John Henry Belter furniture from prominent estate to be sold at Hal Hunt

A collection of more than 35 pieces of John Henry Belter furniture, including a rare pierce-carved laminated bed (one of only two known), will be sold by Hal Hunt Auctions on Saturday, Feb. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. The only other known example of the bed is on display at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

The Belter pieces – all circa 1850s – are from the estate of Gerald Lawhorn, who recently passed away in Georgia, where he lived at his magnificent home, Cypress Pond Plantation. “Mr. Lawhorn was a very discerning collector,” said Hal Hunt. “This is a rare opportunity for the established collector, as well as the savvy beginner, to bid on some truly wonderful Belter pieces and other items.”

The pierce-carved laminated bed is stamped (or embossed) in six places, with a patent date. It is labeled on the inside and signed John Henry Belter. There is a matching dresser, also stamped and signed by Belter. The bed is pictured in the book, American Furniture of the 19th Century, 1840s-1880s. Other pieces from Lawhorn’s vast collection are pictured in the book, and all of them will be sold.

Additional Belter pieces in Lawhorn’s collection include the following:

• A rare 10-piece “Milwaukee” pattern parlor suite.

• Pierce-carved center tables.

• A “Rosalie” center table with matching etageres.

• A “Tutthill King” pattern sofa and side chair.

• A “Fountain Elms” recamier (fainting couch).

• A pierce-carved server.

• A dressing vanity with matching cheval mirror.

• An armoire.

The sale will also feature an extremely rare multi-form card table (featured in the above-named book), with a turtle-top center. The table divides into two console tables that flip open to reveal another pair of tables for playing cards. The Rococo-carved piece was made by Charles A. Boudoine, a New York cabinetmaker. Another star lot is a 9-foot-tall Thomas Brooks cylinder roll secretary desk.

Examples of works by J. & J.W. Meeks include a rare pierced-carved sideboard; an 8-piece “Hawkins” pattern parlor suite; and a rosewood cylinder secretary desk. Also expected to get paddles wagging will be a Mitchells & Rammelsberg half tester bed; a McCracken four-poster bed; and a rosewood Steinway & Sons grand piano (circa 1850s) in fine condition.

rare german dollSevres fans won’t be disappointed. Offerings will include a matching pedestal and urn, 6 feet tall; a three-piece clock set; and Sevres and bronze centerpieces. Also featured will be over 12 gasolier chandeliers (at least one made by Cornelius & Baker). Doll fans will feast on a nice collection of 35 German-made dolls (1880-1920), some quite large (3 feet tall), and all intact and in good condition.

One of 35 German-made dolls (1880-1920), some quite large and all intact and in good condition.

Lamps slated to cross the block will be a Tiffany lamp in the Acorn pattern; 16 lamps from a variety of coveted makers, such as Wilkinson, Chicago Mosaic, Jefferson, Pittsburgh and Pairpoint; and 15 Sumbro solar lamps (circa late 1800s), originally gas, but since electrified. Also set to come under the gavel will be a dozen Pier mirrors, gilded gold leaf, ranging in height from 10-12 feet.

A collection of ten music boxes includes a Regina 20-inch changer, in mint original condition and in an oak case with griffins; an extremely rare Regina music box in a Vernie Martin case, all hand-painted and decorated; and a rare Edison Opera mahogany cylinder player with wooden horn. Antique oil paintings will include signed works by A. Dunnington, Giovanni Grignaschi, Peter Leily and others.

Black Forest pieces will include a walnut cabinet, 10 feet tall and heavily carved, with boars, deer and game; and a hall tree; a gorgeous Mitchells & Rammelsberg pierce-carved cheval mirror, about 8 feet tall; a Lyon Heely harp; and an oak columned fireplace mantel (8 feet tall,).

For more information, call 205-333-2517, e-mail or visit

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