John Dwight Stevens began Stevens Auction Company because of a lifelong interest in antiques and architecture. A graduate of the University of Mississippi with a liberal arts degree in business, Stevens early on developed a love for fine furniture and accessories that has served him well in his chosen profession, the marketing and selling of antiques.
After deciding to turn what had been a hobby into a profession, he attended the Missouri Auction School in Kansas City, from which he graduated as a certified auctioneer. In 1984, he founded Stevens Auction Company, and became an active member of the National Auctioneers Association and, later, helped organize the Mississippi Auctioneers Association (MS Lic. #349).
During its early years, the Auction Company sold anything requested, from grocery stores to farm equipment, as well as antiques, operating with the steadfast support of the Stevens sisters and auctions staff. However, over the last 20 years, Stevens has become a specialist in the marketing and selling of antiques in particular, as well as the organization and management of large estate auctions. With his immense network of consignors and loyal bidders, Stevens now holds antiques auctions throughout the Southeastern United States, and still relies on his family to help him create his one-of-a-kind auctions. Lately, the auctions have even been able to include the younger generations of the Stevens family.
John Dwight Stevens is now considered one of the leading antique experts in the Mid-South and is in great demand for appraisals and large estate auctions. Since the late 1980’s, Stevens has sold tens of millions of dollars worth of rare antiques, fine porcelains, oil paintings, Persian rugs, Chinese works of art, rare clocks, American Indian art, old dolls, antique automobiles, both foreign and domestic glassware plus some of the finest old homes in the South.
Today, his one-of-a-kind auctions are comprised of only hand-picked estates and antiques, chosen specifically for their provenance and excellence. The company holds estate auctions numerous times a year on location at some of the most prominent old homes in the South. As a result, Stevens now sells choice real estate as well some of the finest antiques found on today's market. Buyers delight in finding many rare collectibles and mint-condition, pre-civil-war, one-of-a-kind furnishings at Stevens’ events. Auctions are held year round on-site or in Aberdeen, Mississippi, even in less-than-fair weather under huge tents. Buyers drive, fly or call in from around the world, after viewing Stevens’ website, brochures, or advertisements in nation-wide periodicals.
Stevens’ Aberdeen Auction Facility is near the heart of Historic Downtown Aberdeen, only blocks from Main Street. The building has over 12,000 square feet, and it has been renovated and outfitted specifically to house his company’s one-of-a-kind antique auctions. The building allowed for plenty of parking as well as loading, with industry-standard loading docks, and numerous restrooms. Stevens has included renovated office space, an indoor concession stand, plenty of seating, a larger auction block, a first class heating-cooling system, and a state of the art, 24-hour digital surveillance system.
Additionally, Stevens and his family are steadfast supporters of Aberdeen and the state of Mississippi. In June 2002, Stevens Auction Company purchased the Adams-French Mansion at 301 North Meridian Street to be its premier auction facility. Stevens restored and refurbished the magnificent mansion to its original grandeur in the years following its purchase. After restoration was complete, he used it as a showcase for the most prominent estate auctions only three times a year.
After Hurricane Katrina, Stevens was called in to assist the Governor of Mississippi recover and store the historic, antique furnishings of Beauvoir, the last residence of Jefferson Davis, the once United States Senator, Congressman, Secretary of War, and only President of the Confederate States of America. Over ninety percent of the furnishings in the Historic Landmark were retrieved and brought to climate-controlled storage facilities in Northeast Mississippi, to be restored and returned to the estate by the end of 2006.
Tragedy struck Stevens Auction Company this year when a fire broke out at the Adams-French Mansion in the wee hours of the morning on June 26. Authorities and personnel from Aberdeen Police Department, Aberdeen Fire Department, and Cedar Creek Volunteer Fire Department worked tirelessly for hours fighting the fire and had it mostly contained and out by dawn of that morning.
Even as his crew worked to salvage the items they could in the days following, as the insurance adjusters were making their notes, and as his staff was working to quell advertisements for an auction that could no longer be, Stevens was developing plans for reconstruction and renovation. The fire was most definitely a setback, but by no means was Stevens going to allow that to slow him down. After an end of the summer vacation to clear his head and rest his spirits, Stevens was back in the fall with two of the best auctions he has ever orchestrated.
Individuals from across the nation lamented the tragedy that befell the Adams-French Mansion. Stevens received hundreds of telephone calls and over two thousand emails, all with messages of condolence and support. In the midst of this unbelievable trial, Stevens was humbled by the kindness of friends, business associates, and total strangers who read about the story in national magazines and elsewhere. He used that humility and generosity as energy to rebuild bigger and better than ever.
The Adams-French Mansion reconstruction has been completed, and the home sits atop its hill in Aberdeen, a magnificent example of the majesty of antebellum homes in Mississippi.
Since 1988, Stevens has invested his own money, time and resources to save dozens of historic homes and buildings in Aberdeen. In the winter of 2006, he created Save Aberdeen Landmarks Group, Inc. (“S.A.L.”) as a non-profit organization that exists to restore and refurbish buildings and landmarks of Historic Downtown Aberdeen as well as prominent, historic buildings in the surrounding area.
Stevens love of antiques and history pervades his auction company, his non-profit organization and is palpable in Downtown Aberdeen, Mississippi. He takes his work very seriously, and his professionalism, discretion, and efficiency are unmatched in the region. Call (662-369-2200) or email firstname.lastname@example.org him if he and his family may serve you in any professional capacity.
M.S. A.L. #349
John Dwight Stevens, Auctioneer
Selling the South’s Finest Antiques