Estate of legendary interior designer to be auctioned in Natchez, Miss., in October

The estate of Jimmy Pippen – one of the most legendary and renowned interior designers and antiques dealers in the South – will be sold the weekend of Oct. 3-4 at the brand-new Natchez Convention Center in Natchez, Miss. Pippen recently passed away at age 53, of a massive heart attack. He was originally from Alabama, but lived most of his life in the Natchez area.

“Jimmy Pippen was without a doubt one of the most talented designers of our times,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company of Aberdeen, Miss., the firm selected to conduct the sale. “He used both old and new to create tasteful ambiences in some of the finest homes in the Southeastern United States. He was a friend and client who died at the top off his game.”

Some of Pippen’s work over the last 15 years, all in the Natchez area,  included the lobby of the Eola Hotel and lavishly furnished antebellum homes like Ravennaside, The Orchard, Magnolia Hall and Cherokee. He also decorated the Cypress Pond Plantation in Albany, Ga., and at the time of his death was helping to restore the Nottoway Plantation House, near Baton Rouge.

The sale will comprise the contents of his two stores, Pippen Antiques and Pippen Interiors; items from his personal residence, which he considered a perfect creation and called “Paradise”; the contents of another home, a three-story, 1850s townhouse called The Vineyard that he restored; and treasures from several warehouses.

Pippen spared no expense when it came to his homes and lifestyle. He poured a small fortune into his “Paradise” residence, going so far as to airlift palm trees in by helicopter. “He did work at just about all the important homes throughout Mississippi, as well as Memphis and Alabama,” said Stevens. “He was as well known a personality in Natchez as anyone who ever hailed from there.”

The Oct. 3 session, starts at 10 a.m. and will feature decorator items, such as lamps, fine porcelain, bronze statues, decorative accessories and lighting. The Oct. 4 session starts at 10 a.m. and will feature beautiful antique furniture, 19th-century lamps, hand-made wool rugs, oil paintings by listed artists, silver, crystal, 19th-century porcelains and, art objects and accessories.

Following is a sampling of what bidders will be vying for from Pippen’s vast estate:

• 5-piece salon set (settee and four chairs) with period depictions on gold upholstery.

• 19th-century Old Sheffield plate epergne, silver on copper.

• 19th-century rosewood tester bed, 9 feet 4 inches tall, attributed to Prudence Mallard.

• Hand-painted ivory of a French lady, 3 inches by 4 inches, signed by the artist.

• French empire clock with bronze ormolu decorations (circa 1810).

• Pair of two-tier golden bronze round tables with marble top, ram’s head and hoof feet.

• Bronze astral lamp with etched shade, 12 inches tall.

• Pair of double-arm Argand whale oil bronze nickel Acanthus leaf lamps (B. Gardiner, N.Y.)

• 11-piece Louis Phillippe salon suite with peach-colored flowered upholstery.

• Gold-leaf Victorian Rococo pier mirror with marble-top base (over 10 feet tall).

• Vintage rosewood harp, made around 1825 by Sebastian Erard (Patent No. 4596).

• Rosewood full tester bed made by William McKracken of New Orleans (122 inches tall).

• French Empire pier table with original gold leaf stenciling and mahogany columns.

• Oil-on-canvas rendering of soldiers on horseback, taking two nude ladies.

• Mahogany queen-size Rococo tester plantation bed in the Mallard style, 12 feet tall.

The weekend will also feature the living estate of Charles Davenport, Mr. Pippen’s friend and next-door neighbor. Mr. Davenport has also accumulated many fine antiques and decorative items over the course of his long and fruitful life. A preview for both the Pippen and Davenport estates will be held all day Thursday, Oct. 2. Hundreds of fine lots will change hands over the course of the weekend.

Stevens Auction Company was founded in 1984 and conducts on-site sales throughout the Southeast, as well as at its gallery facility in Aberdeen. For more information call 662-369-2200, e-mail or visit