It’s no surprise that Llewellyn M. Dykes, Master Personal Property Appraiser and Certified Estate Specialist, approaches his assignments with the focus and intensity of a CSI investigator. He is a highly-decorated retired detective sergeant from the Baltimore City Police Department, who was also mentored as an “antique detective” for a decade by members of a family owning art galleries, Oriental rug galleries, antiques stores and auctions.
After line-of-duty injuries forced “Kelly” into early retirement, he took his combined skills into the Lowcountry marketplace and helped build Bennie and Kelly’s Estate Auctions, Inc. in Hardeeville, South Carolina. That auction, in a few short years, grew from a modest enterprise to a very successful venture selling more than three million dollars per year in antiques and estate items. After selling his interest in the auction, Kelly obtained advanced certification as an appraiser through the NAA. He is the senior appraiser for the Gallery 95 Auction in Hardeeville, South Carolina.
For the last fifteen years he has been the appraiser of choice for top level law firms, bank trust departments, and wealth management companies in Charleston, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Columbia, South Carolina. He provides large estate appraisals to one of the most well-known wealth management companies in the United States, serving clients across the country. (In one recent week, he scheduled appointments for large apartments at Central Park West and Central Park East in New York City, followed by assignments at two eight thousand square foot stately homes in Short Hills and North Shore, New Jersey, while penciling in appointments for three more important homes in Litchfield, Connecticut, one in northern Maine, and another in San Francisco.)
His client list reads like a Who’s Who of the most successful members of our society, banking trust departments, prominent law firms handling probate and estate matters, first-quality divorce attorneys, and insurance companies -not to mention a steady stream of individual collectors who have their possessions appraised for scheduling on their fine art and homeowner’s insurance policies. In the last four years he has discovered – and then personally brokered – more than 16 million dollars in art and antiques.
Kelly’s attention to detail is remarkable and his documentation is incredibly thorough. His expert testimony is accepted by the courts and the IRS, and yet he manages to be both entertaining, informative and personal in his presentations. He is a combination of old school manners, total commitment to integrity and good stewardship, and the best of modern technology.
Mr. Dykes bills at a solid hourly rate and also charges for travel expenses, but by combining extensive market familiarity, the use of modern technology and a focused methodology, he takes less total time to complete an on-site examination and actually invoices far less total billable hours to the client. And as the end result, large estates are rewarded not only with a superior product, but at a very reasonable price.
His repeat clients include the most respected and influential law firms specializing in estates and divorce, large bank trust departments, and well-known national wealth management companies. They know he reliably delivers a quality product in an efficient manner and at a reasonable price, and they simply will not hear of engaging another firm. They represent the very best in their respective fields, and they simply will not budge. That knowledge, says Mr. Dykes, is his most precious asset.