Prior to being in the antiques business, Sally worked in the cable television industry for 15 years for such companies as Disney Channel, Media One and Continental Cablevision. While at Continental Cablevision, Sally earned a Cable Television Advertising and Marketing Award for print communications. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree in fine arts from California State University, Long Beach, where she graduated with honors.
Laurence Martin became an avid collector at a very young age, beginning with antique ephemera, postcards, stamps and anything with a postal history. He even had his own museum when he was just a school boy. Together with his wife of 21 years, Sally, Laurence continues to collect and buy to this day. The couple has co-owned Studio Antiques in El Segundo, CA, since 1987. Laurence’s specialty in the antiques business is his keen skill in spotting a unique or rare item that others tend to overlook. He is known in the industry as being slightly eccentric and an “Andy Warhol type.”
Before owning Studio Antiques, Laurence spent 20 years in the aerospace industry as a scientific engineer and designer. He studied at Bournemouth College in Bournemouth, England, and has always been an avid traveler, spending time in countries including China, Australia and Mexico. As a part of making his avocation his vocation, Laurence spent over 10 years importing containers of antiques from across the globe for Studio Antiques.
Laurence and Sally have been featured as regular appraisers on A&E’s Storage Wars and have also appeared in the 1-hour special Storage Wars: Unlocked. With their strong partnership, business sense and years of experience, Laurence and Sally Martin are leads in Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, joining other auction specialists who travel the world looking to snatch up unclaimed personal property in an attempt to turn huge profits.
Number of years in the auction game: 56 years
Laurence Martin’s first auction was at age 10. He went to an auction with his Auntie Christine and bought an antique mother-of-pearl case.
Highest value auction haul: “$38,000 to fill a 40-foot container of goods going from England to the US for sale in our shop.”
Biggest spend: “$4,000 on a single item, "Box of Horns," in Glasgow, Scotland. It was a valiant effort to beat out Billy Leroy on a bid.”
Biggest sale: “The auction at Studio Antiques, 1-day sale of $12,000.”
Biggest profit on a single item: “Chinese jade scepter found in a box for, sold at auction for $13,500.”
Number of auction wins: “Difficult to answer accurately. There have been so many auction wins. Perhaps 15,000 items won.”