Historic Memphis mansion combined with firearm collection for blockbuster March 13 sale

NORTHPORT, Ala. – Contents from the historic Annesdale mansion-villa in Memphis, Tenn., which was decorated with rare finds from the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, will cross the block March 13. The treasures inside Annesdsale comprise five generations of one family and will be combined with several other private Southern collections and an important collection of antique guns.

The sale will be conducted at Hal Hunt Auctions’ gallery, located at 5925 Hwy. 43 in Northport.

Annesdsale was built in 1855 by Dr. Samuel Marsfield as a wedding present for his wife. In 1869, a Robert Brinkley bought the mansion as a wedding gift for his daughter, Annie Overton Brinkley. The 200-acre estate (pronounced “Annie’s Dale”) was named in her honor.

In 1876, Overton and her husband, Col. Robert Bogardus Snowden, spent their wedding anniversary at the Philadelphia Exposition, where they purchased many fine and unique furniture items that will be included in the sale. Their purchases included a 14-foot-long banquet table with matching marble-top sideboard, and a king-size bed with matching ornate mirror. The bed furnished is a high-back Renaissance bed, an oversized queen (almost king) at 69 inches by 82 inches and with bronze plaques.

Also purchased at the Exposition was a highly carved black walnut clock, similar to a mantel clock and made by Ferdinand Lapp. The clock was so striking it won awards at the show.
Included in the sale are four magnificent and matching Gothic bookcases, which the Snowdens purchased in 1932 from the heirs of Helen Johnstone Harris, known as the ‘Bride of Annandale.’ Annandale is another mansion estate, similar in name to Annesdale, except it was in Madison County, Miss., and burned to the ground years ago.

Ms. Harris was known as the ‘Bride of Annandale’ because, on the eve of her wedding to Henry Vick, he was killed in a duel. Three years later, she married a Confederate Episcopal Chaplin, George Harris, and the couple built a mansion at Mt. Helena Plantation in Rolling Fork, Miss. The bookcases and other furnishings were moved by rail to Rolling Fork.

Some of the other items that will be sold at the March 13 auction include a Regina bow-front music box changer made around 1900, playing 15 1/2-inch discs and rare because it has a stained glass door, not a plain glass door; numerous pieces of Sevres and Old Paris porcelain; and a John H. Belter rosewood dressing vanity, rosewood bed and étagère in the Rosalie pattern.

Also set to cross the block will be monumental bronze clock sets with cherubs; several pieces of great Pottier & Stymus Victorian furniture; and furniture by R.J. Horner, to include a winged lady’s partner’s desk, a winged desk and dining room table; a triple-door bookcase with Atlas men; and a matched pair of winged griffin lamps tables, about 42 inches in circumference.

Clocks made by R.J. Horner will include an 8 1/2-foot-tall mahogany grandfather clock with winged griffins and cherubs, and an oak grandfather clock labeled Tiffany. Also sold will be furniture by Thomas Brooks; a J. & J.W. Meeks laminated marble-top center table; and old paneled glass lamps and leaded glass lamps by makers such as Wilkinson and Chicago Mosaic.

Rounding out the expected top lots: an acanthus carved 4-poster bed, 10 feet tall (from Annesdale); two gold leaf, 8-foot-tall over-the mantel mirrors in original condition (also from Annesdale); a 19th-century rose medallion center bowl with bronze mounts; two walnut Victorian regulator grandfather clocks (one a Gilbert, Regulator #7; and one an Ansonia, Regulator #11); and a monumental Mitchells & Rammelsberg walnut half tester bed, 9 1/2 feet tall, circa 1865.

Antique paintings and sterling silver pieces will also cross the block March 13. In all, around 400 lots will come up for bid in a sale that will have no Internet bidding or phone bidding – only an in-house crowd and absentee bids. A preview is scheduled March 12. To view photos and for more information visit www.halhunt.com, call 205-333-2517, or reach the staff at at halhunt@bellsouth.net.

Photos courtesy Hal Hunt Auctions.


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