ANTIQUES FROM THREE GENERATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN PACKED AWAY AT A HOUSE IN ZEBULON, GA., SINCE 1981 WILL BE SOLD ON-SITE, FROM JULY 11-14

It will be a tagged estate sale – not an auction – conducted by Kelly’s Estate & Auction Co.

(ZEBULON, Ga.) – An astounding trove of antiques and collectibles that has been packed away in a house and outbuilding in Zebulon after being transported from New York in 1981 will finally see the light of day at a four-day tagged estate sale planned for July 11-14. The event will be conducted by Kelly’s Estate & Auction Company, based in nearby Thomaston, Ga.

Herter Brothers 19th century chest, heavily carved, with large claw feet.

Herter Brothers 19th century chest, heavily carved, with large claw feet.


The merchandise – which includes dolls, toys, quilts, furniture, glassware, art, vintage clothing and more – had been collected over the course of many years by three sisters who lived in Montgomery, N.Y. All three have since passed away. In 1981, the sisters relocated to Georgia, along with their vast collections, and planned to open an antiques shop, but that never happened.

One of the sisters worked for an auction house in New York and was an antique dealer, too, owning her own shop. She often went with the auction house owner to buy out estates. He maintained a three-story warehouse and storage facility, and if someone didn’t pay their bill he would often give the inventory to the sister for her antique shop. Most of it was stored away and never put out for sale. It, too, will be part of the July 11-14 sale.

The idea to relocate to Georgia was suggested to the women by a relative. At first they resisted, telling the relative if she could find a house similar to the one they were living in they might consider it. Then the relative found the house in Zebulon that suited their living and storage needs perfectly, so all three moved.

That is where the sale will happen – the very house and outbuilding where a lifetime of collecting arrived more than 40 years ago and has been stored for safekeeping ever since. The home is located at 15861 Concord Street in Zebulon, a small town 45 miles south of Atlanta. If taking I-75 south, get off the Rte. 19/41 exit in Griffin, turn right and go eight miles to Zebulon.

“This will be a tagged estate sale, not an auction, with all items priced to sell as marked,” said Kelly Mixon of Kelly’s Estate & Auction Company. “On the second day, all items will be discounted 25 percent. And on days three and four, what’s left will be 50 percent off. This will be an old-fashioned country sale – no Internet bidding and no absentee or telephone bidding.”

Any remaining contents at the end of the final day, July 14, will be sold via sealed bids to the highest bidder. “I can’t stress enough that we are there to sell,” Mixon said, “and because I love to wheel and deal there will be discounts offered on bulk purchases. Our goal is to sell everything. The executor is motivated, we’re motivated, and the merchandise is top quality.”

Mixon added, “I’m not sure I would wait until day four to come and expect to pick up a half-priced bargain. There is just too much great merchandise in this sale to think it will sit for three days, unsold. These ladies were dedicated collectors who had a very discerning eye. Their collections are massive and important, and there’s a lot there. Even the attic is crammed full.”

The antique dolls are certain to pique bidder interest. Many are from the ‘40s and ‘50s and are still in the box, in like-new condition. Examples by Madame Alexander, Ideal (a Revlon doll) and others will be offered, plus several desirable composition dolls.

The vintage toys – most from the ‘40s and ‘50s, but others even earlier – are also in remarkable condition, with many of them still housed in the original box or packaging. Lots include a Little Betty child’s sewing machine still in the box, Lionel trains still in the box, wind-up tin toys, Dinky toys in the box, decks of circa 1920s and earlier playing cards, plastic figural baseball players from the 1960s, a Babe Ruth figure and other baseball memorabilia (to include framed World Series tickets).

Mixon said the auction will feature “every good glass maker you can think of,” a list that includes Fenton, Fostoria and Westmoreland. Depression glass and pre-Depression elegant glass pieces in particular are expected to draw intense bidder interest. “If all we had in this sale was the glassware, it would still be an important event,” Mixon remarked. “The pieces are that good.”

The few quilts in the sale are contained in an old English piece of furniture that Mixon has nicknamed “the coffin.” Inside, neatly folded on top of some old curtains, are several early, hand-made American quilts, dating to the mid-20th century. “The intricate patterns and attention to detail of these hand-made quilts should make them a big hit of the sale,” Mixon said.

The furniture is primarily Victorian. Included is a gorgeous Herter Brothers chest, an Egyptian Revival table, several armoires, two beautiful primitive butcher block tables, a heavily carved marble-top Victorian buffet, several Arts and Crafts pieces, a circa 1850 mahogany pier mirror, many marble-top tables and a heavily carved English inlay table with drawer and key.

Most of the vintage clothing is pre-World War II. There is also pre-war costume jewelry, vintage cigarette lighters and vintage knives (to include three original Davy Crockett knives, bowls and cups). The fine art category features many signed early oil on canvas paintings, and there are also Oriental vases and pottery pieces that Mixon said are probably early 20th century. Also sold will be original war cartoons, signed by the artist.

To learn more about Kelly’s Estate & Auction Company and the July 11-14 tagged estate sale, log on to www.kellysantiques.com. Kelly Mixon can be reached by phone at (706) 741-0530, or via e-mail at [email protected]

Ms. Mixon has been approached and interviewed about possibly being featured in a reality TV show that would feature the estate sale process from start to finish – the behind-the-scenes prep work, the actual sale and how much money was made. “If this comes to fruition it will be great,” Mixon said, “but if not I’ll just continue doing what I’m doing. I love my job!”

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