ABERDEEN, Miss. – A stunning 5-piece rosewood Victorian bedroom suite, signed Mitchell & Rammelsberg (circa 1860), soared to $51,700 at the living estate sale of Katherine Creamer, a discerning collector from Mobile, Ala., whose stately mansion was built to contain her vast collections. The sale was held June 13 by Stevens Auction Company at the firm’s gallery facility in Aberdeen, Miss.
The bedroom suite was the top achiever of the 500 lots that crossed the block. “I’m surprised it didn’t bring more, frankly,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “A similar suite that wasn’t even as nice sold for over $100,000 some time ago, but that was before the economy took a hit. I guess it was a sign of the times, but the winning bidder – from Buford, Ga. — got a fabulous bargain.”
The suite included a half tester bed, wardrobe, dresser, wash stand and half commode. It was a spectacular grouping, but Ms. Creamer only bought the finest furnishings and wasn’t afraid to spend her money. “She would go to New Orleans to shop, on Royal Street, and if she saw something she liked she bought it, regardless of cost,” Mr. Stevens said. “She was very choosy. Everything had to be the best.”
A crowd of around 300 people packed the Stevens Auction showroom, located at 609 North Meridian Street in Aberdeen, while more than 250 phone and absentee bids were recorded. “We sold for eight solid hours, and the people who were there when the auction started were still there at the end, too,” Mr. Stevens said. “It was an unusual sale, but then, Mrs. Creamer was a remarkable collector.”
Additional highlights from the auction follow. All prices quoted include a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
Monumental beds, prevalent at so many Stevens auctions, were offered at this event, too. A rosewood half tester plantation bed by C. Lee, queen size and supreme grade (126 inches tall by 79 inches long, circa 1855), rose to $22,000; and a rosewood cluster column full tester plantation bed with original testers, attributed to Mallard (112 inches tall by 77 inches long, circa 1850) realized $13,200.
A Victorian rosewood sofa by John H. Belter in the Rosalie pattern with grapes, with a matching set of four rosewood Victorian side chairs and a matching arm chair, gaveled for $15,400; and a solid rosewood parlor suite by Alexander Roux (circa 1850), including a sofa (79 inches long), a pair of solid rosewood arm chairs, and a set of four rosewood side chairs, went to a determined bidder for $12,100.
A 19th-century figural bronze work by Emile Picault (Fr., 1833-1915), titled Victoria, 34 inches tall on the original red marble case (Fabrication Francais, Paris), hammered for $2,640; and an oil on canvas portrait of a Southern belle in the original frame, topped out at $2,420. Also, a stately German mahogany grandfather clock with 9-tube Westminster chime, 8 feet tall (circa 1890) reached $4,675.
Mirrors reflected well on the winning bidders who scored them. An Anglo-American giltwood convex looking glass mirror in the Regency style (circa 1800-1825, 45 inches tall) garnered $9,900; an ornate Victorian oval mantle mirror (circa 1850, 82 inches tall by 55 inches wide) climbed to $5,720; and a standing gold leaf Victorian pier mirror (circa 1870, 90 inches tall by 37 inches wide) hit $3,300.
Back to furniture, a rosewood marble-top etagere attributed to Daniel Pabst (circa 1855), with pierce-carved crowns, achieved $13,750; an oversize double-door rosewood rococo linen press with pierce-carved crown, attributed to J.& J.W. Meeks (circa 1850), made $12,100; and a flamed mahogany Federal sideboard with starburst doors, attributed to Anthony Quervelle (circa 1820), realized $11,000.
A set of eight heavy Irish Chippendale dining chairs (circa 1860) brought $11,880; a rosewood Victorian chair by Meeks in the Hawkins pattern made $2,420; a period Empire marble-top center table with carved wood gold leaved swans (circa 1840) fetched $5,280; a rosewood rococo 2-door wardrobe by P. Mallard (circa 1865) earned $4,730; and a rosewood single-door armoire (circa 1860) hit $4,070.
An early mahogany wine cellaret with metal liner and bronze handles (circa 1860) demanded $4,400; a rosewood Empire block-front secretary signed Thomas Brooks (8 feet tall, circa 1850) went for $3,960; a rosewood laminated Victorian sofa by John H. Belter in the Rosalie pattern with grapes coasted to $3,960; and a rosewood marble-top etagere by John H. Belter (circa 1855) sold for $3,190.
Lamps and lighting performed well, too. An American Rococo Revival lacquered brass 8-arm gasolier, attributed to Starr & Fellows and Co. (N.Y.), lit up the room for $8,800; a French Empire crystal chandelier, 4 feet tall, breezed to $3,960; a pair of 19th-century French bronze whale oil lamps with tulip shades reached $1,320; and a blue Meissen figural banquet lamp, still oil, garnered $1,320.
A Victorian Wave Crest porcelain jewelry box with bronze mounting, 7 inches tall, hit $2,420; a rare and unusual Bohemian cranberry decorative carafe with glass stopper (circa 1820) fetched $2,420; a pair of 19th-century Sevres scenic capped urns realized $1,760; a Victorian Wave Crest porcelain collar box with flowers (circa 1880s) sold for $1,210; and a Brilliant Cut Glass powder jar made $660.
A hand-blown cranberry art glass with applied rope handle went for $990; a Victorian cranberry pitcher with applied handle achieved $440; a pair of Old Paris mantle vases topped out at $990; a pair of Old Paris with ships, 14 inches tall, earned $990; a Thomas Webb & Co. art glass pitcher with butterflies, dated 1888, rose to $880; and a pair of Moser-style cranberry mantle vases brought $1,760.
Rounding out the top lots: an oak Victor music machine by Victor Talking Machine Co. (Serial #1816, Type D, circa 1900-1920) played a sweet tune for $4,290; a rosewood Victorian baby’s cradle soared to $2,970; a bronze desk box signed Louis C. Tiffany, Inc., climbed to $1,100; and an Alaskan Polar Bear rug, mounted in 1969 (before the 1972 Endangered Species Act took effect) brought $990.
Stevens Auction Company will conduct an on-site auction Aug. 1, in Macon, Miss, which will be held in a huge antebellum home built in 1844 for Judge Jernigan and later owned by a prominent landowner.
Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at 662-369-2200, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and its sales, visit www.stevensauction.com.