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Oil on canvas portrait from the Circle of Sir Thomas Beech will be sold by Ahlers & Ogletree
Oil on canvas portrait from the Circle of Sir Thomas Beech (Br., 1738-1806), of Miss Ann Congreve with Three Children (1780), signed and dated (est. $8,000-$12,000).


ATLANTA, GA.- The estate of Thomas Ruben Jones (1929-2014), a prominent Atlanta businessman, patron of the arts and avid lifelong collector of 18th and 19th century American and European antiques, fine art and decorative arts, will be sold without reserve on Saturday, November 11th, on-site at Mr. Jones’ former plantation estate in north Georgia, at 11 am Eastern.

For security reasons, the address of the estate won’t be revealed until the week before the sale. It has a 30513 zip code, however, and out-of-town guests are encouraged to secure lodging in either Blue Ridge or Ellijay, Ga. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Buckhead, in Atlanta, where, it so happens, Mr. Jones owned and operated the Ruben Jones Antiques business in the 1970s.

The auction will be conducted by Ahlers & Ogletree of Atlanta, which is stressing that this will be an auction where everything sells, regardless of price, with no reserves and no minimums. “It isn’t often you see an estate as fine as this being sold without any reserves,” said Robert Ahlers, president of Ahlers & Ogletree. “It’s added incentive for folks to make the drive or bid online.”

Online bidding will be available, through LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A preview will be held Friday, Nov. 10th, from 10 am-5 pm.

Thomas Ruben Jones was a staunch and enthusiastic supporter of the arts, and his many antique objects reflect that passion. At the High Museum of Art, he served as chairman of both Friends of the Decorative Arts and the Acquisition Trust. He also was a member of the Atlanta Historical Society and served as president of the Antique Study Group, a club of recognized connoisseurs.

Paintings from Mr. Jones’s estate include a 1780 oil on canvas portrait from the Circle of Sir Thomas Beech (Br., 1738-1806), of Miss Ann Congreve with Three Children, signed and dated, 54 inches by 60 inches framed (est. $8,000-$12,000); and a late 19th or early 20th century oil on canvas by Herbert C. Farnum (Am., 1866-1925), titled Savannah, signed (est. $1,500-$3,000).

Furniture will feature a Southern Federal inlaid hunt board with two deep drawers, likely made in the early 19th century, with mixed woods and brass hardware, 41 inches tall (est. $6,000-$8,000); and a classical New York marble-top pier table, circa 1815-1830, made from mahogany, marble and gilt gesso wood and having a petticoat mirror back (est. $3,000-$5,000).

One of the more interesting lots is a circa 1735 Chinese Export famille rose and grisaille circular porcelain dish from the Lee of Cotton service, with the coat of arms proudly shown on the plate and finely decorated with two scenes depicting London, with the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the River Thames and London Bridge, and two of Canton, with the city walls and Folly Fort on the Pearl River, each divided by panels of chrysanthemums and peonies (est. $4,000-$6,000).

An unused set of 32 panels of View of North America, originally designed in 1834 by Zuber et Cie (Fr., founded 1797), but made in the 2000s, with each panel about 18 ½ inches by 12 feet 6 inches, should realize $8,000-$12,000. Also, an Italian Venetian rococo-style bed frame having an elaborate headboard with Madonna panel, dated 1772, is estimated to garner $3,000-$5,000.

A Hicks & Meigh 78-piece ironstone dinner service (24 dinner plates, 16 dessert plates, 18 soup bowls, 8 platters, 2 sauceboats and a tureen with lids and stands, vegetable dish with cover and one drainer) should breeze to $4,000-$6,000; while a pair of English Edwardian urn form wine coolers from around 1900, faceted mahogany veneer, 27 inches tall, should make $2,000-$4,000.

Also sold will be a Continental bronze garden statue of the goddess Diana, 33 inches tall, shown standing with her hand resting on the antlers of a deer, having a nice weathered green patina (est. $3,000-$5,000); and a nice English or American pair of 19th century Regency giltwood convex girandole mirrors with eagle mounts, purportedly purchased at Israel Sack (est. $2,000-$4,000).

Thomas Ruben Jones grew up in Paulding County, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University in 1952. In 1954 he joined his brother Benson in Atlanta as vice president of Longleaf Lumber Co., and later joined a partnership with his father and brothers in Jones Wood & Timber Corp., a pulpwood dealership. He also managed his family’s many land holdings across several counties.

In 2001, Jones acquired an authentic Williamsburg village in Blue Ridge, Ga., along with his life partner of 49 years, Lowell Jacks. There, the two men raised peacocks, turkeys, emus, horses and chickens. Six years ago he bought and restored the Henry B. Tompkins house on West Wesley. Designed by Neel Reid and built in 1923, the home’s on the National Register of Historic Places.





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