Items from the living estate of Elizabeth Nash, the former owner of a posh retail antiques store in Alexandria, Virginia, that catered to an upscale clientele in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., will come up for bid on July 7 through The Specialists of the South Inc. both online and in the firm’s gallery, 544 East 6th Street in Panama City.
Nash, who is retired and living in Wilmington, North Carolina, operated Elizabeth G. Nash Antiques & Fine Art in Alexandria from 1985-1990. When her mother took ill in 1990, she moved to North Carolina to care for her, but not before putting most of the inventory from her store into storage. Most of those items, much of it fine art and period furniture, will be sold in the auction.
“My mother had a wonderful eye for design and had a knack for knowing exactly what piece of furniture or fine art or what decorative accessory would fit perfectly in the homes of her many customers,” said Tom Byrd, Nash’s only child, who lives in Panama City and oversees her estate. “She has downsized considerably in recent years, and now it’s just time to let it all go.”
Bidders will be dazzled by the broad selection of fine merchandise, which includes original artwork by noted, listed artists, French-style furniture, American furniture, large and magnificent chandeliers and mirrors, Asian objects, rugs, picture frames, silver and brass items, clocks, china, a fireplace mantel, sets of fancy chairs, lamps, girandoles, primitives, ceramics, smalls and more.
Certain to attract attention will be the many artworks in the sale. These will be led by a stunning bronze statue of an Arab figure riding horseback by the renowned French sculptor Antoine-Louis Bayre (1795-1875). The work is 30 inches tall and is on an acrylic stand. Bayre was a French Romantic sculptor who’s probably best known for his work as an animalier (sculptor of animals).
There are no fewer than 40 original paintings by Yacek Polak, (Poland, b. 1957), who happens to have been one of Nash’s five husbands. He’s still active and producing art in Poland. Some of his paintings will be sold in multiples, while others will be offered as individual lots. Polak is a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. He has his own gallery in Poland.
Also sold will be a painting by Jan Cybis (Polish, 1897-1972), a block-style artist whose mentor was German Expressionist Otto Mueller and who studied under Jozef Pankiewicz, all the while refining a post-impressionist style using rich, saturated color influenced by the French. The work up for bid is a portrait of a young woman. Other art in the sale includes an impressionist painting done in 1960, signed by Mieczyslaw Wejman (Polish-Belgian-French, 1912-1977), a painting of a nude male on horseback at the beach, other pieces of signed framed art and a group of etchings.
French furniture will feature a Louis XV-style serpentine front commode, a pair of upholstered French-style chairs, several sets of fancy chairs (one with Napoleonic fabric), a French provincial style curio cabinet, some nice side tables, ormolu commodes and more. Other furniture includes a beautiful antique burlwood Empire bachelor’s chest (wide, with set-back drawers), a queen-size tufted headboard, painted Chippendale pieces and more.
Lamps and lighting will be plentiful and will include a military-themed all-brass electrified 4th Infantry Rifle Division chandelier showing crossed rifles and infantry medallions and with gas keys attached, a pair of fancy Louis XV style bronze angel candelabra, a Victorian bronze girandole candelabra, a pair of brass lamps with torchieres and lyres, a lamp with a panda at the base shown chewing on bamboo, Jasperware lamps, crystal chandeliers and bright gold lamps.
Primitives will be plentiful, too, and will include wood muddlers, rolling pins (one signed Tom Bradley of Cherokee, North Carolina), milk cans, crocks, rush-seat chairs, paperweights, an old Emerson electric fan, monumental iron gates and other vintage architectural items (to include columns and a large double exterior light), oak round tables and chairs and portraiture. Some of the primitives came out of the historic home in Luray, Virginia, known as Aventine, built in 1852 and used for housing soldiers during the Civil War. Nash helped equip the home with period primitives.
The Asian category will feature a pair of Toyo Japanese Samurai archer bronze statues presented on a marble platform, pottery pieces, tomb soldier replicas and items made in the style of various periods (Ming, Han, Song dynasties), mostly jugs, porcelain bowls and stands for a large charger, as well as an ornate display/altar stand.
Huge gold-framed mirrors (one of which is a full 12 feet tall) are bound to wow the crowd. An example is the girandole mirror with fancy eagle at the crest and florals at the bottom. Clocks will feature a Jenny Lynn shelf clock. Silverplate items will include a centerpiece with ram’s-head handles and an epergne. Also up for bid will be milk glass and cut glass, and Lenox china.
The rest of the catalog will be a wonderland of decorative items befitting any fine home. These will include a Rookwood seal, a brass satyr head inkwell with quill holder and blotter holder, a pair of Mottahedeh design gold dog figures resting on white platforms, a spelter jockey, a bronze bell, a Beswick ceramic Dalmatian dog (14 inches tall) and many other items.
The auction will begin promptly at 8 a.m. and will consist entirely of items from Nash's estate. Previews will be held the week of auction, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on auction day from 7 a.m. until the start of sale at 8. For those unable to attend in person, online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.
The Specialists of the South Inc. has been serving the Panama City community for more than 35 years. The company specializes in a broad range of services, to include estate auctions, furniture refurbishing, interior decoration, personal property appraisals and business liquidation services. It has been named the Small Business of the Month by the Bay County Chamber of Commerce.