Whitmore Mansion furnishings for sale

Original pieces to stay in mansion

etracy@modbee.comAugust 14, 2013 

— From linens and end tables to china and industrial stoves, nearly the entire contents of the century-old Clinton Whitmore Mansion and its grounds will be sold this weekend.

The city of Ceres purchased the property in a short sale in December for $475,300. Its previous owners Cary and Nancy Pope remained working as vendors for the Whitmore Mansion Foundation — which now oversees its operations for the city — but recently decided to retire and sell the contents of the mansion.

The City Council convened Wednesday night to discuss purchasing select antique and vintage items for about $8,000. The council decided against it after learning that the only funding source that could legally be used for the purchase is general fund reserves.

But the mansion is by no means being dismantled, said estate sale organizer Kim Chapman, who owns Ciao Bella Estates

Items original to the mansion — such as lighting fixtures and chandeliers, which had been stored in the attic for years — will remain. A large blue area rug and organ that were purchased for the home around the time of its construction also will stay.

Chapman, a longtime resident of Ceres, said she has a special interest in ensuring the Victorian is refurnished with pieces from the era in which it was built. She said she will find benefactors to purchase items and will use her buying power as an antiquities dealer to acquire them at a quarter of the price.

Already, Chapman has found people willing to buy a dining-room set and a rare 1850s square piano that originally was tagged as an item in the estate sale.

The piano was one of the items the council was considering for purchase. While it will remain because of the donation by the benefactor, other items the city wanted are up for grabs, including a large iron gazebo, fountains and even a wheelchair lift that helps make the facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The estate sale will be held at the mansion, 2732 Fifth St., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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