ABERDEEN, MISS.- An original oil on canvas rendering of the iconic French fashion designer Coco Chanel, done by the equally iconic pop artist Andy Warhol, sold for $247,000 at a sale of the contents of one of Mississippis most regal antebellum homes: Lauri Mundi, built in 1847. The auction was held Aug. 8 on the grounds of Lauri Mundi. The Warhol was the top of the sale.
The auction was conducted by Stevens Auction Company, based in Aberdeen. Prior to auction, company president Dwight Stevens remarked, This will truly be one of two landmark auctions in our 31 years in the auction business. When it was all over, he said, It definitely lived up to the hype. The weather was a bit warm, but the crowd was lively and everyone had a good time.
The stylized portrait painting a synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, executed in Warhols inimitable style had been acquired by the sellers grandmother, a serious art collector, from a Canadian art gallery in 1985 and descended in the family ever since. The piece measured 15 inches by 17 ½ inches (sight) and had the original stamp from artist to gallery on the reverse.
Another original portrait painting by Warhol from the same collection this one perhaps even more desirable, because it depicts the late screen legend Marilyn Monroe will be sold at an upcoming Stevens Auction event slated for sometime in mid-October, as part of a two-day on-site auction in Natchez, Miss. Watch the website for further details, at www.stevensauction.com.
In addition to original artwork, the Lauri Mundi auction also featured antique furniture, brilliant cut glass, grandfather clocks and other old clocks, hand-made Persian rugs, sterling silver, china, hand-painted porcelains, 19th century lighting, mantle mirrors and pier mirrors, half tester and full beds, rosewood wardrobes, decorative items and more. In all, 420 lots came under the gavel.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyers premium. Internet bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.
Items original to Lauri Mundi and dating to before the time of the Civil War included a massive mahogany Empire bookcase with eight doors, 9 feet tall by 10 feet wide ($10,350); and an equally magnificent gold gilt over-the-mantle mirror with carved Egyptian crown and sides, 7 feet tall by 67 inches wide ($9,200). Lauri Mundi is for sale, but was not part of this auction.
A rare and historically significant rosewood étagère with dragon carving and provenance an original furnishing from the home of former President James Knox Polk in Tennessee standing 91 inches tall, soared to $26,450. Also, a four-piece rosewood rococo parlor suite by renowned 19th century American furniture maker J. & J.W. Meeks, in the Stanton Hall pattern, hit $11,500.
Gorgeous beds were quickly snapped up by eager bidders. These included a circa 1850 rosewood half tester plantation bed, all original and attributed to C. Lee ($17,825); a 7-foot-tall mahogany Empire plantation bed, queen size and original to Lauri Mundi ($4,485); and a mahogany Empire full tester plantation bed with heavily carved headboard, standing 9 feet 8 inches tall ($10,350).
The lighting category featured a large and magnificent Baccarat crystal 19th century cut glass 16-arm chandelier, 42 inches long by 32 inches wide ($12,650); a dore bronze newel post lamp, signed Rousseau, with cranberry art glass shade, 45 inches tall by 13 inches wide ($1,093); and a cut glass lamp with cut shade, unusually tall at 31 inches in height by 7 inches wide ($17,250).
Mirrors included a matched pair of gold gilt rococo over-the-mantle mirrors with outstanding carving on the crown and sides, made circa 1860 and 7 feet 7 inches tall ($16,100); and a gold gilt over-the-mantle mirror with carved shell crown and sides, 7 feet tall ($2,645). Also sold was a lovely six-piece set of Grand Baroque silverware, complete with all serving pieces ($4,025).
Returning to furniture, a rosewood rococo one-door wardrobe, circa 1850, with a laminated crest, mirrored door and fitted interior, 8 feet 9 inches tall, realized $3,680; a rare Victorian hall tree in rosewood, with white marble and bronze seahorse pegs, 96 inches tall, brought ($3,795); and a lovely two-door mahogany rococo bookcase, made circa 1850, 8 feet 2 inches tall, made $1,840.
Rounding out the category, a mahogany one-door wardrobe with carved crown and sides, tall at 11 feet in height, fetched $1,725. Tables featured a 60-inch mahogany Empire table with carved columns and clawed feet, with five original leaves ($4,370); and a matched pair of walnut rococo sienna marble-top center tables, made around 1860, 31 inches tall by 36 inches wide ($7,130).
Also sold that day was a large, heavy, matched pair of solid cast iron garden benches, each one with the crest of a lady ($9,200); a solid bronze outdoor fountain with three female figures at the base, holding grapes ($3,680); a large, hand-painted porcelain vase marked Royal Bonn, 23 inches tall ($1,610); and an oil on canvas painting of sheep in a pasture, done circa 1870 ($978).