Auction at Famed Madison County Mansion to Feature Furniture, Fine Art

This mahogany C. Lee half-tester youth-size bed, circa 1860, will be one of more than 600 lots during the auction of antiques from the Green Gables in Madison County. The auction is sponsored by Stevens Auction Company.

JACKSON, Tenn. — The contents of one of Jackson’s stateliest and most historic Victorian mansions, Green Gables—will be sold in an on-site auction on Sat., June 29. The sale will be conducted by Stevens Auction Company. Other prominent estates will also be featured.

The action will get underway promptly at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with more than 600 lots in a wide array of categories including Federal, Empire and late Victorian furniture; brilliant cut glass pieces; Old Paris and other fine porcelains; china; antique clocks and oil lamps; original works of art and decorative accessories.

Green Gables has been written about in many books about Madison County, Tenn. Many of the furnishings being sold were lovingly crafted by some of the most renowned names in the industry including John H. Belter, J. & J.W. Meeks, C. Lee, Thomas Brooks, R.J. Horner and Alexander Roux.

Meeks will be represented in the sale by a laminated rosewood rococo four-piece parlor suite in the Stanton Hall pattern and a pair of rosewood rococo side parlor chairs in the Hawkins pattern, with matching sofa (circa 1855). Also sold will be a C. Lee half-tester youth-size bed (circa 1860).

Other furniture pieces by noted makers will include a rosewood cylinder secretary attributed to Thomas Brooks, with fitted satinwood interior; a heavily carved slant-front desk with birds and winged griffin supports attributed to R.J. Horner and a monumental rosewood marble-top console attributed to Alexander Roux.

A large and rare oval walnut marble-top table with hairy ball-and-claw feet is set for sale at the auction.

Vases and urns will feature a pair of Old Paris vases with figures, white with gold trim (circa 1860), a large Dresden scenic and figural urn, a fine pair of period gilt-bronze and cut-glass Empire urns (circa 1830) and an equally fine pair of 19th-century palatial Royal Vienna scenic urns.

Artwork will include several 19th-century oil-on-canvas renderings, a large bronze of a nude girl by French sculptor Felix Carpentier (1858-1924) with Paris Foundry mark, a life-size marble figure of a maiden picking grapes and a large 19th-century porcelain plaque of a Roman beauty in the original giltwood frame.

Lamps and lighting will feature a rare three-piece gilt-bronze and crystal Argand lamp set with a double arm and two single arms, a large antique Venetian seven-light grape bunch chandelier, a large 19th-century gilt-metal figural lamp with 19th-century cut and acid-etched shade and a fine cut-glass and gilt four-light gasolier.

In the early 1900s, Green Gables was a Madison County showplace property. It was originally built by Caroline Jackson, who conveyed the house to W.H. And Viney Jackson. In 1912, it was sold to Richard Cyrus Smith and L.L. Fonville. Mrs. Eddie Lee Smith lived in the home until around 1990, with various family members and renters. 

A 19th-century rose medallion figural gilt-bronze mounted centerpiece is also available to bidders.

Mrs. Smith was a recluse who raised day lilies and wrote Japanese Haiku poetry. The most recent owners bought house in October 2008. They added some Old World charm to the backyard by adding a New Orleans fountain and plantings. An ongoing project is the restoration of the log houses in the backyard.

This will be an old-fashioned country sale, with no Internet bidding component, but phone and absentee bids will be accepted. Open house previews will be held at Green Gables on Fri., June 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on auction day, June 29, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Photos of many of the items being sold have been posted on the Stevens Auction website.


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