Rare rosewood secretary desk climbs to $21,280 at Stevens at Flomaton A rare, museum-quality mechanical rosewood drop-front secretary desk made around 1860 sold for $21,280 at only the second auction held by Stevens at Flomaton in Flomaton, Ala., on New Year's Eve.
News-Antique.com - Jan 06,2012 - (FLOMATON, Ala.) – A rare, museum-quality mechanical rosewood drop-front secretary desk, made around 1860 and attributed to the renowned American furniture maker Thomas Brooks, sold for $21,280 at only the second auction held by Stevens at Flomaton, the Alabama affiliate of auction powerhouse Stevens Auction Company, based in Aberdeen, Miss.
The auction was conducted at 320 Palafox Street in Flomaton, an historic theater building that for years housed Flomaton Antique Auction and which was acquired by Stevens Auction Company in late 2011. The firm held its inaugural sale there Nov. 12. Flomaton is located near the Gulf Coast in Alabama, 64 miles northeast of Mobile and 42 miles north of Pensacola, Fla.
The secretary desk was the top achiever of the estimated 400 lots that changed hands on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. The piece still had the original finish and was substantial in size at 9 feet 11 inches tall, nearly 6 feet wide and 26 inches deep. The second top lot was a 6-piece parlor set by John H. Belter, in the Rosalie with Grapes pattern and crafted circa 1850. It made $15,680.
Headlining the event were four prominent old Southern estates, including the contents of a Baton Rouge estate with undeniable provenance and a Mississippi antebellum mansion called Cedar Grove. The quality of the merchandise was a magnet to bidders, who packed the gallery. Phone and absentee bidding were both brisk throughout the day. There was no Internet bidding.
“Everything moved quickly and we had a real good crowd,” said Dwight Stevens, owner of both Stevens at Flomaton and Stevens Auction Company. “We are gradually assembling a whole new audience along the Gulf Coast that’s very pleased the business is back, under new ownership, with a commitment to quality. And the area is booming, despite a weak economy.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.
Music boxes did extremely well. A palace-sized 48-inch Nicole Freres Pat. 1815 Swiss cylinder interchangeable music box with ten bells in a floral marquetry inlaid case hit $12,320; a 44-inch carved mahogany interchangeable cylinder music box by Paillard (N.Y., N.Y.) garnered $8,960; and a fine carved oak Criterion 15.75-inch disc double-comb music box rose to $4,800.
A rosewood rococo étagère in fabulous condition and attributed to John H. Belter, made circa 1850 with a white marble top and measuring 82 inches tall by 60 inches wide by 19 inches deep, went to a determined bidder for $7,840; and a rococo walnut étagère with carrara marble and a center drawer (circa 1850), boasting the good original finish and burl trim, made $2,016.
Beds and bedroom suites got paddles wagging. A queen-size rosewood half tester bed with pierce carving, signed McCracken & Brewster and made circa 1855, 9 feet 2 inches tall, changed hands for $10,080; and a walnut Victorian four-piece bedroom suite with high-back bed, matching dresser, wardrobe and wash stand, beautifully made around 1870, brought $4,480.