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Quinn & Farmer's auction includes furnishings, ephemera from Virginia's historic Bowling Green Farm
Letter from Confederate Major General W.T. Walthall to Col. John B. Cary, Richmond, VA, 1879. Provenance: Bowling Green Farm, Caroline County, Virginia. Quinn & Farmer image.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.- One of Virginia’s great historic properties, Bowling Green Farm, figures prominently in Quinn & Farmer’s March 16 Estates Auction. Original furnishings, Civil War ephemera and other antiques from the stately 1740s country house headline the Saturday morning sale, which also includes select offerings from other estates.

“Bowling Green Farm is one of Virginia’s oldest original homes. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a source of great pride to the people of Caroline County. Over the centuries, Bowling Green Farm has played host to generals, presidents, thoroughbred racehorses and even Revolutionary War soldiers who camped on its 126-acre grounds during Lafayette’s campaign,” said Quinn & Farmer President Ken Farmer.

Among the highlights to be auctioned with provenance from Bowling Green Farm is a handsome circa-1750 central Virginia hanging corner cupboard with paneled, inset door and later whaleback shelves. It is one of several furnishings in the sale that are original to the pre-Georgian Tidewater home.

A remarkable cache of Civil War ephemera has come to auction from Bowling Green Farm, including a July 12, 1879 letter from W.T. Walthall to Col. John B. Cary, Richmond, Va., that discusses the possibility that ammunitions were tampered with at Yorktown. Another important ephemera lot consists of several letters handwritten by Mrs. Jefferson Davis, wife of the President of the Confederate States of America, to her friend “Mrs. Randolph” in Richmond. Most of the letters were penned in 1898, shortly after her daughter Winnie’s death.

The sale also includes several exceptional pieces of jewelry, led by an elegant Tiffany & Co. 18K yellow gold, hinged bangle bracelet centered with an oval cabochon cat’s-eye chrysoberyl. The main gem is surrounded by alternating rows of 1.55 tcw of rubies and 3.86 tcw of round, full-cut diamonds. Diamond clarity is SI-1 to I-1, and color is I-J.

Another top estate jewelry lot is a sterling silver over 14K yellow gold diamond brooch featuring 3.42 cts of mine-cut diamonds and an additional 8.51 cts of round full and rose-cut melee diamonds. The center of each scroll in the brooch’s design features a major, bezel-set old mine-cut diamond, and the three scrolled sections of the brooch are connected by two diamond-studded elements with a Greek-key design.

A beautifully engraved, repousse silver Russian icon of the Madonna and Child carries both a St. Petersburg mark and the maker’s initials “TCE.” Its assay mark is present but illegible.

“There are many excellent estate items in the March 16 auction, and we’re still adding many high-quality last-minute entries,” said Ken Farmer. “We urge bidders to visit the catalog online to view the entire contents of the sale.”

All forms of bidding will be available for Quinn & Farmer’s March 16 auction, including live in the gallery, absentee, by phone or live via the Internet through Preview Monday, March 11; auction is on Saturday, March 16, commencing at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

To contact Quinn & Farmer about any item in the sale, call Ken Farmer at 540-639-0939 or e-mail; or call Matthew Quinn at 703-532-5632 or e-mail Visit Quinn & Farmer’s website at

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