THE ESTATE OF JIMMY PIPPEN – A LEGENDARY AND RENOWNED INTERIOR DESIGNER FROM NATCHEZ, MISS. – TO BE SOLD IN NATCHEZ OCTOBER 3-4 BY STEVENS AUCTION

(Natchez, Miss.) – The estate of Jimmy Pippen – one of the most legendary and renowned interior designers and antiques dealers in the South – will be sold the weekend of October 3-4 at the brand-new Natchez Convention Center in Natchez, Miss. Mr. Pippen recently passed away at age 53, of a massive heart attack. He was originally from Alabama, but lived most of his life in the Natchez area.

“Jimmy Pippen was without a doubt one of the most talented designers of our times,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company of Aberdeen, Miss., the firm selected by Mr. Pippen’s heirs to conduct the sale. “He used both old and new to create tasteful ambiences in some of the finest homes in the Southeastern United States. He was a friend and client who died at the top off his game.”

louis-phillippe.jpg Some of Mr. Pippen’s shining achievements over the last fifteen years, all in the Natchez area, included the lobby of The Eola Hotel and lavishly furnished antebellum homes like Ravennaside, The Orchard, Magnolia Hall and Cherokee. He also decorated the Cypress Pond Plantation in Albany, Ga., and at the time of his death was helping to restore the Nottoway Plantation House, near Baton Rouge.

The sale will comprise the contents of his two stores (Pippen Antiques and Pippen Interiors); items from his personal residence (which he considered a perfect creation and called “Paradise”); the contents of another home (a three-story, 1850s townhouse called “The Vineyard” that he restored with spectacular appointments and rented to friends and associates); and treasures from several warehouses.

Mr. Pippen spared no expense when it came to his homes and lifestyle. He poured a small fortune into his “Paradise” residence, going so far as to airlift palm trees in by helicopter. “He did work at just about all the important homes throughout Mississippi, as well as Memphis and Alabama,” said Mr. Stevens. “He was as well known a personality in Natchez as anyone who ever hailed from there.”

marble-sculpture.jpg The Friday session (October 3, starting at 10 a.m.) will feature decorator items, such as lamps, fine porcelain, bronze statues, decorative accessories and lighting. The Saturday session (October 4, starting at 10 a.m.) will feature beautiful antique furniture, 19th-century lamps, hand-made wool rugs, oil paintings by listed artists, silver, crystal, 19th-century porcelains and, art objects and accessories.

Following is just a sampling of what bidders will be vying for from Mr. Pippen’s vast estate:
• 5-piece rosewood Renaissance Victorian bedroom suite, attributed to John Jelliff.
• 5-piece salon set (settee and four chairs) with period depictions on gold upholstery.
• 19th-century Old Sheffield plate epergne, silver on copper.
• 19th-century marble sculpture of two figures, with a green marble pedestal.
• 19th-century rosewood tester bed, 9 feet 4 inches tall, attributed to Prudence Mallard.
• Hand-painted ivory of a French lady, 3 inches x 4 inches, signed by the artist.
• French empire clock with bronze ormolu decorations (circa 1810).
• Pair of two-tier golden bronze round tables with marble top, ram’s head and hoof feet.
• Bronze astral lamp with etched shade, 12 inches tall.
• Pair of double-arm Argand whale oil bronze nickel Acanthus leaf lamps (B. Gardiner, N.Y.)
• A fine, two-owner 1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur sedan with just 62,000 miles.
• 11-piece Louis Phillippe salon suite with peach-colored flowered upholstery.
• Spectacular Burmese epergne with four fairy lamps.
• Gold-leaf Victorian Rococo pier mirror with marble-top base (over 10 feet tall).
• Vintage rosewood harp, made around 1825 by Sebastian Erard (Patent No. 4596).
• Rosewood full tester bed made by William McKracken of New Orleans (122 inches tall).
• French Empire pier table with original gold leaf stenciling and mahogany columns.
• Oil-on-canvas rendering of soldiers on horseback, taking two nude ladies.
• Old Paris three-piece mantel set (centerpiece and two vases).
• Mahogany queen-size Rococo tester plantation bed in the Mallard style, 12 feet tall.

prudence-mallard-bed.jpg The weekend will also feature the living estate of Charles Davenport, Mr. Pippen’s friend and next-door neighbor. Mr. Davenport has also accumulated many fine antiques and decorative items over the course of his long and fruitful life. A preview for both the Pippen and Davenport estates will be held all day Thursday, October 2nd . Hundreds of fine lots will change hands over the course of the weekend.

Natchez is one of Mississippi’s most beautiful and interesting historic cities. People planning to attend the auction are encouraged to stay at either the Enola Hotel (ph: 601-445-6000) or the Country Inn & Suites (ph: 601-446-9994). Both are within five minutes’ walking distance to the new Natchez Convention Center, at 211 Main Street. For more information on Natchez, click on visitnatchez.com.

Natchez has been favorably compared to Charleston and Savannah. All three are steeped in history and attract an upscale citizenry. About $90 million was spent on tourism in Natchez last year. The Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau has an annual budget of $1 million. “If you’ve never been to Natchez, this is an opportunity to experience the town and attend the auction, too,” Mr. Stevens said.

Stevens Auction Company was founded in 1984 and conducts on-site sales throughout the Southeast, as well as at its gallery facility in Aberdeen (located about 135 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., on U.S. Rte. 45). The firm is always accepting quality consignment for future sales. To consign a single item, a collection or an entire estate, you may call them directly at (662) 369-2200. Or, you may e-mail them at [email protected] For more information, click on www.stevensauction.com.

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