Civil War Items bring big bucks at Auction
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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    306 times

    Civil War Items bring big bucks at Auction

    A museum quality parlor table made around 1855 and attributed to J&J Meeks of New York sold for $32,000 in a massive two-day estate sale held March 16-17 by Stevens Auction Company. The marble-top, rosewood Rococo table, 42” long x 33” wide, was magnificently carved, with a finial bouquet of flowers. Prices quoted include a 10% buyer's premium.
    “This sale was a huge success by any measure,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “The Friday session featured two lifetime collections of Civil War memorabilia, and we had around 200 people just for that. The following day, the crowd was twice as large, at about 400 people, and it was all new faces. These weren't casual spectators. These were aggressive, motivated buyers.”
    The Civil War consignors included a Tupelo man whose collection was so enormous he housed it in a private museum. The other collector, from Savannah, Tenn., had “an encyclopedic mind when it came to knowledge of the Civil War,” Mr. Stevens pointed out. Items sold included long-barrel firearms and black powder guns; battle swords; caps and cadet uniforms; photographs; and pottery.
    Most of the top lots changed hands on Saturday, however, as Mr. Stevens stacked quality merchandise from several area estates, including the court-ordered absolute sale of an estate comprising more than 225 high-end items. The auction was held at Stevens Auction Company's spacious new facility, located one block north of the Adams French Mansion (still being renovated), in Aberdeen.
    Highlights from the Saturday session included:
    Tables did exceptionally well. In addition to the top lot, another J&J Meeks example – a Rococo, heavily carved, marble-top parlor table (circa 1855) -- went for $9,200; a signed R.J. Horner library table, beautifully carved, with winged griffins (circa 1890), fetched $7,000; and a mahogany early Empire pier table, with gold leaf dolphin posts and white marble top (circa 1830), made $4,300.
    The cover of the sale catalog featured a pair of extremely rare Belter rosewood parlor chairs in the Bird pattern, with pierce-carved backs, tufted silk upholstery and Napoleonic bees (circa 1855). A single buyer paid $10,300 each for them. Also, a J&J Meeks laminated rosewood armed parlor chair, also with tufted silk upholstery and Napoleonic bees (circa 1855), realized $8,800.
    Stevens auctions seem to be synonymous with monumental Mitchells & Rammelsberg beds, and this sale was no exception. A rosewood Rococo half tester bed attributed to Mitchells & Rammelsberg (circa 1860), soared to $11,000, while an oversize, flame mahogany full tester plantation bed (9 ft. 9 in. tall x 65 in. wide x 78 in. long, circa 1840), found a new owner for $9,200.
    “We were pleased to offer some of the best glassware I've seen in some time, much of it coming out of a New York City apartment,” Mr. Stevens remarked. Top offerings in the category included a stunning Dresden porcelain chandelier (circa 1920) that garnered $3,800; and a large, cut glass basket (circa 1890), that brought $650.
    Certain lots were guaranteed head-turners. One was a hand-made scale replica of the famous Robert E. Lee riverboat, painstakingly crafted over 30 years and two generations (the man who started the project handed it off to his son, who completed the task). Finely detailed and made of walnut and permanently mounted in a walnut case measuring over 7 feet long, the piece sold for $10,400.
    A blue Sevres mantel clock with full-bodied cupids and an Austrian scene (circa 1870), made $3,400; a pair of 19th century Dresden palace-sized urns, with rams' heads and a brass base (circa 1890), achieved $3,200 each; an Art Nouveau hand-painted vase, 16 in. tall, signed Mont Joye, sold for $950; and a pair of hand-painted, Royal Vienna porcelain plaques (circa 1860), brought $900 each.
    An extraordinary early handwoven Austrian tapestry (7 ft. x 7 ft., circa 1820) changed hands for $2,800; an authentic horse-drawn doctor's buggy, all complete (circa 1900), rolled away for $1,900; a framed double print of bird dogs (38 in. x 25 in., circa 1920) reached $750; and a nice assortment of whiskey jars dating from 1840-1930 sold for $100-$600 each.
    Highlights from the Civil War session on Friday night included:
    Weapons from the era piqued the interest of the crowd. The top lot of the night was a Colt .44 caliber Dragoon pistol (2nd model, 1850); it rang out for $19,000. Also, an over-and-under .40 caliber shotgun, side hammer with patch box, signed in two places (Griswalt, Casedega, N.Y., circa 1840), hit $2,400; and an 1892 Winchester 38-41 caliber rifle with 30 in. barrel sold for $2,200.
    A Civil War-era slave's leg iron, with ball and chain (circa 1850), commanded $1,400; a reunion badge for the Forest Cavalry Corps. (circa 1900), saw a top bid of $750; and an actual slave tag (Charleston, #475, 1862), went for $700. Sports cards and memorabilia also came under the gavel on Friday evening, with the high achiever being a Babe Ruth signed baseball; it was a hit at $900.
    There were so many lots to sell over the course of the two days, not all of them came up for bid, so the spillover will be incorporated into Stevens Auction's next sale, on April 21st. Other quality consignments have also been secured, to include a magnificent bedroom suite from an estate in New Orleans, with a Prudence Millard bed; and the estate of a former cotton planter in Greenwood, Miss.
    The sale will also feature the entire contents of Troy Plantation, the onetime home of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States. Mr. Polk lived in Troy Plantation from 1835-1849. The facility has been reduced in size over the years, but is still a working plantation, comprising about 950 acres of property.
    If you're going to be in the area anyway, or would like to plan an extended visit, you might want to check out the 32nd Aberdeen Pilgrimage, from April 13-15. Visitors will experience a timeline of history through architectural beauty. Bring your camper and stay at the Blue Bluff Campground overlooking the Tenn-Tom Waterway. For info, click on
    For more information about the upcoming April 21 sale, or to learn more about Stevens Auction Company, you may visit the firm online at
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    Jul 2006
    Corpus Christi, Tx.
    Garrett Ace 250
    18 times

    Re: Civil War Items bring big bucks at Auction

    WOW! Gypsy: I could be wrong, but there seem to have been some real deals there! The Slave Ball & Chain, The Charleston Slave Tag, & the Babe Ruth signed Baseball (assuming they were authentic & in decent condition)
    made someones day! Good Auction! Thanks for the info!

    HH Joe
    Corpus Christi, Tx.
                          Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy!



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