VA State Capitol furniture, estate firearms, antiques to be auctioned April 21-22

RICHMOND, Va. — Historic furniture from Virginia’s State Capitol will cross the auction block April 22, 2010. The items are being deaccessioned by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a result of a complete restoration, renovation and expansion of the Capitol in 2007.

The Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, was the first public building in the New World built expressly for our new republic. In 1906 the House and Senate Chambers were added to in order to provide much-needed space for the legislature, and lavish decorative elements were added to "properly ornament" the spacious interiors. In 2007 the Capitol was rededicated following extensive renovations and expansion to enhance the visitor experience and ensure that the Capitol continues to be a worthy symbol of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The 2007 project called for the interior of the Capitol to be returned to its early 20th-century appearance, resulting in a need to deaccession many pieces used and displayed in the historic chambers and throughout the hallowed halls of one of America’s most important government buildings.

Motley’s Auction & Realty Group of Richmond, Va., has been selected to make available to the public the furnishings, fixtures, and other items removed from the Capitol during this restoration. A large portion of this collection was sold on Feb. 24-25, 2010, and due to the great success of that auction the decision was made to release the final holdings from this renovation. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Virginia Capitol Foundation, the nonprofit organization designated to support the Capitol, Executive Mansion and Capitol Square with program development, fundraising and marketing.

Among the featured items that the sale will include are a host of chairs in various styles, conference tables, a selection of side and occasional tables, a chandelier and many other objects that graced the State Capitol.

“As far as we know this is the final offering of items deaccessioned from the Virginia State Capitol,” said Darrell Olgers, Motley’s Vice President, Antiques & Estates Division.

Also of special interest to the Richmond community is an early stoplight reported to be one of Richmond’s first traffic signals. Bearing no resemblance to modern stoplights, this piece of history appears handmade.

This historic two-day auction event will feature the Sportsman and Firearms auction on April 21, live in the gallery with public, Internet, absentee, and phone bidding available. This portion of the auction, featuring approximately 350 lots, will start at 4 p.m. and continue until approximately 9 p.m. It will feature a large collection of garden fountains, bronzes, a marble garden bench and an array of cast iron garden furniture, and a large selection gold and silver coins.

The highlight of the evening on April 21 for hunters and collectors alike will be more than 160 antique and sporting firearms, which have been consigned from multiple estates across Virginia. These firearms include a special collection of Civil War firearms plus a large section of World War I and World War II military arms and accessories. Also featured will be two report cards from Washington College signed by none other than Robert E. Lee and a lap desk purportedly having belonged to Jefferson Davis.

The antiques and estates portion of this event will take place on the second day, April 22, and is strictly an Internet-only auction. It will include the Virginia State Capitol items, a collection of silver formerly owned by noted collector and dealer Betsy Mumford of Williamsburg, numerous lots of antique furniture, contemporary furniture, a large collection of early tin toys and dolls, a collection of Masonic jewelry and collectibles and Oriental rugs.

For the sportsman and collector, this second day also features an assortment of vintage fishing items, Native American artifacts, hundreds of collectible wood planes and more. In excess of 500 lots will be offered for auction on this second day.

For more information on this or any upcoming Motley’s auction visit or call 804-355-2100.

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