619-299-3448 | finearts@cox.net

My name is Christian Chaffee and I've been dealing in fine art and antiques since 1969. Growing up in Santa Barbara, I began working with my father when I was 11 years old buying and selling all kinds of art and antiques. In 1975, I joined the Navy and served for three years, continuing to buy and sell antiques and art during my time off. After my honorable discharge in 1978, I opened and operated an antique shop in Soquel, California for a short time before moving back to San Diego and attending San Diego City College and San Diego State University on the GI Bill. After studying business administration & finance at SDSU, I purchased the moving company Adams Ave. Van & Storage in 1985. Just four years later, it became the largest independent moving company in San Diego. I had secured the annual moving contracts for the San Diego Port Authority and served many large corporations like Pacific Bell Telephone. In 1990, I sold the moving company to return to the business I loved as a boy and founded my own antique business, Chaffee Estate Services, which I still manage today.

In 1996, I came across an opportunity that had the potential to be larger in scope than anything else I had previously been involved with. I discovered San Diego's Class 1 streetcars which were scheduled to be destroyed. I purchased them because I could recognize that they were Arts & Crafts masterpieces. Some time later, I learned that they were originally built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition by John D. Spreckels. As I learned more about the Class 1 streetcars, I ultimately came to envision them running on the rails again in San Diego as a historic transportation system. To further this goal, I successfully spearheaded an effort to get them designated San Diego Historic Landmark (#339) in 1997. In 1999, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given eight months to three years to live. Against all odds, I made a full recovery and continue to preserve and protect the Class 1 streetcars for the future benefit of San Diego. I have formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit, San Diego Historic Streetcars, Inc. to continue this mission. Recently, the project was awarded a Save Our Heritage Organization Preservation Award, has been nominated for an "Orchid Award" by the San Diego Architectural foundation, and won a design competition put on by the American Institute of Architects. The project has been gaining popularity and serious momentum throughout San Diego.

Above all, my business is based around my love and respect for history and precious objects from the past. These surviving relics remind us of our rich cultural heritage and connect us to that heritage in an interesting and meaningful way. I have made some significant discoveries during my time as an antique dealer and have ensured that many historically significant items will be properly preserved and appreciated. For example, I currently own a writing tablet that was personally carved by California sculptor Arthur Putnam for world famous author Jack London. This piece was lost to history until I rediscovered it and worked diligently to uncover its obscured lineage. With some help from the Jack London Society and Sue Hodson of the Huntington Library, we were able to conclude that this was indeed owned by Jack London and depicts Buck, the famous dog from Call of the Wild. Call of the Wild brought Jack London international fame for bringing the world’s attention to the cruelty to dogs occurring during the Klondike Gold rush. The writing tablet went on to be displayed at the Huntington Library and has been recently appraised at $1.25 to 1.4 million.

I have over 45+ years experience in buying and selling antiques and art. I have bought and sold a wide variety of antiques and art over the years, from California art, paintings, Japanese swords, art pottery, art glass, lamps, oriental rugs, gold jewelry, American Indian baskets and blankets, violins, Civil War items, Chinese antiques of all kinds, and much, much more. This experience and many years of buying and selling at all levels of antiques and art has provided me with the knowledge and experience to build relationships with loyal clients, who pay fair retail prices for the antiques and art they seek.

Don't settle for less. Call me, Christian Chaffee, today.

619-299-3448 | finearts (at) cox.net