All eyes on Mississippi as major, multi-estate auction holds work of important cabinet makers

ABERDEEN, Miss.) – There will be no rest for the weary at  Stevens Auction Co. this month. The firm has two major events lined up: the multi-estate auction of three prominent estates April 16, 2011; and the on-site liquidation of the contents of Nostalgia Furniture, nationally known furniture makers April 30, 2011.

The April 16 multi-estate auction will be held at Stevens’ gallery facility, 609 North Meridian Street, in Aberdeen, Miss. One estate features several pieces of Belter, Meeks, Boudoine and other important cabinetmakers. Another sale is court-ordered and has over 300 pieces. And the last also has 300+ pieces in a wide array of categories.

This pair of bronze Argand lamps with cut glass
shades, 21 inches tall, circa 1900, will be  offered during the April 16, 2011 auction.

Some anticipated highlights from the April 16 auction include two Empire banquet tables, four Empire secretaries, Victorian bookcases, a set of six rosewood dining chairs, a set of eight Chippendale antique chairs, a Meeks marble-top parlor table and over ten other marble-top parlor tables, period Empire sideboards, cut glass and glassware, Oriental rugs and much more.

The April 30 on-site Nostalgia Furniture auction will be held on County Road 53 North in Ethelsville, Ala., located just a few miles outside Columbus, Miss., on U.S. Highway 82. “Nostalgia Furniture was a family-run Southern business that personified entrepreneurship, ingenuity and perseverance,” said Dwight Stevens, the owner of Stevens Auction Company.

Nostalgia Furniture started from humble beginnings in 1990, when Mike and Martha Ellis, who were already retired, decided they might like to open a furniture shop in downtown Columbus, Miss. After seeing a collection of Indonesian furniture in Atlanta, they were hooked. They opened the one store in Columbus, and later added a second location, in Birmingham, Ala.

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Never settling for anything less than the very best, the Ellises would personally travel to Indonesia, to learn for themselves how to make a better product for their discriminating clients. After taking on a business partner from San Francisco, the couple began working from a factory, which at one time employed about 250 highly trained professional artisans. Quality was job one.

At the peak of their success, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis were shipping between 200 and 300 pieces per week. Each one was a superior, high-quality product. Eventually, the Ellises oversaw operations in North Carolina, Georgia, California and Mississippi, and they were featured in several nationally known magazines for their contributions to the furniture industry in the U.S.

Ironically, it was not a downturn in the economy or a drop-off in demand for product that led to the demise of the business. Rather, it was events and complications following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. These caused the Ellises’ investment in Jakarta, Indonesia to run into a number of deep and troubling disruptions. These eventually led to the closing of their Indonesian venture.

All of the furniture to be sold April 30 was manufactured at the peak of the business’s success. Each piece has been made from kiln-dried mahogany and teakwood, and every one is top-quality and intended to last a lifetime.

To learn more about Stevens Auction Co. and the upcoming April 16 and 30 sales, call 662-369-2200 or, you can e-mail the gallery. No Internet bidding will be available at either auction, but phone and absentee bids will be accepted.

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