Many of the furnishings are original to the home, completed in 1859 and used as a Union Army camp and residence for General U.S. Grant, his wife and their slave (yes, Grant owned a slave!)
HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. – The entire contents of Walter Place – a spectacular antebellum home completed in 1859 and used as a Union Army camp and officers’ quarters during the Civil War – will be sold at auction July 11th and 12th by Stevens Auction Company, based in Aberdeen, Miss. Holly Springs is located about 45 miles east of Memphis, Tenn., just off U.S. 78. Everything in the auction will come out of Walter Place; no additional consignments will be offered for sale.
It is an on-site auction, to be conducted at the home itself, not in an auction gallery. Bidders will be treated to a visual wonderland of the majestic 10,000-square-foot home and two guest houses (all packed with merchandise), additional out-buildings and old barns, koi ponds and manicured lawns. The owner was previously the general manager of the Minnesota Vikings football team.
Some of the furnishings are original to the home. These have remained in place since the home’s completion prior to the Civil War. The property, situated on 15 acres, is steeped in history. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, his wife and their slave (yes, Grant owned a slave) lived there. Many key battles were planned there, including the battle of Vicksburg. During the Union occupation, the grounds were a sea of tents. The home and land are in the National Register of Historic Places.
“This gorgeous antebellum home was only spared being set on fire by the fact that it was used as a strategic encampment site by the Union Army,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “I’m not sure what’s more mind-boggling, the history that surrounds this place or the absolutely spectacular items housed there. All of them will come up for bid July 11th and 12th.”
Furnishings will include a circa-1850 four-piece, flame mahogany, early Victorian bedroom suite by Mitchell & Rammelsberg, featuring a bed and dresser that both stand 97 inches tall; a flame mahogany Biedermeier sofa with blue embossed fabric, swans on the arms and a heavily carved crown; and a Scottish-influenced Sheraton-style flame mahogany sideboard with superb inlay.
Additional furnishings will feature a circa-1860 seven-piece parlor set in Victorian walnut (sofa and six chairs) with striking red upholstery; an early mahogany acanthus carved full tester bed with four posts, made around 1840 and 86 inches tall by 72 inches wide; and a circa-1850 full tester plantation bed, Empire flame mahogany, majestic at 9 feet 5 inches tall and 71 inches long.
Original artwork will feature a figural rendering by Hamilton Hamilton (1847-1928), depicting the daughters of the artist in a garden, done around 1900. The work measures 49 inches by 45 inches (large, for a work by Hamilton). Also sold will be an oil on canvas painting of a duchess in a Tudor dress by Ramsay Reinagle (1785-1862). The work measures 39 inches by 33 inches.
Also sold will be a circa-1900 parlor grand piano with mahogany wood by W.M. Knabe & Company; a six-light gasolier (converted to electric); a brass chandelier with four arms and 12 lights (40 inches tall); a palatial gold Victorian pier mirror with marble base and ornate grape leaf and cherub frame (circa 1850); and a circa-1860 Victorian mantle mirror (80 inches tall).
For those unable to attend in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. Absentee bids will also be taken. “We realize not everyone will be able to make it to the auction, and we encourage online bidding, but this really is an auction that should be experienced live,” Mr. Stevens said. “The mansion, the grounds, the furnishings – you have to see it to believe it.”
The house and property are for sale, but they will not be offered in this auction – just the contents of the house and ancillary buildings. Agents for the realty firm handling the property will be on the premises, however, to answer questions and conduct tours.
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 [email protected]. To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and the July 11-12 auction, log on to www.stevensauction.com. Updates are posted frequently.