(Aberdeen, Miss.) – A beautifully crafted rosewood Belter bed, made around 1850, soared to $42,900 at a multi-estate sale held January 18-19 by Stevens Auction Company.
belter-bed.jpgThe solid, curved, laminated bed featured carved cupids in the headboard and was the top lot of the sale. In all, over 600 lots changed hands at the weekend event. Belter pieces were in abundance and dominated the auction.

“We were nervous going into this sale, what with news of the economy being all gloom and doom,” said Dwight Stevens, “but we had a remarkably strong turnout both days, with nice high prices realized. People will flock to quality, and there was a lot of quality in this auction. There aren’t many things you can buy and enjoy, then sell again at a profit. Quality antiques are a very sound investment.”

About 270 people packed the Stevens Auction showroom in Aberdeen both days, plus a sizable number of absentee and phone bids were recorded. The Friday session was dedicated entirely to the contents of an estate from Long Island, New York. Less than 200 lots crossed the block that night, but virtually all were top-quality merchandise. The Saturday session comprised prominent local estates.

Following are additional highlights of the sale. All prices include a 10% buyer’s premium.

belter-sofa.jpg Belter pieces (all made 1845-1860) included: a rosewood Victorian wardrobe with cupid crown and fruit basket finials ($22,000); a large rosewood triple-back sofa with Strong pattern and silk, scalamandre upholstery ($18,700); a Victorian laminated rosewood meridienne with Strong pattern and silk, scalamandre upholstery ($16,500); and a gorgeous laminated rosewood etagere, 76” tall ($17,600).

A pair of Belter rosewood sewing stands, 33” tall, went for $4,070 each, while a rosewood Victorian Belter sofa with Scroll pattern hit $1,980. Belter chairs also did well: a rosewood side chair, Fountain Elm with Napoleonic bees, reached $6,050; a laminated rosewood parlor arm chair, Rosalie with grapes, hit $4,620; and a rosewood pierce-carved slipper chair, Oak Leaf pattern, made $3,520.

Furniture by J. & J. Meeks (1850-1860) rivaled the Belter for bidder interest. A rosewood Victorian Stanton Hall recamier with silk upholstery and Napoleonic bees fetched $7,920; a rosewood Hawkins pattern sofa realized $7,480; a rosewood Victorian Stanton Hall settee with gold velvet upholstery achieved $6,820; and a mint condition Victorian parlor table with marble base hit $6,600.

A magnificent 19th-century American bronze gasolier, made in the 1870s and converted to electricity, with patinated cherub figures, commanded $20,900; a three-piece walnut bedroom suite attributed to Thomas Brooks and with the bed and dresser both 8 ft. tall gaveled for $16,500; and two bronze and Baccarat crystal double-arm Argand lamps with a Gardner (N.Y.) label made $7,700 each.

An important, museum-quality walnut Victorian Wooten desk with original drawers, made circa 1875, rose to $16,500; a massive mahogany Empire banquet table, 60” wide x 14 ft. long, realized $7,700; a heavily carved walnut Victorian huntboard, 110” tall x 79.5” wide, made circa 1860, fetched $7,590; and a highly pierce-carved Victorian oval gilt mantel mirror, made circa 1855, reached $2,200.

A walnut Victorian two-part breakfront attributed to P. Mallard, nearly 9 ft. tall (circa 1855), hammered for $11,000; a bronze Victorian 9-arm gasolier with etched shades and center figurals (circa 1860) made $6,600; a rosewood parlor cabinet with pierce-carved crown (70” tall, circa 1860) reached $4,400; and a Federal flamed mahogany ham table with claw feet (circa 1850) realized $4,070.

A bronze Victorian 4-arm gasolier with prisms (circa 1880) lit up the room for $5,500; a flamed mahogany Empire wardrobe, attributed to the furniture maker NOLA (circa 1845) commanded $4,950; a rare Tennessee walnut sugar chest, with ball and claw feet and inlaid diamonds (circa 1830), changed hands for $4,400; and a flamed mahogany Federal grandfather clock (circa 1800) hit $2,640.

The second top lot of the sale, after the Belter bed, was a magnificent Victorian Sevres urn, with pedestal, looking very regal at over 6 ft. tall overall. Made in the 1880s, it fetched $27,500. Also, another Sevres urn, also crafted in the 1880s and with a hand-painted portrait of a lady in a mauve dress and two cherubs, went for $4,620; and a bronze Victorian astral lamp with long prisms brought $3,740.

A rare rosewood Rococo-style roll-top desk with bird’s eye maple interiors changed hands for $11,000; an original oil-on-canvas rendering of Conway Valley, N.H., signed “W.M. Hart” and restored with original stretcher, sold for $1,320; a Cretors-style Model C horse-drawn popcorn wagon (circa 1910) rolled off for $7,810; and a pair of pink Old Paris Victorian vases (circa 1890) hit $4,620.

A brass and marble Victorian astral lamp with original etched shade (circa 1880) rose to $3,080; a crystal and silver centerpiece, just over 11” tall (circa 1900), went for $1,980; a cast-iron mantel clock, signed by Ansonia Clock (June 14, 1882, New York, USA) chimed on time at $1,650; and a nice collection of mechanical banks, some made by J. & E. Stevens, were real crowd pleasers.

Stevens Auction Company’s next big sale will be held sometime in May. It will be a multi-estate auction, held at the firm’s spacious showroom facility, at 609 No. Meridian Street in Aberdeen, Miss. Aberdeen is about 135 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., on U.S. Rte. 45. More details about the May auction will be posted on the website as the sale date approaches:

Stevens Auction Company was founded in 1984 and has conducted numerous on-site sales throughout the Southeast as well as at its gallery facility in Aberdeen, Miss. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly at (662) 369-2200. Or, you may e-mail them at this address: [email protected]