The estate of the late Julian and Agatha Bennett will be auctioned October 3rd in Panama City, Fla

Hundreds of antique and collectible items gathered over the course of decades by the late Julian and Agatha Bennett, plus wonderful furniture pieces (many of them in the French style), will be sold on-site on Saturday, Oct. 3, in Panama City, Fla.

Hundreds of antique and collectible items gathered over the course of decades by the late Julian and Agatha Bennett, plus wonderful furniture pieces (many of them in the French style), will be sold on-site, at the couple's former residence located at 3127 West 30th Court in Panama City. The auction will be held Saturday, Oct. 3rd, starting at 8 a.m. Central time.

For those unable to attend the event in person, internet bidding will be facilitated by both LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were prominent members of the community. Julian Bennett was an attorney for more than 60 years, served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives from 1961-1967, opened The Reef Hotel with his brother Don in the 1950s, and was instrumental in developing Panama City's beachfront area with projects like the Miracle Strip Amusement Park.

Agatha Bennett taught in the Bay County school system and served as president of the Bay County Democratic Women's Club. She also helped host visiting state Chambers of Commerce groups during the 1960s. She took an active role in the family's many business enterprises (to include the hotel and amusement park). She passed away in 2012, her husband passed in 2013.

What they left behind is a houseful of treasures, with most of the collectible items and decorative accessories carrying Mrs. Bennett's personal stamp. She was very fond of figures that depicted monkeys and cherubs (especially cherubs; they are scattered liberally throughout the house). She also collected nutcrackers (50-60 will be sold, in varying sizes), miniature shoes and Christmas items.

“Mrs. Bennett had a keen eye for quality, and she spent a lot of time in the area's antiques shops, just browsing and buying,” said Logan Adams of The Specialists of the South, Inc., the Panama City-based firm conducting the auction.

In all, around 600 lots will come up for bid at the three-story structure the Bennetts called home. Sold will be Noritake (including a 55-piece china set in the Avalon pattern), Bavarian, Haviland, Lenox, Tiffany and handpainted china pieces, a service for eight Royal Copenhagen dinnerware set, a 1945 Rookwood vase, a Shirley Temple pitcher and many Fritz & Floyd Christmas pieces.

Collectible items will feature ladies' fans (one from 1939, framed), perfume bottles (to include commercial and dresser, plus atomizers and a Shannon crystal bottle with a floral stopper), sculptures and figures (to include a thumbs-up, a stork with spring neck, deer and other brass animals), and music boxes.

Silverplated items will include a punch bowl with 12 cups, tea services, large United States Navy tablespoons, a large repousse boat centerpiece (12 inches tall and 19 inches wide), a large figural planter (or fountain, cherub decorated, 51 inches tall), a pair of tall, graduated, pierced baskets, each one 19 ½ inches in height, and a revolving world. Also sold will be a milk glass punch bowl with 12 cups, and a 12-piece Victorian fruit knife set with stand.

Glass items will feature opalescent glass, elegant Depression glass (including Rosepoint), 53 pieces of Depression glass dinnerware, cut glass (including a large punch bowl on a stand), cut crystal stemware, cobalt blue glassware and a large amber blown glass jar and two cornucopias.

The French-style furniture will include a recamier sofa, bombe chests with ormolu and marble tops, a ladies' roll-top desk with ormolu, a kidney-shaped vanity with ormolu and side lamps, and an armoire with three-dimensional carvings and glass doors. Other furniture will feature a Victorian chaise longue, a wood settee (circa 1900), and a Chippendale-
style dining table, with chairs and a china cabinet.

Wild and wonderful offerings will feature an Illinois rolled gold pocket watch, an original reel-to-reel soundtrack recording of Gone With the Wind, a mink stroller coat and full-length fox coat from Goldstein's, an Art Nouveau light (marked Crosa, 1995), a Carl Reitz German wall clock, a signed oil on canvas depicting Texas bluebonnets and a Human Touch robotic massage chair.

The Bennetts loved mirrors, and there are many in the sale. Examples include a large brass cheval mirror, a girandole convex mirror with eagle crest, an ornate Venetian-style beveled mirror, framed beveled mirrors, and swing mirrors incorporated into a Victorian dark oak dresser and a hardwood antique dresser. Brass pieces will include a brass easel, scales and other items.

Certain to spark keen bidder interest is a framed ruling from New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Yates, dated 1808.

Returning to furniture, noteworthy lots will include seven barrister bookcases (six of which have seven sections) by  makers such as Globe-Wernicke and Macey, a vintage cedar chest, a painted floral decorated vanity with mirror, Federal-style oval coffee tables, a hardwood wall shelf with pierced sides, a king-size poster canopy bed, a lovely Victorian-style Craftsman sofa, and four different Victorian side chairs with needlepoint seats.

Previews will be held all day Friday, Oct. 2, and on auction day, Oct. 3 (from 7-8 a.m), or by appointment.  For an appointment, call 850-785-2577.  A buyer’s premium will be applied to all purchases. All sales are final. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted with prior arrangements.

The Specialists of the South, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at (850) 785-2577, or you may e-mail them at contact@sospcfl.com. To learn more, or to register for the October 3 auction, you may log on to either of the two websites: www.SpecialistsoftheSouth.com.