Meet the Box House Antiques Team

Box House Antiques team – The faces behind the Box House Antiques business.

Alex Maas

Alex, grandson of the founder, now heads up the Box House Antiques team. Attended Westminster School, London, the University of Sussex, and the University of Westminster (BA Hons Dip Ac BSc Hons). He lives in and deals from the Old Manor House, Lymington, Hampshire. He was trained largely by his father over many years. Attended his first house sale near Swindon, aged 6.

Helen Maas

Helen and Alex married in London in 2000, and have two children. Helen was born in South Africa but has spent most of her life in the UK. She has a BA Hons in History from the University of Sussex, and an MA in History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Helen helps to run the business, manages the books, and also works part time as a fundraiser for various well known UK charities.

John Maas

John co-founded the business with his mother, the late Mrs L.R. Butchart-Maas, in 1957. John was educated at Geelong Grammar School, Australia. He trained predominantly under the guidance of the eminent and highly respected Monty Sainsbury of Bath, who had started his antiques dealing long before WWII. Over many years Monty allowed John unlimited access to his vast knowledge, and extraordinary collection of reference books.

“I have been surrounded by an antique collecting family for as long as I can remember. My mother started collecting in the 1930’s. My first purchase was an 18th century urn table which I have kept for over 60 years as a memento. £26 well invested”.

John Maas Box House Antiques team

Box House

Just after the war Mrs. L.R. Butchart-Maas worked from home – a Sussex farmhouse. Her initial interests were in Dutch school paintings of the 17th & 18th centuries. She also consulted with Sir Anthony Blunt on fine art acquisitions for the Courtauld Institute. One day an Elizabethan oak refectory table was brought into her gallery – the table was sold within 24 hours. Her interest in English period furniture developed, and within a short space of time pictures were being replaced by furniture.

The business grew very fast and her son John decided that he wanted to become more involved. His interests and academic background had always been in history, so it was a short step to take. Concurrently his sister had been excelling at the Slade school of Art, was talent-spotted in the 1950s by the well known rock ‘n’ roll star Bill Haley (& His Comets), who then sponsored her. Over the years many people have commented that the whole family has a great eye; incidentally John’s daughter, Suzy, is a highly acclaimed interior designer. Alex & Suzy’s mother’s specialist interests and wonderful skills lie in soft furnishings.

In the early days John also travelled to London to learn the trade with a well-known dealer. New premises were soon acquired in a Wiltshire country town. In turn the business moved to a large scale Georgian house near Bath; Box House. Box House Antiques joined the British Antique Dealer’s Association (BADA) in 1972. We resigned in 1992 due to a fundamental disagreement over the controversy surrounding the imposition of auctioneers’ buyer’s premium. We continue to uphold the very highest of professional standards to the present day.

Subsequently a very old established antiques shop became available in Gay Street, Bath, that was owned by the renowned and highly respected dealer, Monty Sainsbury. Monty became John’s mentor, giving him unlimited access to his vast knowledge and substantial reference library. Monty’s legacy remains to this day.

Box House Antiques opened at 105 Pimlico Road, London, SW1, in 1984. From 1992 John predominantly concentrated on sourcing antiques for individual clients from the UK, Europe, USA and Hong Kong.

Alex, John’s son, now helps with the third generation of Box House Antiques in the high-tech world of online antiques dealing – unheard of in his father’s day.

Constantly working closely alongside his father, Alex’s enthusiasm, energy and drive is helping to ensure that Box House Antiques remains as interesting and eclectic as it has been for over sixty years.