Auction Report: 19th-C. Half Tester Bed, Grandfather Clock Shine at Stevens Auction

This mahogany half tester youth-size bed by C. Lee, circa 1850, was the top lot in an on-site sale of the contents of Green Gables, one of Jackson, Tenn.’s, stateliest and most historic Victorian mansions. It gaveled for $29,900.

This fine R.J. Horner carved oak, nine-tube grandfather clock, beautifully crafted circa 1890, also broke the $20,000 mark, realizing $21,850 in the auction that was facilitated by Stevens Auction Company.

JACKSON, Tenn. – A mahogany half tester youth-size bed made around 1860 by C. Lee gaveled for $29,900, and a fine R.J. Horner carved oak nine-tube grandfather clock from about 1890 chimed on time for $21,850 at an on-site sale of the contents of Green Gables, one of Jackson’s stateliest and most historic Victorian mansions, held June 29 on the mansion grounds.

The bed and clock were the top lots of the auction, conducted by Stevens Auction Company, based in Aberdeen, Miss. In all, more than 575 quality lots changed hands in a wide array of categories: Federal, Empire and late Victorian furniture, brilliant cut glass pieces, Old Paris and other fine porcelains, china, antique clocks and oil lamps, fine artwork, rugs and more.

“We got lucky with the weather. It was a real pretty day,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “Everyone was excited to be there and everything sold. It was a great sale.” Even Green Gables itself, located at 1287 Hollywood Drive, was sold (through a separate broker, Mark Kennedy), for $250,000. The property included the mansion and several other structures.

This mid-19th-century rosewood laminated sofa by renowned furniture maker J. H. Belter brought $10,350 at the auction.

The sale of the mansion’s contents was an old-fashioned country auction, with no Internet bidding. More than 100 phone bids and a few absentee bids were recorded, in addition to the crowd of about 400 people who attended live. Green Gables was built around 1895. It has been written and talked about by many historians and has been the scene of countless weddings and other events.

This large 19th-century gilt metal figural lamp with curt and acid-etched shade, standing four feet tall, sold for $5,175.

Following are additional highlights from the sale (all prices quoted include a 15-percent buyer’s premium):

• Gorgeous period furniture pieces came under the gavel throughout the day. Two standout lots were a laminated rosewood rococo four-piece parlor suite by J. & J.W. Meeks (circa 1855) in the Stanton Hall pattern ($13,800); and a rosewood laminated sofa by J. H. Belter, made circa 1850 ($10,350). Both Meeks and Belter were renowned 19th-century New York furniture makers.

• Other furniture included a figural carved walnut secretary attributed to Luigi Frullini, 9 feet, 10 inches tall ($16,100); an 18th-century burl walnut linen press in fine original condition ($8,050); a heavily carved slant front desk attributed to R.J. Horner, made circa 1890 ($3,680); and a European oak display cabinet made around 1830 and majestic at 102 inches tall ($2,300).

• A centennial Chippendale mahogany drop-front desk with onyx columns and interior, made for the Chicago Exposition around 1890, went for $5,750. Chair lots featured a set of 10 19th-century high-back English Chippendale dining chairs that fetched $6,900; and a laminated 1850 rosewood Belter side chair in the Fountain Elms pattern, with blue silk upholstery ($5,175).

• Tables included a rosewood marble-top console attributed to Alexander Roux, circa 1865 ($18,400); a large rosewood Belter marble-top table in the Rosalie pattern, with laminated skirt, circa 1855 ($10,350); a rare oval walnut marble-top table with hairy ball-and-claw feet, circa 1860 ($10,350); and a period Empire mahogany pier table with marble column front ($6,900).

• From the lamps and lighting category, a three-piece 19th-century gilt bronze and crystal argand lamp set with single and double arms hammered for $11,500; an exceptionally fine cut-glass and gilt brass four-light gasolier, crafted around 1870, realized $5,175; and a 19th century gilt metal figural lamp with 19th-century cut and acid-etched shade changed hands for $5,175.

• Decorative accessories were offered up in abundance. A 19th-century Rose Medallion figural gilt bronze mounted centerpiece, 18 ¾ inches wide by 11 inches tall, breezed to $7,475; a large Dresden scenic and figural urn standing 3 feet, 8 inches tall went to a determined bidder for $4,600; and a lovely group of 12 sterling goblets realized $103.50 each, or $1,242 for the set.

• In the fine art category, a large bronze of a nude girl by French artist Felix Charpentier, with a Paris foundry, 3 feet tall and made circa 1890, rose to $5,520; a 19th-century oil on canvas of a Biblical scene garnered $4,600; a 19th-century oil on canvas titled “Lovers in a Landscape” hit $2,990; and a very large artist-signed oil on canvas of a beauty with Cupid hammered for $1,955.

• Rounding out just some of the day’s top lots, a palace-size Tabriz rug in natural colors of brown, green and gray, measuring 15 feet by 25 feet, commanded $3,910; a Persian Kerman rug, also palace-size, found a new owner for $3,335; and a Tiffany ornate bronze clock made $1,725.

Stevens Auction Company has several major auctions lined up for the coming months. First up will be a multi-estate auction planned for Saturday, Aug. 17, in the firm’s Aberdeen gallery, at 609 North Meridian Street. More than 500 pieces of antique furniture will be offered, mainly from four prominent local estates (the largest estate being from Nashville). Also sold will be clocks, rugs, sterling silver, china, original artworks, vintage lighting and glassware.

This gorgeous 19th-century Rose Medallion china figural gilt bronze mounted centerpiece hammered for $7,475.

Then, on Saturday, Oct. 12, Stevens Auction will conduct another huge on-site estate sale on a property with great historical significance—the Dancy Polk House in Decatur, Ala., built in 1829 and one of the oldest houses in the state. Union officers used it as quarters during the Civil War, which may explain why it was spared being burned to the ground (like the rest of Decatur).

The house and property are almost unchanged since the days of the Civil War (even the dent in the house caused by cannonball fire is still there). Now, the home and its contents will be sold to the highest bidder.

For more information about this or upcoming auctions, call 662.369.2200, e-mail to stevensauction@bellsouth.net or visit the Stevens Auction Company website.


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