Michael Markley got his start
in the antiques business by accident, when he accompanied Meril on a two-year
assignment in Paris. When his
promised work permit never materialized, he found himself in the position of
putting his lifelong love of learning to good use – not only to find furniture for
their apartment but to satisfy his curiosity about the styles and
techniques that make French antique furniture both beautiful and durable.
Drawing on skills learned in his earlier
careers as a lawyer, a homebuilder, a retailer and a lighting designer, Michael
needed only to learn French while living in Paris in order to make his dream into reality and his passion into
a thriving business. Thanks to the
kindness and enthusiasm of many French dealers, Michael picked up the
"antique French" necessary to learn the business
from the inside out and to negotiate and buy his inventory.
returning to the U.S., Michael established M. Markley Antiques as a division of
The Markley Group, Inc. in order to offer the Château des Bois CollectionTM to
those in the U.S. who treasure beauty and fine craftsmanship. M. Markley Antiques
combines creativity and passion while ensuring the preservation of the work of
gifted craftsmen of centuries past.
works with designers for large projects such as hotels, but especially enjoys
working with individuals who contact M. Markley Antiques when starting or
adding to a collection of Gothic or Renaissance style furniture.
His background in the entertainment business has made Michael the optimal advisor for movie, television, opera, and ballet productions looking for that "wow factor" for their set design. Pieces from the Collection have appeared in productions of Boston Ballet, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the TV series Reign. They have also found their way into a "castle" on the coast of Newfoundland and a "chateau" in Nebraska.
the tradition of the French antique dealers we admire,
our dogs Mischa and Margaux are also part of our
business. To learn more about them, click
Markley is an attorney who has spent three decades focused on cross-border tax planning for commercial enterprises. She is responsible for research and preparation of the description of each
piece offered by M. Markley Antiques. While doing so, she discovered the fascinating story of the first modern corporation, founded during the Middle Ages in France, and has published several articles as well as given numerous speeches about it. She enjoys highighting the corporate governance system adopted by pioneering shareholders in the 14th century and which would have prevented Enron and other catastrophic failures.
To her task in writing about antiques, she brings a
background in the Arts. Her four
years spent as a Music Major in Vassar College's Skinner Hall cemented her
devotion to French Gothic architecture and Gothic Revival furnishings. While at Vassar, she came under the influence of Eugene Carroll, who inspired her lifelong love of Italian Renaissance painters.
Awarded a Maguire Fellowship, she studied at the Music Academy
in Vienna, Austria, where she was a student of the legendary Hilde Rössel-Majdan. As a coloratura soprano, Meril has sung in such iconic venues as La Scala, the Hollywood Bowl, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Houston Astrodome. She toasts her Viennese artistic heritage each year by singing for Austrian National Day in Houston.
As a result of her overseas
experiences, Meril speaks three foreign languages (Spanish, French and German)
and can order a beer in several more.
She enjoys writing about travel, and the food and beverages that go
along with it, in her columns for the Newsletter of the Wine Society of Texas
(Greater Houston Chapter).
As an outlet for her passion to preserve and promote interest
in classical music, Meril previously served on the Board of
Directors of Mercury
Baroque, Houston's renowned
period instrument ensemble, and on the Board of Trustees of the Houston Grand
Opera. In 2016 she launched the Art of Business quarterly luncheon series.
Click on the links for a complete list of media,
including speeches, publications, and videos or to see UHY's Spotlight on Meril and her career journey from opera singer to tax advisor.