Leslie Keno has been active in the antiques field since childhood. He joined Sotheby's American Furniture and Decorative Arts department as a cataloguer in 1980, and was appointed director of the department in 1983. During his tenure of nearly 26 years at Sotheby's, Mr. Keno has been directly responsible for numerous record-breaking sales of Americana, most recently the 2005 sale of the Nicholas Brown tea table attributed to John Goddard. Estimated at $2 million to $5 million, the table achieved a spectacular $8.4 million — a new auction record for any table and the second-highest price for American furniture.
Other career highlights include the 1999 sale of the Nathaniel Appleton desk-and-bookcase by Christopher Townsend, which Mr. Keno tracked down to French descendants of the original owner. Mr. Keno lectures extensively with his brother, Leigh, and both volunteer each year as benefit auctioneers for various charity events across the country. In 2000, Mr. Keno and his brother published Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture, and were awarded the National Humanities Medal by the President in the Oval Office in 2005. Mr. Keno graduated from Williams College with honors in American art.