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Pair of Prominent Panama City Estates to be Sold at Auction Saturday, June 27

by WorthPoint Staff (06/22/09).

This fine green opaque vase on an Oriental-style stand is sure to spark keen bidder interest.

This fine green opaque vase on an Oriental-style stand is sure to spark keen bidder interest.

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Some 300 fresh-to-the-market lots from a pair of prominent southern estates will be sold on Saturday, June 27, in a live and Internet auction to be held by Specialists of the South, Inc. Offered will be fine period furniture, rare and vintage postage stamps, collectible china and art glass pieces, a wide array of decorative accessories and more.

The live auction will be conducted at Specialists of the South’s gallery facility, beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT). On-site viewing is available the day before (June 26), the day of sale (from 8 to 9 a.m.) or by appointment. Online bidding has already begun. Bidders may register now by going to the Specialists of the South website. The site also provides detailed listings and lot photographs.

The consignments comprise the lifetime collections of the late William and Elizabeth Hearn and the living estate of Don and Bev Miller. The Rev. William “Bill” Hearn was a beloved local figure who was a pastor at the Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Panama City for 11 years and the First Presbyterian Church in nearby Lynn Haven for 10 years. Don and Bev Miller are dedicated collectors.

“Either one of these estates would have made for a great sale all by themselves, but the fact that we are able to offer them both in the same day, live and online, is a wonderful opportunity for bidders to add to their collections,” said Logan Adams of Specialists of the South. “June 27th is going to be a super Saturday. Even if bidders can’t be there in person, they can still bid online from the comfort of home.”

Items to be sold include a Seth Thomas mantle clock with painted reserve and a butler's chest with desk drawer.

Items to be sold include a Seth Thomas mantle clock with painted reserve and a butler's chest with desk drawer.

Also lated to cross the block on June 27 will be ceramics and glass, as well as a corner cabinet with inlay.

Also slated to cross the block on June 27 will be ceramics and glass, as well as a corner cabinet with inlay.

All of the period furniture pieces (most of them 19th-century treasures) are from the Hearns’ estate. Expected top lots include a butler’s desk; an inlaid corner cabinet; a linen press; a Victorian settee; hand-caned chairs; and a red rocking chair. Also from the Hearn estate: Fostoria American glass; old pressed glass; and a set of ten older oval framed bird, flower and fruit prints.

The Rev. Hearn and his mother were both philatelists—stamp collectors. Highlights from their dual lifetime collections will include Franked envelopes; Wells Fargo postcards; plate blocks; Farleys; Famous Authors; airmails; Zeppelins; 3-cent sheets; postage due; revenue; pre-cancelled; documentary; and Cinderellas (Christmas seals, etc.). “Stamp collectors will have a field day,” said Adams.

Beautiful German fruit plates, with reticulated edge.

Beautiful German fruit plates, with reticulated edge.

Marvelous and highly collectible glass pieces will be drawn from both the Hearn and Miller estates. The Hearns were partial to milk glass, American Fostoria, and Johnson Brothers Friendly Village. The Millers (who are retired and living in Panama City Beach) specialized in older ceramics (including pitchers), but their collections are wide and varied, with many wonderful pieces.

Offered will be a gorgeous set of Grosvenor English bone china in the “Craigavon” pattern, pierced-edge Bavarian fruit plates, a set of 12 Copeland Spode “Bermuda Flowers” plates, each one different (Oleander, Hibiscus, Morning Glory, etc.), a Bing & Grondahl blue and white platter, made in Denmark, a set of Lunt William & Mary sterling flatware, a fine green opaque vase on an Oriental-style stand, decanters, Lefton, and Hummel.

An Atterbury covered hen, a prized item among collectors.

An Atterbury covered hen, a prized item among collectors.

Also slated to cross the block will be an Atterbury ’06 Chicken; mantle clocks (to include Seth Thomas and Chauncey Jerome); a unique brass maritime repeater, marked the U.S.S. WASP (from the Naval Shipyard in New York); blue kerosene lamps; demitasse cups and saucers; and many fine crystal pieces.

“There will be a little something for everybody,” Adams said.

Bill and Elizabeth Hearn met in 1933, at a Young People’s party in Louisville, Ky., where he was attending seminary school. They married two years later, at the Peewee Valley Presbyterian Church in Anchorage, Ky., not far from Louisville. The church was later made famous in “The Little Colonel” children’s books, by Anna Fellows Johnston (whose daughter was the organist at the Hearns’ wedding).

Rev. Hearn was a Presbyterian minister at churches in Perryville and Nicholasville, Ky.; and Memphis, Tenn. In Memphis, he started with a congregation of 32 people and grew it to more than 500 members. It was during this time that the Hearns’ only child, a son Mark, was born. After 12 years in Memphis, the family moved to Panama City in 1958, where Rev. Hearn ministered until his retirement. He also did an 18-month stint as a pastor at a church in Monticello, Fla.

The Rev. Hearn was active in the Panama City community long after his pastoring work ended in 1982. He was a Rotary member and Paul Harris Fellow; a board member of the local Red Cross chapter; a past president of the Cerebral Palsy Association; a board member of the Music Association; and a past president of the Audubon Society of Bay County. He passed away in 1997, at age 90. Mrs. Hearn passed away just this past year, at age 101.

Bev and Don Miller are relative newcomers to Florida, having relocated to the state three years ago. Originally from Pennsylvania (where Don worked for Mobil Oil Company in Philadelphia and later New York City), they also lived in Connecticut (where they operated a consignment shop dealing in household items) and Hilton Head, S.C. (where they made wooden peg dolls, which they sold at crafts shows).

Specialists of the South’s gallery is located at 544 East 6th Street in Panama City. for information, call (850) 785-2577 or e-mail at specialists@knology.net or loganadams@knology.net. To learn more about the company, and to register for the June 27th estate sale, you can log on to either www.SpecialistsoftheSouth.com or www.PanamaCityAuction.com.

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