At the Auction with Case Antiques

July 2016

Edmondson, Varmint, Limestone sculpture, sold for $46,400

William Edmondson, Varmint, Limestone sculpture, sold for $46,400

There’s a treasured painting on your late grandmother’s wall. You know it’s valuable, but it doesn’t work in your house—and the only market for the artist’s work appears to be overseas. There’s her Art Deco diamond brooch, the silver julep cups, even a collection of old Chinese snuff bottles Grandpa brought back from the War. And as much as you love having them, it’s time to turn them loose. Case Antiques knows this scenario well. For over ten years the Nashville and Knoxville auction and appraisal company has been connecting Tennessee consignors to the global art and antiques market—whether it’s a single item or a large estate. We asked Case Antiques for the nuts and bolts on the going, going, gone.

1 How do I consign my objects with Case Antiques?

People interested in consigning should start by emailing or texting photos or calling us for an initial conversation. Objects accepted for auction may be brought to our office or picked up directly from the consignor. After the auction, the consignor receives a check (minus our commission).

2 What is a cataloged auction?

It means every item in our auctions is professionally photographed, researched, and fully described in writing, with condition reports reviewed by our accredited staff appraisers, and published price estimates. Bidding in our auctions starts at half the low estimate, to give some protection to the seller while also offering bidders a chance at a good deal.

3 Do I have to attend the auction to bid?

No, but you’d be missing a fun experience! Our preview parties the day before the auction, as well as the auction itself, are exciting and educational events. However, our online catalogs make it easy to view the items and bid on your computer, tablet, or phone. We are happy to answer questions by phone, email, or text if you’re new to bidding or interested in an individual item. If you win, you can simply pick up your items from our Nashville office (free of charge for readers who mention Nashville Arts!), or have large items delivered to your home for a nominal fee.

Circa 1950s diamond and platinum brooch by George Headley, sold for $22,400 William

Circa 1950s diamond and platinum brooch by George Headley, sold for $22,400 William

4 You mention you have accredited appraisers on your staff. What does that mean?

At Case, it’s not just about selling objects of value. It’s about understanding and appreciating the history behind them. Our appraisers (John Case, Sarah Campbell Drury, and Len de Rohan) are academically trained, tested, and vetted through the International Society of Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America. So in addition to meeting the qualifications for appraisals involving federal tax functions (estates, charitable donation, etc.), our appraisers also bring a wealth of knowledge to the process of cataloging objects and marketing them to potential buyers.

5 What are some of the most significant objects Case has sold?

Maurice Braun, Untitled, Oil on canvas, sold for $24,780

Maurice Braun, Untitled, Oil on canvas, sold for $24,780

We hold the world auction records for a Tennessee female artist (a landscape with figures by Catherine Wiley, 1879–1958, which sold for $107,880) and for Tennessee and Kentucky pottery (a jar by J.A. Lowe, $63,000, and an Isaac Thomas churn, $55,200, now at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts). And we’ve sold important works of art by international, Tennessee-born artists William Edmondson, Red Grooms, and Beauford Delaney. All of those are special to us because of our passion for Tennessee history and artists. But we’ve also sold Chinese jade and porcelain, a Beatles album signed by all four Beatles, a pistol used by Bonnie and Clyde, George Nakashima furniture, English silver, Meissen porcelain, Presidential items, and paintings by international painters like Basil Blackshaw, Friedel Dzubas, Edouard Cortes, and a wealth of others.

For information on Case Antiques and their July 30 auction, please visit

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