Marsh in Manitoba, as the son of a noted waterfowl biologist and naturalist, Wes spent his larval stages at the prestigious Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation located northwest of Chicago; a place he still calls “home.”
Wes was formally educated at the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University with a concentration in energy related geology and served as a published researcher with the IL State Geological Survey.
A transplant to Maine, Wes resides in the Waterville. ME area with his wife and daughter. As seasons change, when not in the office, Wes can be found afield with a trusted double gun, fishing rod or not so trusted golf club.
In-House Full Time Sales Representative, Firearms Division
Tony has been prominent and active in the collectible firearms industry since the 1980s. He attended over 40 national firearms shows each year, is a Life Member of the NRA and owed a retail establishment in the Washington DC suburbs. It is impossible to be an expert at everything, so Tony developed expertise in historic firearms, particularly European and American small military arms from 1840-1950, Winchesters and fine Colts. Recognized for his unique knowledge, Tony has frequently consulted for collectors, museums and business owners around the country. His clients and peers around the world respect him as an extremely credible, knowledgeable and ethical dealer in firearms.
In-House Full Time Sales Representative, Firearms Division
Jeremy Hatch is our newest Firearms Sales Representative, but he is not new to firearms nor to sales. A graduate of the University of Maine system, Jeremy brings a breadth of experience to the Julia’s team. For the eleven years prior to joining Julia’s, he was a Senior Sales and Marketing Executive with Shooting Sportsman magazine and has attended many trade and consumer firearms shows around the country, working closely with individual clients and companies. A lover of fine double guns and pointing dogs, Jeremy is “hands on” in the field as well. He grew up in a sporting family and to this day can often be found wandering through the mountains or sitting in a duck blind. He is a member of the NRA, Ruffed Grouse Society, American Woodcock Society, North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association, North American Deutsch Kurzhaar Club, and the Maine Trappers Association. Jeremy is a fully licensed Master Maine Guide for almost twenty years, a great accomplishment in and of itself.
Consultant and Sales Representative – Firearms Division
A lifelong firearms enthusiast, Josh began studying, collecting and shooting guns with his father and brother when he was just eight years old. He particularly enjoys American sporting guns. Josh is a member of the Parker Gun Collector society, current serving on the Board of Directors as well as Secretary, the Lefever Arms Collectors Association, the Parker Gun Collectors Association, the A.H. Fox Gun Collectors Association, the Colt Collectors Association, as well as the NRA.
Prior to joining James D. Julia, Josh was a Regional Director for TIAA-CREF where he was responsible for life insurance and annuity distribution. While at TIAA-CREF, he excelled in sales and was honored with multiple achievement and excellence awards as a top producer. He was named to the “Million Dollar Round Table” (MDRT) and qualified for the “Top of the Table” each year from 2009 through 2012.
Josh lives in Charlotte, NC.
Administrative Manager, Firearms Division
Tara Fredette has been the Office Manager for our Fine Firearms division since 2013. Tara works with Tony Wilcox and his team of experts to ensure smooth operations throughout this unit which generates close to $40 million in sales per year. As the point of first contact for most of our firearms customers, Tara is responsible for consignor communications, project management, and routine division administration. Before joining Julia’s firearms team, Tara was the Credit Manager at Day’s Jewelers and as a Store Manager for Wal-Mart in New York, New Jersey and Maine. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. When not helping to run Julia’s largest division, Tara enjoys skiing, boating and enjoying the great outdoors with her family and three children.
Department Head, Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry Division
Mike Fredericks joined the James D. Julia team as our Operations Manager in 1995. Mike came to us from the commercial printing industry, having been an Account Executive and Manager for a leading New England company with a niche in the auction catalog market. His love of history, knowledge of photography, experience with production workflow, and fascination with the auction process made for a natural transition to our business. Mike became a licensed auctioneer in 2011.
A U.S. Army Veteran, Mike graduated from various Professional Development and Leadership schools during his five years of service as a Non-Commissioned Officer, and is proud to have served during the Gulf War of 1990/1991. Following his military commitment, Mike earned certifications from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, serving both as a Sheriff’s Deputy and Corrections Supervisor.
Mike lives in Central Maine.
Tim is a graduate of Colby College and holds an MBA from Bentley College. Prior to Julia’s he served as CFO to Thomas Moser Cabinetmakers, and spent three years as the Controller at Day’s Jewelers. Most of Tim’s career has been spent in the footwear industry at Timberland where he served as the Controller of their manufacturing operations and at Shaer Shoe in Maine where he served as Director of Operations. Tim is active in various charities, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and Treasurer for Museum LA, and on the development commission for the town of Mechanic Falls.
Tim currently lives in Mechanic Falls with his wife and three children.
Senior Consultant and Sales Representative, Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry Division
Dudley has life-long experience in the Antique business. His parents were antique dealers with a store in Sheridan, WY. Dudley followed in their footsteps, first going to the Western College of Auctioneering in the 1970s, and then taking over the family antique business in 1976. Being young and impetuous, Dudley sold the antique store in 1989, and opened up an Arby’s Roast Beef franchise in Sheridan. Quickly realizing that this was not the right career path, Dudley moved into the financial products industry and started an Edward Jones office in Spokane, WA.
Dudley joined Julia’s in 2000, and for the following 13 years was the Department Manager of the Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry division. Under his tenure, the division grew to one of the top three Lamps and Glass specialty auction departments in North America. His expertise in rare and collectible lamps and glass is respected by collectors across the country. Dudley is actively involved in the appraisal of rare lamps and glass, and has spoken at the Carder Steuben Club Symposium at the Corning Museum of Glass. Dudley is Julia’s chief cataloger for the Rare Lamps & Glass department.
Dudley and his wife, Martha, live in the Spokane, WA area.