Estate auction draws crowd

Published 12:02 am Sunday, October 5, 2008

NATCHEZ — When the estate of the late Jimmy Pippen went up for auction, hundreds of people showed up.

Pippen, who was an antique dealer and decorator, died suddenly from a heart attack in early August.

His family, who said the estate had to be auctioned off to meet financial obligations, scheduled the auction through Stevens Auction Company in Aberdeen, and it was stationed at the Natchez Convention Center.

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Among the items on the block were dozens of antique beds and chairs, piles of rugs, numerous pieces of crystal and even a vintage vampire hunting kit.

The auction lasted all day Friday and Saturday, and reportedly attracted bidders from as far away as Australia.

While he wasn’t from that far away, Scott Greer, of Madison, said he is a regular at Stevens’ auctions but was particularly excited about this one when he learned of it.

“I think a lot of people were excited about this auction because (Pippen’s) shop was so well-known for its quality,” he said.

Local resident Paula Joseph said she went to the auction without anything to buy in mind.

“I love auctions, and I just wanted to see what they had,” Joseph said.

At the end of the day, Joseph was the owner of a new set of runners, but she didn’t know what they cost her.

“My husband has the bidder’s card,” she said. “I’m not allowed to look or place bids.”

The items sold at the auction included the contents of Pippen’s residence on Rankin Street known as “Paradise,” furniture from “The Orchard,” the inventory from Pippen’s Limited Antiques and Interiors, and several warehouses.