Just in time for Halloween: Vampire killing kit to cross the auction block


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Mahogany Empire banquet table, nearly 10 feet long, with acanthus-carved base and five leaves.


ABERDEEN, Miss. – October promises to be a busy month for Stevens Auction Company. The firm has scheduled two important estate sales this month. One will be held at the firm’s gallery facility at 609 North Meridian Street in Aberdeen on Oct. 17. Then, two weeks later, on Oct. 31 (Halloween), Stevens will conduct an on-site estate auction in Port Gibson, Miss.

“The Oct. 17 auction will include a nice selection of antique and furniture pieces from the collections of three prominent Southern estates,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “Featured will be items from the estates of two ladies from Alabama – Katherine Nelson Young of Athens and Lucy Russell McCaleb of Winfield. Both were dedicated collectors of fine antique items.”

Mrs. Young inherited her mother’s antique collection and continued to add to it throughout her life. Mrs. McCaleb was a schoolteacher of 42 years and a lifelong resident of Winfield until her death at age 102. Bidders will be able to preview their collections on Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Doors will open on the day of sale Oct. 17 at 8 a.m.

Expected top lots in the furniture category include a monumental rosewood high-back Victorian bed, signed Mitchell & Rammelsberg, heavily carved all over the head board, the “Love Bird” model, 9 feet 9 inches tall by 64 inches wide by 77 inches long; and a gorgeous Federal mahogany sofa with carved legs and claw feet and striking gold strip upholstery.

Other furniture pieces include a rosewood rococo sewing table with lift top and pierce carved stretcher (circa 1850), 24 inches wide by 16 inches deep; a walnut Victorian 6-piece parlor suite attributed to John Jelliff; a rosewood rococo marble-top étagère with a drawer in the bottom, 7 feet 6 inches tall; and a marble-top Victorian shaving stand with swing-out drawers, signed J. & J.W. Meeks.

Also from the fine furniture category: 19th century rosewood spoon-shaped side chairs by John Henry Belter (N.Y.); a flamed mahogany Empire wig dresser with marble insert in mint condition; an Aesthetic Movement half-commode with a bronze plaque in the door (circa 1875), with a gray marble top; and a beautiful mahogany Empire marble-top sideboard with Gothic backsplash and claw feet.

Decorative accessories will feature a Walter Durfree 9-tube clock with Hersbhepe works and Gothic mahogany carved case; a signed Bavarian hand-painted punch bowl with 12 cups; a nice blue Victorian art glass lemonade pitcher with 6 glasses; a blue Gone With the Wind lamp with white and purple flowers; and a 1907 oak Berliner Gram-o-Phone music machine by Victor Talking Machine Co.

The Oct. 31 estate sale will be an on-site event, to be held at the home of the late Miss Isabel Person, who lived nearly all of her 93 years on Church Street in Port Gibson, in a home built around 1880 in the late Victorian style. It had been purchased by her father, J.W. Person II, and over the years became a repository for the family’s many antiques. The home and its contents are both offered for sale.

Miss Person’s vast estate collections included wonderful period furniture, books, chests, clothes, silver, china, artifacts, papers and other timeless items, many of which have been stored in the 2,000-square-foot attic. But the entire house was adorned with fine antique objects from around the world, and most of these will be sold. Port Gibson is 27 miles south of Vicksburg, on Highway 61.

Furniture pieces from Miss Person’s home that will cross the block Oct. 31 include a walnut Victorian marble-top parlor table attributed to Thomas Brooks (circa 1860); a mahogany Empire marble-top pier table attributed to J.& J.W. Meeks, 44 inches wide by 22 inches deep; a period Empire mahogany sewing work table with thread drawer; and a primitive cherry 2-piece step-back cupboard.

Other furniture pieces include a mahogany Empire china cabinet with claw feet, 71 inches tall; a flamed mahogany Federal sofa with red upholstery, 90 inches long, with long, great carved apron and feet (circa 1830); a rare Empire hall seat with wide scroll feet, shoe doors and lift seat (circa 1840); and a mahogany Empire banquet table with acanthus carved base and five leaves, 10 feet long (circa 1880).

Fine art from Miss Person’s home includes an oil on canvas painting of a Confederate officer leading cavalry across a moonlit stream, 27 inches by 35 inches, signed F.H. Ricker; an original oil painting depicting harvest time by H. Livens, 16 inches by 24 inches; and a wonderful group of ebonized, Victorian paintings on ivory, most around 5 inches by 5 inches and with figural depictions.

Also from Miss Person’s estate are some outstanding examples of Newcomb College objects, to include a 6-inch teapot with roses, a 7-inch vase with night scene, a pair of 4-inch blue vases with leaf decorations, and a 2 ½ inch small vase with floral decoration. Also to be sold will be a monogrammed 4-piece sterling silver tea service with grapes and a Symphonion mahogany music box that still plays well.

Certain to attract intense bidder interest will be a rare and authentic Vampire Killing Kit (just in time for Halloween!), as well as Confederate currency and Civil War-era firearms.

The home and its contents will be available for preview on Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., concluding with music on Miss Isabel’s porch (a Port Gibson tradition). Auction doors will open at 8 a.m. on the day of sale, Oct. 31.

Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, call 662-369-2200, or e-mail stevensauction@bellsouth.net.

To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and the upcoming estate sales scheduled for Oct. 17 and Oct. 31, visit www.stevensauction.com.

Photos courtesy Stevens Auction Company.

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Rare Empire hall seat with wide scroll feet, shoe doors and lift seat (circa 1840).
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Rosewood high-back bed Victorian bed, signed Mitchell & Rammelsberg, with heavily carved head board.
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Vampire killing kit, Rosewood case with mother of pearl cross inlay, pistol, silver bullets in coffin case, silver occult dagger, Holy water vials.
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Rosewood rococo marble-top etagere with drawer in bottom, 7 feet 6 inches tall by 56 inches wide.
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Walnut Victorian marble-top parlor table attributed to Thomas Brooks (circa 1860).
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Walter Durfree 9-tube clock with Hersbhepe works and Gothic mahogany carved case.

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