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Gorgeous P. Mallard bed made around 1850 brings $40,320 at Stevens Auction, May 1
A massive rosewood rococo ¾ tester plantation bed, crafted around 1850 by P. Mallard, soared to $40,320 at the sale of the contents of the magnificent Bella Vida mansion in Aberdeen, Miss., held May 1 by Stevens Auction Company of Aberdeen.
By: Ken Hall
It was an on-site auction, conducted at Bella Vida, a gorgeous home built in 1879 and situated on 1.87 acres. The home is an architectural treasure and one of only three Second Empire homes remaining in Mississippi. The two-and-a-half-
The auction almost didn’t happen, the weather was so threatening. “The forecast called for storms all day, and it sure looked like we would get rained out,” Mr. Stevens said, “but the fates smiled down on us. It wasn’t ‘til the very end, when we were finishing up, that the heavens opened up and the rains came down. Still, we had 200 people in attendance. It was a great sale.”
Around 600 mostly fresh-to-the-
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.
A four-piece rosewood, laminated parlor suite by J. & J.W. Meeks in the Hawkins pattern (circa 1855) did well. The sofa and two side chairs each gaveled for $17,920 while an arm chair went for $8,960. Also, a mahogany two-seated Federal love seat with deep red upholstery (circa 1830) brought $1,680, while a pair of rosewood laminated Belter side parlor chairs made $1,792.
Period furniture with mirrors got paddles wagging. A rosewood etagere with an oval mirror door in the base (circa 1855), 8 feet tall, realized $12,320; a rosewood rococo marble-top wash stand with original dressing, by J. & J.W. Meeks (circa 1850) fetched $11,200; and a Mallard rosewood marble-top dressing table with mirror (circa 1850) changed hands for $4,704.
A pair of gorgeous but very different tables brought identical prices of $21,280. One was a superior grade mahogany Empire banquet table (12 feet long), with book matched top, gadrooned edge, six original skirted leaves and an 8-inch column base with claw feet (circa 1880). The other was a rare and fine Meeks rosewood museum-quality marble-top parlor table.
Rounding out the furniture category: a mahogany slant front desk by R.J. Horner, with winged griffin (circa 1890) made a respectable $8,960; a French burl walnut linen press (circa 1820) climbed to $7,840; a mahogany Chippendale corner cabinet with claw feet and eight pane doors (circa 1880) rose to $3,360; and a flame mahogany Jackson press (circa 1840) hit $2,688.
From the fine art category, a Victorian painting on porcelain in a black shadow box with ornate gold frame (circa 1860) commanded $4,480; a pair of paintings on canvas depicting children eating with a dog and children playing a game (Munich, 19th century) fetched $2,240 each; and two porcelain wall plaques, showing a Roman man and woman, went for $672 each.
Clocks got the crowd juiced, beginning with a signed Meissen example with figural adornment, 43 inches tall (circa 1860) that breezed to $14,560. Also, an Old Paris clock in blue, gold and white (circa 1840) sold for $2,352; another Old Paris clock, signed Jacob Petet, purple (circa 1860), made $1,792; and a redwood Victorian mantel clock (circa 1880) garnered $560.
Vintage lamps and lighting illuminated the room. A very large 19th century cut glass 16-arm chandelier crossed the block for $16,800; a pair of rare bronze New York argand lamps with dolphin supports and etched glass shades with prisms (circa 1820) brought $3,136; and a pair of cranberry with gold enamel painting mantel lusters, 14 ½ inches tall, changed hands for $1,344.
In decorative accessories, a beautiful pair of blue and gold Old Paris vases, 20 inches tall and made circa 1860, went for $1,344 each, while two pairs of cranberry tie backs for drapes in gold gilt bronze (circa 1850) brought a respectable $896 each. Also, in the silver category, a large set of sterling flatware, more than 140 pieces and made by Towle, had a high bid of $5,040.
Estate jewelry pieces brought strong prices. A fabulous 20-carat diamond necklace soared to $14,560; a great 1930s 2 ½ carat center stone diamond ring surrounded by rubies topped out at $8,960; a stunning strand of black South Sea pearls with global diamond clasp found a new neck for $4,258; and a large pear-shaped diamond and gold pin, signed Jose Hess, breezed to $4,704.
Mirrors reflected well on the bidders who vied for them. A 19th century Meissen porcelain mirror with applied flowers and cherub (45 inches tall, circa 1880) made $6,720, while a very grand gold Victorian over-the-mantel mirror, 66 inches tall (circa 1855), rose to $4,032. Also, a rococo rosewood flip-top game table (36 inches diameter, circa 1850) went for $1,344.
Stevens Auction Company's next big sale will be a huge antique gun and toy auction slated for Saturday, June 12, in the firm's spacious gallery located at 609 North Meridian Street in Aberdeen, starting promptly at 9 a.m. (CST). Offered will be the unique lifetime collection of Mr. Carl Gillespie of Aberdeen, a dedicated collector of guns, knives and toys for over 25 years.
Mr. Gillespie's extensive collection is a snapshot of the greater Southeastern United States, from Natchez to Nashville (his preferred shopping area). Among his rare vintage guns are a Confederate rifle by Morse, several Winchester '73 lever action rifles, some .51-caliber carbine Civil War rifles, many Civil War and cowboy-era Colt revolvers, and swords and Bowie knives.
In addition, there will be hundreds of toys, to include antique steam engines, various trucks and cars, vintage lunch boxes, figurines, Disney figures, porcelain pieces, highly decorated spinning tops and Coca-Cola signage and merchandise. Some of the toys are wind-up, some run on batteries and some on friction, but all are in good shape. Some are still in the box.
The sale will also feature antique gas pumps, gas and oil signs and old farm equipment. Auction information and images of the items to be sold will be continually updated to the Stevens Auction Co. website, at www.stevensauction.com. Reserved seating and phone bids will be accepted. A preview will be held Fri., June 11, from 10-6, and Sat., June 12, from 7:30-9 a.m.
The auction after that is tentatively scheduled for late July (time and date TBD). It will be an on-site auction in Mobile, Ala., featuring pieces by Mallard, Belter, Meeks and Tiffany, plus a rare Steinway rosewood parlor grand piano. Check the website for details as July draws closer.
Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at (662) 369-2200, or you can e-mail them at stevensauction@
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Ken Hall writes pre-sale and post-sale press releases for auction houses, for a fee. He writes, submits and tracks stories for clients. Submissions are published in trade magazines, posted on industry websites and appear in local newspapers.