THOMSON - The barn behind the plantation-style house at 254 North Seymour Drive in Thomson was filled with framed paintings, crystal glasses, cut diamonds, persian rugs and oak furniture.
This past Saturday, there weren't horses in the nearby pasture but several vehicles with a lot of horsepower, including a 1994 Dodge Viper RT 10 and a 2001 limited-edition, black PT Cruiser.
The items were sold at an auction this weekend on the property of the 1810 West Inn House in Thomson - an estate that is also for sale for several pretty pennies.
Shelley and Ken Mishoe of Martinez knew what they were looking for when they got to the sale.
"We were looking for small antique wooden tables," Shelley said. "I was really impressed with an antique Chinese vase that I saw that had a certificate of authenticity."
Some of the other 100 hopeful buyers were interested in the framed paintings and prints by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Renoir, Warhol and Degas, to name a few.
The art collection belonged to Carmen Molinaro, a builder, developer and financier who was compelled to sell the items after a bankruptcy, according to brochures available at the auction.
Edna Murray of Augusta, who collects elephants, saw a painting of an African elephant that she liked.
"I sell real estate in Augusta and happened to be passing through Thomson when I found out about the auction," Murray said. "I've already called my daughter and she's on her way. ... It looks like there is a lot of nice furniture, too."
Auction buyers could take a break from the heat by touring the air-conditioned, two-story white house trimmed with dark shutters. The former inn house and 14.2 acres of surrounding land were put on sale separately from the auction, starting at $1,275,000.
"It has 11 bedrooms and 111/2 bathrooms and still has the original hardwood floors," said Kim Bragg of Sherman and Hemstreet/GMAC Real Estate.
The pre-Civil War era home was built on land that John West Sr. petitioned from the state of Georgia in 1767.
"The family lived in one of the nearby cottages until the main house was completed in 1810," Bragg said.
The house later became an inn where wedding receptions and retreats took place. Newlyweds could stay in Scarlett's Honeymoon Cottage, complete with a fireplace and clouds painted on the ceiling.
The Thomson home became the 1810 West Inn and later the Turn Key Plantation. In 2000, the house was purchased by Thomas DeRossett. The house is now being sold from the family trust, completely furnished with antiques from DeRossett's collection.
"We are excited because we have already heard from several people who are interested in buying the home," Bragg said.
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