MUSEUM-QUALITY ROSEWOOD ROCOCO BONNET-TOP ETAGERE, MADE CIRCA 1855 BY THOMAS BROOKS, SELLS FOR $63,250 AT STEVENS AUCTION, APRIL 18th

. April 29, 2015

The étagère was the top lot in an on-site auction held at 2011 35th Avenue in Meridian, Miss.

MERIDIAN, Miss. – A rare, museum-quality rosewood rococo étagère with a bonnet top, made by the renowned 19th century American furniture maker Thomas Brooks, sold for $63,250 to take top lot honors at Stevens Auction Company’s April 18th multi-estate auction. The event was held on-site at 2011 35th Avenue in Meridian. Stevens Auction Company is based in nearby Aberdeen.

Rare, museum-quality rosewood rococo étagère with a bonnet top, made by 19th century American furniture maker Thomas Brooks ($63,250).

Rare, museum-quality rosewood rococo étagère with a bonnet top, made by 19th century American furniture maker Thomas Brooks ($63,250).

The étagère, standing 9 feet 2 inches tall, was made prior to the Civil War, circa 1855. It was a rare model for Brooks, which no doubt drove up the price. Another top lot was a magnificent, heavily carved mahogany Chippendale-style grandfather clock with nine tubes and Elliott works of London. Made circa 1890 and standing 8 feet 2 inches tall, the clock hammered for $12,650.

Approximately 150 people braved the threat of rain to attend the auction in person (tents were on-site to deal with the precipitation, but as it turned out they weren’t needed). Another 275 bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com. Around 100 people submitted phone bids, while about 50 left (or absentee) bids were recorded. By the time it was all over, around 350 lots had changed hands.

“It was a solid auction from start to finish, with the good news being that people are still buying high-end Victorian pieces, a category that’s been a little bit soft in recent years,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “If the pieces in the auction were only so-so, that might not have been the case, but the furniture was top-quality and the prices realized were high, too.”

A perfect example was the five-piece rosewood rococo laminated parlor suite beautifully made by J. & J.W. Meeks around 1855. The set, executed in the Stanton Hall pattern, was split up into three lots and comprised a sofa, 48 inches tall by 64 inches wide; a matched pair of armless side chairs; and an arm chair. They sold for a combined $15,000, a price equivalent to their quality.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Staying with furniture, a magnificent mahogany English breakfront with individual pane glass doors, adjustable shelves and inlaid doors, circa 1800, 8 feet tall, finished at $7,188; a totally original cherry primitive sugar chest, made circa 1830 and 34 ½ inches tall, rose to $4,600; and an early pine primitive Southern hunt board, made circa 1840, 61 ½ inches wide, brought $2,990.

A rare rosewood laminated recamier in the Rosalie With Grapes pattern, attributed to the 19th century New York furniture maker John H. Belter, circa 1855, with a 9-inch curved end, fetched $12,650; a rosewood rococo laminated parlor chair in the Fountain Elms pattern by Belter, circa 1855, brought $4,025; and a heavily carved rosewood rococo loveseat with pink upholstery, circa 1860, attributed to another fine furniture maker, Alexander Roux, 63 inches wide, made $10,925.

A pair of monumental queen-size plantation beds, made between 1840 and 1850, both found new homes. One was a mahogany Empire full tester bed, 104 inches tall by 61 inches wide by 78 inches long. It breezed to $4,600. The other was a mahogany acanthus-carved four-poster bed, 94 inches tall by 78 inches long by 50 inches wide. The bed went to a determined bidder for $3,105.

Switching to decorative accessories, a stunning matched pair of bronze and iron blackamoors, both 70 inches tall, sold as one lot for $5,175. Also, a papier mache Victorian thread box (or tea poy) with hand-painted Venetian canal scenes, earned $2,760; and a large Victorian silver-over-copper epergne with interchangeable bowls and candle holders, circa 1890, coasted to $2,990.

A matched pair of oversized double-arm Argand lamps, made circa 1870 and since electrified, 26 inches tall, hit $3,450; a large matched pair of Old Paris vases, decorated with gold enamel paint and showing Arabian royalty on the front, both 11 inches tall, went for $1,840; and an Old Paris basket with a handle and cherries on the bottom, plus ivy leaves and gold paint, garnered $575.

Returning to furniture, a pair of lots by Karpen comprising a sofa and two arm chairs went for a combined $5,175. The sofa was solid mahogany and featured full figures on the arms. It was made around 1890 and was 41 inches tall by 64 inches wide. The matched set of arm chairs was also solid mahogany and showed full figures of women on the arms. They were made circa 1890.

A pair of lovely dining tables was a hit with bidders. A mahogany period Sheraton-style English dining table with pedestal, banquet size at 12 feet 7 inches long and made around 1830, achieved $4,830; and a mahogany Empire banquet table with acanthus base, claw feet and three leaves, 8 feet 5 inches in length by 30 inches tall and made sometime circa 1840, knocked down at $2,415.

Stevens Auction Company’s next big event will be an on-site auction in Memphis, Tenn. The contents of a 12,000-square-foot mansion (rococo Victorian furniture, a huge European dining table with 18 chairs, palace-size rugs, a large grandfather clock, mirrors and more) will be sold to the highest bidder, probably sometime in early June, at the residence, which is also up for sale.

Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly, at (662) 369-2200; or, you can e-mail them at stevensauction@bellsouth.net. To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and the upcoming early June auction, visit www.stevensauction.com. Updates are posted frequently

Category: Auction News

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