Professors’ estate takes center stage at Great Gatsby’s sale March 31-April 2

S. Kirk & Son

S. Kirk & Son sterling Repoussé hot beverage set, 19th century, .912 or coin silver, ram’s masks. Estimate: $8,000-$10,000.  Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery image


ATLANTA – An exceptional estate from Baltimore, Maryland, anchors a three-day auction March 31-April 2 at Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction catalog features an extensive collection of S. Kirk & Son sterling silver, French furniture, 19th century Wedgwood basalt, Persian rugs, Continental bronzes and 19th century paintings, along with fine antique Asian porcelains and tapestries. Over 1,400 lots will come up for bid. Start times will be 11 a.m. Eastern time each day.


S. Kirk & Son

Wedgwood black basalt bust of Minerva, 19th century, 19in. Estimate: $1,200-$1,500. Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery.


The estate from Baltimore is that of the late Morris Sumner and his life-partner, the late Richard Robbins. Both Sumner and Robbins were Southern natives who met while serving as naval officers during the 1940s. Sumner went on to become a professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University. Robbins, who taught mathematics at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins and served as dean of the Evening College.

After purchasing a stately Baltimore townhouse together in 1957, Sumner and Robbins spent the next 40 years acquiring high-quality Continental and English furniture and decorative arts, 19th century paintings, S. Kirk & Son Repoussé sterling silver, Wedgwood basalt, Rose Medallion porcelain, Persian rugs, fine crystal and an extensive library of leather-bound books from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

S. Kirk & Son sterling silver pieces on offer will include a repoussé centerpiece bowl, ten inches in diameter, a repoussé flatware service for 12, and an extensive collection of repoussé chargers etched with a central monogram, each one 11 inches in diameter. Another notable lot is a rare set of 12 marked and individually numbered ‘Lafayette’ goblets after the original 1824 design by Samuel Kirk for General Lafayette himself.

Also crossing the auction block in this category will be a carved mahogany Renaissance Revival Herschede 9-tube tall case clock in the style of R.J. Horner, 116 inches tall by 31 inches wide; and a 19th century American Rococo Revival half-tester bed by C. Lee, maker marked, 113 inches tall by 74½ inches long by 84½ inches wide.

Five 20th century ship models, including four contemporary models from a private Southern collection, are also set to hit the auction block, bringing with them a classic nautical charm and craft. Heading the fleet is a monumental carved and hand-painted early 20th century model of the famous three-masted clipper ship Thermopylae (below), launched in 1868, housed in a custom-built case.


S. Kirk & Son

Monumental clipper ship model of ‘Thermopylae,’ 145.5in high x 121in long. Estimate: $17,000-$20,000. Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery image


A handsome selection of fine Asian art and decorative objects is sure to spark global bidding interest, including two rare Qing dynasty tapestries – the first, a striking Yunjin embroidered brocade panel depicting a writhing five-clawed dragon executed in “forbidden” (or Peking) knots, 85 inches long by 30½ inches wide (below); the second, a devotional moxiu (or hair embroidery panel) depicting the goddess Guanyin seated on an elephant, 75 inches long by 50 inches wide.


S. Kirk & Son

Qing Dynasty Yunjin ‘forbidden knot’ panel, 85in long. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000 Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery image


Also crossing the auction block will be a marked Chinese cloisonné vase with lotus pods and blossoms (below), also 16 inches in height; a Chinese Zhou Dynasty carved jade cong at 8 inches tall; and a large Chinese porcelain bottle vase with prunus and rockwork, marked with the artist’s seal, 16 inches tall.


S. Kirk & Son

Chinese Qing Dynasty cloisonne garlic head vase, 16in. Estimate: $1,200-$1,500. Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery image


For details contact Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery at 770-457-1903 email