About the Markleys

Michael Markley

Meril Markley

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.

After 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.

Michael 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.

Michael has been interviewed for numerous publications, including the U.K.'s Financial Times, about trends in the antiques business and his ground-breaking approach as a web-based dealer within a niche market.


Meril 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 salutes her Viennese musical 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.  In 2018, she and Michael are helping Verreaux to launch its series of chamber music in The Woodlands.

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.


In the tradition of the French antique dealers we admire, our dogs Mischa and Margaux have played pivotal roles of our business.  To learn more about them, click on the photo.