A magnificent Federal dining room suite, handcrafted of the finest mahogany in the late 19th century and in superb, all-original condition, sold for $16,500 at a multi-estate sale held Nov. 3 by Stevens Auction Company in Aberdeen, Miss. It was the last sale of the year for the firm. The next big sale will be Jan. 19.

[USPRwire, Sat Nov 10 2007] A magnificent Federal dining room suite, handcrafted of the finest mahogany in the late 19th century and in superb, all-original condition, sold for $16,500 at a multi-estate sale held Nov. 3 by Stevens Auction Company. It was the last sale of the year for the firm, which is already preparing for another blockbuster sale slated for Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008, also in Aberdeen.
The dining room suite included an acanthus-carved sideboard with glass pulls (60” tall x 72” wide); an acanthus-carved dining table with six leaves (54” wide x 125” long); a set of nine dining chairs, with claw feet and striped upholstery; an acanthus-carved, curved glass china cabinet; and an acanthus-carved two-drawer server with glass pulls (42” tall x 46” wide) -- all in like-new condition.
The sale featured merchandise from seven prominent area estates ??" about 500 lots in all. “It wasn't the most heavily attended sale we've ever had ??" around 150 people were in the room ??" but it was a lively auction because of the quality antiques offered,” said Dwight Stevens. “We had very active phone and absentee bidding components. It was a long and busy day, and everyone went home happy.”
Stevens pointed to two factors that may have contributed to a light crowd. “It was late in the year, when people are already starting to think about the holidays,” he observed, “and it seemed like every auction house in the country had a sale going on that day for some reason. I looked in one of the trade publications and couldn't believe it. Page after page listed auctions scheduled for November 3rd.”
Still, the sale was a success, due in some measure to the eclectic mix of bidders who made the trip. “I was encouraged by the number of younger people in the crowd,” Mr. Stevens pointed out. “It used to be we'd only see folks 40 and over waving paddles, but this time we had a good number of young professionals in the room who understand that antiques and collectibles are a good investment.”
Following are highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 10% buyer's premium.
The top lot of the day was a framed oil-on-canvas painting by the Uruguayan-born American artist Francis Luis Mora (1874-1940). Titled “Ladies of Leisure” and signed and dated (1911), the work soared to $26,400. Also, a framed oil-on-canvas boating scene of the New England coast by Charles Woodbury (American, 1864-1940), signed and dated (1901), hammered for $7,150.
Also in the fine art category, a framed oil-on-Masonite panel work by Paul Lewis Clemens (American, 1911-1992), titled “South Wind,” signed and dated, rose to $5,720; a framed oil-on-canvas painting by William Lester Stevens (American, 1888-1969), titled “View of Boston,” signed, fetched $9,900; and a bronze statue by Frederick Remington, titled “Mountain Man” (circa 1920) made $2,530.
Period furniture was offered in abundance, as it is at most Stevens auctions. A rosewood Victorian two-door bookcase with pierce-carved crest (circa 1850) went for $5,500; an oversize walnut Victorian hall tree, totally original (circa 1860), achieved $3,630; and a rosewood Victorian marble-top Mitchells & Rammelsberg dresser with carved pulls and pierce-carved crown (circa 1855) hit $3,250.
A flamed mahogany American bookcase, attributed to J.&J. Meeks, N.Y., 91” tall x 54” wide (circa 1840) crossed the block at $2,970; a huge walnut Victorian Renaissance Revival two-door transitional wardrobe, almost ten feet tall and over five feet wide (circa 1875), realized $2,640; and a rosewood Victorian drop-front secretary, 95” tall x 48” wide (circa 1860), changed hands for $2,420.
Wonderful antique beds are also a staple at most Stevens sales. A monumental flamed mahogany Empire full tester plantation bed, beautifully crafted around 1840, saw a high bid of $9,900; and a walnut Victorian half tester queen size bed (circa 1890) went for $5,500. Also, a walnut Victorian Renaissance love seat in black needlepoint and with fox heads on the arms (circa 1875) reached $1,045.
Many antique lighting pieces were sold. A solid bronze Victorian floor lamp with a yellow cased glass shade, converted from oil to electrical use (65” tall, circa 1880), lit up the room for $3,080; a Dore bronze Victorian astral lamp, attributed to Dietz (30.5” tall), commanded $2,420; and a Victorian astral lamp with glass column and marble base, signed Cornelius (circa 1840), made $2,200.
Decorative accessories did well. A bronze fountain figure of a child nymph holding aloft a fish, signed Mabel Conkling and marked Gorham Founders (circa 1920), hit $3,410; a hand-carved hanging wall mirror, with French influence and elaborate carvings (7' tall, circa 1890), reached $2,090; and a pair of gold leaf cherub crowns, once housed in a New Orleans opera house, fetched $770 each.
Two ruby mantle lusters with gold decorations (14.5” tall, circa 1890) realized $1,980 for the pair; a pair of early blue Old Paris porcelain vases with gold decorations and pan handles (circa 1850) gaveled for $1,100 each; a seven-piece Limoges tankard set, green with gold dragon handles (15” tall) sold for $990; and two Old Paris Victorian vases with painted flowers went for $440 each.
An intriguing walnut Victorian boot jack, 31” tall and made around 1875, fetched $1,210; a mahogany Victrola with sorting trays and an unusual front door, in nice playing condition (circa 1920), made $1,100; a mahogany Victorian dental cabinet with twenty drawers and milk glass top, complete with dental tools (circa 1920), realized $990; and a Victorian silver-plated toilet paper holder hit $205.
The Stevens Auction Company sale scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2008, starting at 10 a.m., could well be the biggest and best in the firm's history. “I fully expect this sale to gross several million dollars, that's how packed we are with top-quality merchandise in a variety of categories,” Mr. Stevens said. “We're really looking to kick off the new year in style. Mark your calendars, everyone.”
Fine period furniture will include a rare rosewood Belter bed with cupid crown; a Belter sofa in the Strong pattern; a matched pair of Meeks marble-top parlor tables; a Belter meridienne with scalamandre upholstery; Victorian bedroom suites; and tester beds. Also sold will be bronze and crystal wall sconces; and outstanding 19th century lighting, to include gasoliers, astral lamps and argond lamps.
Also, collectors of rare and vintage mechanical banks please note: this sale will feature 50 all-original (no repros) examples. Over a dozen will be museum-quality, to include pieces by the J.&E. Stevens Co., the coveted turn-of-the-century maker. Models will include Chief Big Moon; William Tell; Teddy (Roosevelt) and Bear; and Dark Town Battery. Most boast better-than-average paint.
The sale will be held at Stevens Auction Company's showroom facility, located at 609 No. Meridian Street in Aberdeen. The firm 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 e-mail them at stevens@intop.net. For more information about the January sale, click on www.stevensauction.com.

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