The parlor suite, beautifully crafted around 1855, consisted of a sofa (66 inches long by 45 inches high), an arm chair and two side chairs. It was the top achiever of the more than 600 lots sold. Headlining the event was the lifetime clock collection of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Johnson, merchandise pulled from a New Jersey mansion, and items from three other prominent estates.
“If it’s true that quality merchandise brings top dollar at auction, then this sale was a success because the better items saw high prices realized,” remarked Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company, adding, “The economy is definitely improving. People see that the clock is ticking on their lives and, especially now that the election’s over, they’ve gone back to buying.”
Around 200 people attended the auction in person, while another 450 approved registered bidders participated online, via LiveAuctioneers.com. About 400 combined phone and absentee bids were also recorded. “This was the highest concentration of quality lots we’ve sold in years,” Mr. Stevens said. “It was a great start for the New Year and we have more big auctions in store.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
A stunning pair of recamiers got paddles wagging in a big way. A laminated rosewood recamier by John H. Belter in the Fountain Elms pattern and in mint condition (circa 1850), 6 feet long by 4 feet tall and quite rare, soared to $18,400; and a nice laminated rosewood rococo recamier by J. & J.W. Meeks in the Stanton Hall pattern went to a determined bidder for $9,775.
Two antique desks, both circa 1855 and both attributed to Meeks, also got the crowd excited. One was a fine rosewood rococo secretary desk with a pierce carved crown and carving on the doors, 9 feet 2 inches tall by 42 inches wide ($17,250). The other was a rosewood rococo roll-top desk with round front drawers and gallery top, 53 inches tall by 48 inches wide ($9,775).
A pair of tables, each one executed around 1855 by Alexander Roux, found new owners. The first was a rococo banquet dining table, heavily carved, with claw feet and capable of stretching to 14 feet 6 inches ($17,250). The second was a monumental rosewood rococo marble center table with detail carved fruit basket and carving all over, 62 inches in length ($10,350).
Chairs were offered in abundance and bidders responded with enthusiasm. A set of eight walnut Victorian dining room chairs made circa 1855 by Alexander Roux, in mint condition with heavily carved backs and boasting red silk upholstery, hammered for $16,100; and a rosewood laminated rococo arm parlor chair by Meeks in the Stanton Hall pattern, circa 1855, hit $5,750.
Other antique chairs included a large walnut Victorian office desk chair with padded arms, carved crown and black leather upholstery, made circa 1870 ($4,830); and a lovely pair of rosewood laminated pierce carved side parlor chairs with green seats, made circa 1855 ($2,300).
Two furniture lots need to be singled out not just for their high dollars realized but for their sheer beauty. One was a museum-quality period Empire sideboard with original gold stenciling, cut glass doors and acanthus carving on the sides, attributed to Anthony Quervelle and executed 1830 ($13,800). The other was a three-piece oak parlor suite by R. J. Horner (circa 1890), heavily carved, with lions’ heads on the arms and burgundy leather upholstery ($9,775).
Fine and decorative arts featured an oil on canvas portrait of a young Victorian girl in a green dress, signed J. Van Keirsbilck, framed with an overall size of 6 feet tall by 58 inches wide ($8,050); a fine Louis XIV-style silver plate and carved trestle base trolley, made around 1890 ($5,175); and a dore bronze centerpiece of cupids climbing a tree base with glass bowl ($3,565).
Antique lamps and lighting included a 19th century astral gasolier with original gold gilding ($13,800) and matching set of six astral gas wall sconces ($10,350); a rare circa 1920 metal Art Nouveau landing light of a lady with grapes, having a black marble base ($10,925); a walnut Victorian pedestal with gas light fixture, gilt bronze, with the original shades, circa 1870 ($10,350); and an ornate brass onyx piano lamp with molded floral Art Nouveau shade ($4,370).
Rounding out just some of the two-day auction’s list of top lots, a scarce 19th century Sevres clock in urn form, hand-painted and artist-signed, 26 inches tall by 15 inches wide, rose to $9,200; and a gold Victorian pier mirror with white marble base and cupids in the crown and base, monumental at 12 feet tall and made circa 1850, went to a determined bidder for $6,900.
Stevens Auction Company’s next big sale promises to be as big, if not bigger, than the one just described. It is the estate of the late Earlene S. Bowen, who owned and operated Bowen’s Antiques in Eupora, Miss., up until the time of her death at age 95 this past November. She was a dedicated collected of furniture and primitives and her business spanned ten buildings.
Ms. Bowen’s massive inventory couldn’t possibly be liquidated all in one day, not even all in one weekend. For that reason, Stevens Auction has spread out the sale to encompass three days and two weekends. Sale dates have been set for Apr. 6 and Apr. 12-13, although a fourth day could conceivably be added. The auction is scheduled to be held on-site, in Eupora, Miss.
Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly, at (662) 369-2200; or, you can e-mail them at stevensauction@