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The Historic Trotter-Byrd Antebellum Home and Contents Goes on the Auction Block

The only antebellum home in Quitman, Mississippi, spared by General Sherman during the Civil War—but only because of a connection to George Washington—plus its outstanding contents of fine antiques, went on the auction block on Saturday, June 24th, on the grounds of the home itself, at 419 East Franklin Street.


Lot 35 (above) - Large Steinway rosewood square grand piano, original to the home, 6 feet 8 inches wide.

Lot 30 (below right) - Oversized mahogany cylinder roll secretary desk with bird’s eye maple interior, 9 feet 8 inches tall.


The 5,500-square-foot Greek Revival home – known as the Trotter-Byrd house – is a beautiful and historic gem, built in 1852 and situated on manicured grounds. Its most recent owners were Harry H. Wheat and the late Sarah Jane Wheat. The original occupant was the man who built the magnificent structure: William B. Trotter, originally from Tennessee and an attorney in Quitman.

In 1845 Trotter was a candidate for 4th District Attorney while serving as a colonel in the 31st Regiment of the Mississippi Militia (he was elected a brigadier general in 1847). Trotter married Elizabeth Lee Terrell of Virginia, in 1846. Ms. Terrell’s mother, Francis Lewis Terrell, was the granddaughter of Fielding Lewis and Catherine Washington, first cousin of George Washington.

“It was only because of this family connection to Washington that Sherman spared the Trotter-Byrd house,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company, auctioneer for the sale. “It’s the only standing antebellum structure in Quitman and one of only three surviving structures in all of Clarke County (Miss.). It’s the only one of the three that didn’t function as a plantation house.”                                                      

The three large bedroom, 1½ bath home is on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts many wonderful architectural elements specific to the period and Greek Revival design, to go with modern conveniences that were unimaginable in 1852. These include a beautiful 20 foot by 40 foot pool and a 900-square-foot, two-story pool house with a bedroom, bath, kitchen and den.

Lot 17 (left)- Large 19th century oil on canvas painting of a Swiss Alps cottage, housed in the original gold gilt frame.

Architectural features include front and side façade entrances with double leaf doors framed by pilasters, sidelights and transoms; a pedimented two-tier portico supported by octagonal columns on the side façade (and altered between 1928 and 1931); windows and doors with shouldered architrave trim; interior paneled mantelpieces, doors and wainscoating; and other design features.

The contents of the home will come up for bid at 10 am Central time. Items will include large plantation beds, an oversize cylinder roll secretary, a Steinway square grand piano, a rosewood étagère, marble-top parlor furnishings, lamps, fine china, old clocks, sterling silver, original artwork, Persian rugs, outdoor statuary, old Paris porcelains, antique cars, shop tools and more.

Open house previews will be held the Sunday prior to sale, June 18th, from 1-5 pm Central time; and Friday, June 23rd, from 10-5. For those unable to attend in person, internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. Anyone interested in bidding online must register 12 hours prior to the auction for their bid request to be approved. Doors will open on auction day at 8 am.


Lot 46 (above) - Set of 16 burl walnut Chippendale chairs.

Lot 59 (above right) - Oversized burl walnut Victorian bed in excellent condition, with ladies’ head crest, attributed to Thomas Brooks, 9 feet tall by 74 inches long.

Lot 19 (below) - Very rare oversized double rosewood mint julep cabinet with original marble and two drawers, in excellent condition.

Anyone interested in the real estate may call either Dwight Stevens, auctioneer, at 662-369-5257 or Tony Neill, broker, at 731-925-3133 for more details. Photos of many of the items may be viewed now on the Stevens Auction Company website. For a full color brochure, please call 662-369-2200; or send an e-mail. 

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 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. To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and the June 24th on-site auction in Quitman, visit www.stevensauction.com. Updates are posted often.


Lot 54 - Federal mahogany Victorian chair having a carved face of George Washington, with an eagle on the crown.


Lot 28 - Massive gold gilded French center table with brown and white heavy thick marble, turtle top.
 


Lot 51 - One of a pair of extremely rare 19th century bronze torchieres, each one 6 ft 4 in. tall.

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