PARRIOTT Mansion auction this weekend

Wednesday, May 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

One of Tulsa’s largest antique collections will be auctioned this weekend, in a home with a history of its own. The late Sue Wingfield Francis and her husband bought the Parriott Mansion at 31st and Lewis in 1960.

KOTV's Glenda Silvey takes a look at the treasures Francis collected for the house she loved. Tulsa oilman Foster Parriott built his nearly 15,000 square foot mansion in 1930 on two and a half acres at 31st and Lewis. After his death, it was a convent till Joe and Sue Francis bought it in 1960. They fell in love with the home, its spacious ground floor with double staircase. Its ornate moldings. The original wallpapers and murals, the dramatic fireplace mantles. The house and its furnishings became Sue Francis's passion.

Mississippi auctioneer Larry McCool says she gathered a significant collection of 19th and 20th century pieces from around the world. "The home is absolutely remarkable. I think the things in it are so varied, there's not a theme here, but it's grand by the scale of the collectables." Jody Francis Humphrey grew up in this house, and has spent the last two years sorting and organizing her mother's treasures. While she has strong attachments to the mansion, she and her family like living in Owasso. "My mother was a slave to this house, and I would become one. I don't want to be a slave to this house. I want to share this house." Humphrey has rich memories and stories about her mother's collection. Many ask how she can part with it. She assures them she's taken what means most. "Yes, I've taken my favorites, probably not the most expensive things, but you know, the chair I remember mother working on in the basement and the things from my childhood."

McCool says objects like these aren't being produced much anymore, that we are a culture mass-producing disposables, not collectables. He hopes people will look into this window of opportunity. "It's only open for a short time, and when it's closed, it's closed forever. This probably won't come around again in a lot of people's lifetimes." Humphrey says her mother always said she knew there'd be an auction one day, and that day has come. "I'm trying to be so positive. This is the end of an era. But it's the beginning of another. And I want these things to find happy homes in Tulsa."

Humphrey's hope is that someone will buy and preserve the mansion, for sale at $2.5-million. The auction begins at 9:30 Friday and Saturday and noon Sunday.

Tulsa Estate Auction
"Parriott Mansion"
2216 East 30th Street
May 4- 6
Friday May 4- 9:30 am
Saturday May 5- 9:30 am
Sunday May 6- Noon