Our Story

Located in the resort town of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Stuart Kingston was originally founded as an auction house by Maurice Stein. Operating for 9 decades Stuart Kingston continues to offer the highest quality jewelry, antiques, rugs and carpets, fine art and decorative objects as a family run business. We conduct estate auctions on a year round basis, specializing in American furniture and decorative arts, American and European painting and prints, fine ceramics, silver, fine jewelry, Asian works of art, clocks, oriental rugs and carpets and collectibles. Additionally Stuart Kingston offers appraising services for antiques and fine art

Our Team

Mauria Stein

President

1991 - Present

Mauria leads Stuart Kingston as a 3rd generation business owner in 2014 after working under her father since 1991. Mauria is a licensed appraiser in antiques, fine art, and jewelry and studied in London under Jack Francis, a leading authority in the international trade of rugs, carpets, and tapestries. Mauria has completed multi-million dollar estate liquidations through auction and private contract. She collects inventory on trips across the globe in the pursuit of loose precious and semi-precious stones used in the creation of Stuart Kingston’s fine and custom jewelry.

Pedro Powell

Auction Coordinator

2010 - Present

Pedro has been working with Stuart Kingston since 2010 and began by packing estates. He progressed to become the lead coordinator of Stuart Kingston’s logistical process regarding the layouts of estates and auctions. Pedro directly interacts with customers and holds the responsibility of surveilling, cataloging, and photographing auction inventory.

Kristin Hutton

Art Historian & Junior Appraiser

2011 - Present

Kristen began working with Stuart Kingston in 2011 as an intern while studying towards her Bachelor's in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. Kristen achieved her Bachelor of Arts in 2017 and earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from SUNY Albany in 2019. Kristen fulfills appraisal services for fine art and antiques to bolster the estates of Stuart Kingston’s clients. 

Will Waddell

Developer

2019 - Present

Will is the nephew of Mauria Stein and the great-grandson of Maurice Stein. Will graduated from Rye Country Day School in 2019 and is studying towards a Bachelor of Science at Cornell University with a focus in Business and Communications. A 4th generation family member, Will leads the operations of Stuart Kingston’s online presence.

History

Maurice Stein

Founder

1930 - 1973

Maurice "Maury" Stein was born in Portland, Maine on April 5th, 1906 and passed away on a buying trip in London in 1973. He expanded upon his father's legacy, Joseph Stein, who was also a jeweler by trade. Maurice and his wife, Anita, discovered Rehoboth Beach in 1930 while driving towards New England from St. Petersburg, FL, where they had a small auction house. Maurice and Anita fell in love with Rehoboth Beach and moved all operations to the beach town after World War II and the birth of their second son. In 1950, Maurice asked his brother Melville Stein to join Stuart Kingston, and Melville opened a satellite location in Salisbury, MD which operated until 1955. Stein faced adversity in the storm of 1962, stating “We lost all our merchandise and the showroom was demolished but we were back in business by August.” Maurice typically worked behind the scenes during the nightly summer auctions; however, when he approached the auction stage along with his wife, his presence was extraordinary and the crowd held on to his every word. Congressmen, Senators, Generals, Diplomats & various heads of state have graced the Gallery, including former President Nixon, Ethel Kennedy and David Brinkley. Furthermore, Stein’s wife Anita was integral to Stuart Kingston’s collection of artwork, traveling to the studios of John Schoonover and Andrew Wyeth to purchase artwork directly.

Melville Stein

Director of Sales

1950-1989

Melville "Mel" Stein was born in Portland, Maine on September 10th, 1911 to two Ukrainian immigrants who owned a separate jewelry store. Mel learned gemology and sales while working under his parents. Mel served in the Army under World War II and held the position as a flight instructor for the Army Air Corp. After being stationed in Ohio, Mel joined Stuart Kingston as a paramount force in the nightly summer auctions. Mel was also responsible for client relations and visiting clients in Washington DC and the Tri-State area, a Stuart Kingston tradition his great-neice Mauria Stein continues to this day. Maintaining lifelong relationships with clients was of the utmost importance to Mel, and to this day the grandchildren of those clients, and now customers themselves, still remember Mel and the lasting impressions to their families.

Dian Stein

Executive Assistant

196? - Present

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Jay Stein

President

1961 - 2014

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Joseph Jeffery Stein lll (JJ)

Vice President

1989 - 1997

JJ was born August 17th, 1967, son of Jay & Dian Stein. On August 17th, 1997 his 30 years of laughing, dancing, singing and celebrating life ended. A writer, businessman, collector, lifeguard, son, brother and a friend. He invigorated his families business by taking the Auctions to a new level and real estate acquisitions. He collected rare books, art & antiques and studied fine art, sculpture and gemstones. He enriched the lives of those around him and through his many travels, gave the people of Hong Kong, Thailand, India, England, France & Italy only a small taste of his sharp wit and humble genius. The center of his life was his family. He spent his days working at Stuart Kingston along side his Father Jay, Mother Dian & sister Mauria. On business trips to New York, over the phone and weekends he focused on his sister Anita. Just to name a few of JJ's accomplishments, when the legendary Nan Duskin filed for bankruptcy he negotiated a deal to bring Stuart Kingston in to help them in their closing. When nationwide Best Store filed for bankruptcy  he was able to acquire the reminder of their fine gemstones. He is still missed by all who knew him.

Celebrating 90 Years of Excellence

For 90 of Rehoboth Beach’s 129 years, Stuart Kingston Gallery has been where it has always been, on the north end of the Boardwalk next to the Henlopen Hotel. Stuart Kingston is also doing what it has always done: remembering the past while moving forward toward the future. 

Stuart Kingston was founded in 1930 by Maurice Stein, and business partner Sydney Cohan, who leased the building on the Boardwalk next to the Henlopen Hotel from it owner, Winfred Grenoble. An antique showroom and auction house since its founding, Stuart Kingston’s auctions were particularly popular, especially during the 1950s when Cohan and Stein conducted them on the Boardwalk, which was much wider at the time.

According To Mauria Stein, who is 3rd generation and granddaughter of Maurice "My grandfather, who died when I was 7, was from Portland, Maine he [Maurice Stein] just decided to do his own thing,” Stein said. “It’s really a unique story in and of itself: here’s this young guy in his 20s traveling from the north – he was living in New York at the time – going south to Florida. They found this place in this little tiny town. He came and decided he loved it and decided to make it his life.” 


“My father and his partner worked for a guy named Stuart Kingsley, and they liked the name, so they just changed it,” Jay Stein former owner and son of Maurice said, hence the name "Stuart Kingston" came to be.


Over the years, the business has expanded to include rugs, carpets and jewelry. Mauria Stein said the rugs and jewelry business has always been the foundation of Stuart Kingston and will remain that way going forward.

An antique showroom and auction house since its founding, Stuart Kingston’s auctions were particularly popular, especially during the 1950s when Cohan and Stein conducted them on the Boardwalk, which was much wider at the time.

The auctions were a key part of Stuart Kingston’s early business.


Jay Stein became involved in the family business in 1961, at the age of 21. The next year, the Stuart Kingston property was destroyed by the Storm of ’62 and subsequently restored and refurbished.


The auction business was recently discontinued at the Rehoboth Avenue location but is still ongoing at Stuart Kingston’s original location on the Rehoboth Boardwalk.


Stuart Kingston will now passed to Mauria, continuing the family legacy of Steins to head Stuart Kingston for the third generation.

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