Antiques from historic NC mansion up for auction

Posted April 23, 2012 11:10 a.m. EDT
Updated April 23, 2012 6:40 p.m. EDT

— From furniture to Ferraris, every moveable item at a historic North Carolina mansion is going on the auction block.

A preview event Sunday gave more than 300 people a glimpse of the 1,074 antiques and collectibles from Chinqua Penn Plantation which go on sale Wednesday and Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Jeff Penn, a tobacco and dairy farmer and financial businessman, and his wife Betsy built the two-story, 27-room mansion in Reidsville in the 1920s. The couple filled it with art and furniture they collected while traveling the globe.

"This is an extremely unique, historic, landmark auction," Leland Little, with Auction and Estate Sales, told WGHP News.

The Penns "were a people of means," Little said. "They traveled the world, learned culture, activities, and they bought things as they were traveling that they thought would work perfectly in their home."

Mocksville millionaire Calvin Phelps bought Chinqua Penn Plantation from the state in 2006 with the intent of preserving it and keeping it open to the public. However, several of his tobacco companies got into financial trouble, and Phelps declared bankruptcy.

The auction is expected to bring in $2 million to offset bankruptcy claims.

The public can view items until the auction begins Wednesday.