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Fountain from AFD could be priciest High Point Market sale ever

Wes Kennedy, Jay McIntosh -- Furniture Today, May 1, 2013

 Ashley Chairman Ron Wanek bought this soaring marble fountain from AFD during the High Point Market to donate to the Arcadia Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wis.Ashley Chairman Ron Wanek bought this soaring marble fountain from AFD during the High Point Market to donate to the Arcadia Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wis.

HIGH POINT — AFD, a division of Art & Frame Direct, sold a single item at the High Point Market for $99,000 - which company President and CEO George Eouse thinks is a market record.

The product? A soaring marble fountain measuring about 30 by 22 feet at the base and featuring carvings of horses and sea gods.

The buyer? Ashley Chairman Ron Wanek, who is donating the fountain to the Arcadia Memorial Park in Ashley's hometown of Arcadia, Wis. It's the latest of a number of statues Wanek has created for the park or provided to it.

Why did he buy it? "It's awesome. It's a wow image," he said.

Eouse said the fountain - which people passing by the AFD Design Center on Hamilton Street during market found hard to miss - was carved in northern China of sienna marble. He said it took three containers to import and a crane and crew of six to install. This week, a crane is loading it onto Ashley trucks for transport to Arcadia.

Eouse added that he thinks the fact that such an expensive item sold in High Point "is a testament to the much-overdue recovery of our housing economy and the turnaround of our beloved market, as buyers from most regions returned with a much welcomed sense of confidence not seen for many years."

Wanek said the Arcadia City Council voted Monday to accept the donation.

He said that at the price he paid for the fountain, "I got a good deal on it." With installation, the total cost will be about $250,000, he estimated.

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