Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


It’s the estate of the late Gene Ward, who amassed a world-class collection of cut glass pieces.

RIPLEY, Miss. – A massive, two-day on-site auction of a lovely home and its museum-quality contents – including what is quite possibly the largest and most impressive cut glass collection offered in the United States in years – will be held Friday and Saturday, September 30th and October 1st, at the home, located at 331 Highway 4 West in Ripley, in north central Mississippi.

Gorgeous 75-piece sterling silver gold gilded flatware set in the Chased Pierced Vine pattern by Garrard & Company (London).
Gorgeous 75-piece sterling silver gold gilded flatware set in the Chased Pierced Vine pattern by Garrard & Company (London).
“We’re calling this an absolute world class antique collection estate auction because that’s exactly what it is,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company, the Aberdeen-based firm conducting the sale. “This is the court-ordered sale of the estate of Gene Ward, a man whose home and its contents stand as a monument to his love of beauty and desire for gracious living.”

Charles “Gene” Ward, who passed away last October at age 85, was a prominent businessman and a lifelong dedicated collector. He began collecting cut glass, his first love, in the early 1960s. Later on, he added antique furniture, silver, porcelain and objets d’art. He traveled the world in search of his treasures, criss-crossing the U.S. and making frequent trips to Europe and Canada.

A few expected top lots will include a 75-piece sterling silver gold gilded flatware set in the chased pierced Vine pattern by Garrard & Company (London), official jeweler to the British Crown until 2007; a German porcelain and bronze pillow clock signed Gustav Becker, Fredisch Braunaviv, made of hand-painted Sevres porcelain, 30 inches tall; and a fine Limoges game set, made for Victori Freisinger, hand-painted with pheasants and gold paint, and signed “Mulville.”

Anticipated star lots of the cut glass category will include a brilliant cut glass loving cup with a sterling rim, signed Tiffany & Company, in mint condition; two brilliant cut glass punch bowls on stands, one two-piece and pinwheel cut, the other one of the finest Stevens Auction has ever sold, 16 inches tall; and a magnificent zipper cut glass pitcher with sterling rim, 10 inches tall.

The entire estate – around 700 lots – will come up for bid over the two days, and the sale will be absolute, meaning there are no minimums and no reserves. “Everything goes, regardless of price, and because of the magnitude and importance of this auction there will be no additions, just the Ward estate,” Mr. Stevens said. “Collectors of true finery should plan to attend.” Start times for both days will be 9 am Central time. Internet bidding will be facilitated by

The real estate portion of the sale will be held on Saturday morning, at 9 a.m. Central time, and will be offered in two tracts. One tract comprises Mr. Ward’s former residence and the 1.33-acre corner lot it sits on. The other tract is a vacant, 1.56-acre adjacent property. The real estate does carry a reserve and will not be sold absolute. Ripley is situated not far from the Tennessee line.

The traditional brick home, featuring 2,783 square feet of living space, has 9 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths and central heating and air. It also boasts a patio/deck, two carports (in front and back), and a beautiful wood-paneled great room off the dining room. Parties interested in the real estate may call Dwight Stevens, at (662) 369-2200, or Tony Neill, at (731) 926-3133, for more details.

Mr. Ward added a wing to the rear of the home in the early 1980s, providing him with additional living and dining space, along with a paneled den with glassed, built-in showcases to display his acquisitions. “Over his many years of collecting he compiled one of the most sophisticated and elegant collections we have sold to date,” Mr. Stevens said. “Gene only purchased the very best.”

Offered will be a mahogany parlor grand piano by Ernest Gabler & Brothers of New York, 53 inches wide; a beautiful Victorian hand-painted plate in a gold leaf frame, signed Aynsley (England), 13 inches by 13 inches; a true antique French Empire crystal and bronze hanging light, 39 inches tall and 18 inches in diameter; and an exceptional, high-quality pair of gold cut to clear lusters with portraits and flowers, attributed to Moser, 12 inches tall with 9-inch prisms.

Furniture will feature a walnut Victorian turtle-top parlor table with grapes on the corners and sides and a white marble top, 30 inches tall by 37 inches wide; a walnut Victorian Davenport desk with three drawers, 51 inches tall; an antique papier-mâché tilt-top table, black lacquer with inlay, hand-painted; and a lovely French commode with heavy ormolu and thick green marble.

Additional star lots will include a painting on porcelain of a girl wearing a red dress in an open, pierce-carved frame, 9 inches by 6 inches; a 12-piece set of sterling silver goblets with the monogram “SBH,” signed Fisher Sterling, Rose Bouquet, hand chased; a 130-piece set of Frances 1st sterling silver flatware; and a dore bronze French Sevres mantel clock with a boy and a goat, featuring two hand-painted plaques, signed Miroy Freres Abarts and in working order.

Gene Ward was born in Benton County, Mississippi in 1930. He went to work for the Ford dealership in Ripley in 1949 and became a partner in 1964. He remained involved in the day-to-day operations of the dealership for the rest of his life, in addition to his other business interests. He never married, and dedicated his life to two pursuits: hard work and collecting quality finery.

Open house previews will be held the Sunday prior to sale, September 25th, from 1-5 pm Central time; Thursday, September 29th, from 9-5; and on both auction days, September 30th and October 1st, from 8 am until the first gavel falls at 9 am. Doors open both days at 8 am. Photos of many of the items may be viewed on the Stevens Auction Company website, at

For a full color brochure, call (662) 369-2200; or send an e-mail to [email protected].
Terms of payment are all major credit cards or pre-approved business or personal checks (with proper ID), or wire transfer. A 15 percent buyer’s premium will be applied to all purchases, with an extra 2 percent processing fee for credit cards. A sales tax will be charged as well, except for those with a valid and verifiable state resale number. Refreshments will be served auction day.

Stevens Auction Company’s next big sale after this will be a magnificent on-site estate auction and real estate sale in Savannah, Tenn., on Saturday, October 8th, at 9 am Central time. Sold will be the house and property located at 90 College Street in Savannah (zip code for GPS: 38377).

That sale will be followed by a New Year’s Extravaganza on Saturday, January 7th, 2017, at 9 am Central time, in Stevens Auctions’ Aberdeen facility at 609 North Meridian Street. Items will include sterling silver, Handel lamps and a 1959 Corvette convertible and a 1970 Dodge Charger convertible, both in mint condition. An open house will be held on Friday, Jan. 6th, from 10-6.

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 upcoming schedule of auctions, log on to Updates are posted often.