Case’s July 18 Auction

July 1, 2015 in Editorials

Headley Jewelry, TN Furniture & Silver

Headline Case’s July 18 Auction

Sparkle abounds at the Summer Case Antiques Auction, which features a collection of jewelry by Kentucky’s own jewelry designer to the stars, George Headley (1908-1985). Headley designed baubles for some of the country’s most glamorous jewelers, and for select clients including Douglas Fairbanks and Judy Garland. After his death, his Lexington estate became the home of the Headley-Whitney Museum. Although Headley’s jewelry is notoriously rare, Case’s July 18 auction will feature six pieces, all from the estate of Mrs. Bertha Wright of Kentucky’s famed Calumet Farm. They include a pair of diamond clips that form a brooch or pendant, a gold and diamond wristwatch, and a diamond-studded horse and jockey pin. More than 75 other lots of fine and estate jewelry are also for sale.

The 850+ lot auction also includes one of the largest offerings to date of Tennessee furniture, from the estate of longtime collector Betty Irene Lintz Yates of Greeneville, a living estate from Blount County, and several private collections. Highlights include a rare labeled Federal bureau by J.C. Burgner of Greeneville containing a built-in stringed instrument, 5 corner cupboards, a pie safe sideboard with urn and tulip tins, a Middle Tennessee cherry sugar chest, and a blanket box illustrated in The Art and Furniture of East Tennessee by Namuni Hale Young.

A William Edmondson carved limestone squirrel sculpture, exhibited at the Tennessee State Museum’s Edmondson retrospective exhibit in 1981, leads the fine art offerings, along with an Anna Hyatt Huntington bronze panther and a large totem sculpture by glass artist Richard Jolley. Also featured is a group of Hudson River School and other landscape paintings being sold by the Birmingham Museum of Art by artists including Benjamin Champney, Arthur Quartley, and Thomas Worthington Whitteridge. Several of the paintings hung for many years at Birmingham’s exclusive dining establishment known as The Club. Another group of paintings, many by the “Knoxville Seven,” is being sold to benefit the Knoxville Symphony. Southern artists represented from other consignors include Harvey Joiner, Wilhelm Eilerts, Maria Howard Weeden, Gilbert Gaul, Werner Wildner, Joseph Delaney. There is also a wide selection of European art.

A French-made silver spoon, purchased by President Andrew Jackson and used in the White House, headlines the silver category. It is one of more than 100 lots of sterling and coin silver up for bid. Other highlights include a dipper inscribed Jeff Davis; an Anthony Rasch New Orleans cup with steamboat inscription, a Kentucky masonic medal dated 1814; and a collection of Tennessee coin silver including a pitcher from the family of first Memphis Mayor Marcus Brutus Winchester.

Southern Pottery, a staple at Case, includes a double handled urn by George Dunn of Middle Tennessee, dated 1875, a manganese splotched jar attributed to East Tennessee, and jars and jugs by Charles Decker and M.P. Harmon of Tennessee and Maude Welch, Hiram Fox and Henry Ritchie of North Carolina. A rare Newcomb College teapot plus other Newcomb and Rookwood pieces are also available.

The historical category features a number of early Tennessee books – including the first book ever published in Nashville: John Haywood’s 1809 Revisal of the Public Acts…Now in Force in Tennessee – plus 18th century Kentucky and Tennessee maps, documents signed by Sam Houston, John Sevier, and several presidents. There are also Civil War photographs and documents including a Prisoner of War autograph book signed by 187 Confederate officers including five Confederate generals.

Other objects of note include a long rifle with eagle engraved patchbox used by an early Columbia, Tennessee settler plus other historic firearms; a collection of early Native American Kachina dolls, a clock and phonograph collection, a number of pieces of early advertising, and an outstanding estate collection of Asian jade, porcelain and bronzes.

The auction will take place at the company’s gallery in the Cherokee Mills Building, 2240 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville, on Saturday, July 18 at 9 a.m. EST. Online, absentee and phone bids will also be accepted. A preview will take place on Friday, July 17, from noon to 6 p.m. EST or by appointment. The catalog for the auction, with full descriptions, price estimates, and photographs for items in the order in which they will be sold can be viewed online at For more information or to consign objects for a future auction, call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the company’s Nashville office at (615) 812-6096 or email

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