Asheville, North Carolina, 7 December, 2019–With its inlaid surfaces, fitted interior, and mellow color, an important North Carolina Walnut cellarette (lot 1579) captured the attention of the southern furniture collecting community. Bidding came from all quarters – with excitement and energy.  Numerous phones, as well as live and internet bidders, pushed the hammer price well beyond the estimate. The final price of $196,800 makes it a record for a southern cellarette and the second highest priced example of North Carolina Furniture ever sold.

Attributed to Micajah Wilkes, this late 18th century-early 19th century Roanoke River Valley cellarette is an extraordinary example of Southern craftsmanship.  It’s quality, historical significance, very fine condition, and newness to market created an environment of intense competition – one by one the phones went silent until the successful bidder stood alone. The sale of this important Southern cellarette demonstrates Brunk Auctions’ continuing tradition of delivering exceptional results for this iconic form and many other examples of fine Southern furniture. 

With strong results for American Furniture, Fine Art, Coins and Currency, Jewelry, and Photography and an auction total of $2,439,042 with a 90% sell through rate, Brunk Auctions’ has finished an excellent year on a high note..

Lot 1734, the patinated bronze sculpture, Buffalo-Monarch of the Plains, by noted American Renaissance sculptor, Henry Merwin Shrady, secured the second highest total of the sale, finishing at a final price of $184,500. Other American Fine Art highlights included Lot 1684, John Koch’s The Visitors, which sold for $61, 500, Lot 1721, John Frederick Kensett’s work, Niagara Falls, which achieved $44,280, and Lot 1368, Claude Howell’s oil on canvas, Sorting the Catch, which realized $34,440.

The Silver and Coins and Currency departments both posted 97% sell through rates–the highest across the categories of sale. Notable Coins and Currency results include Lot 1273, Twelve Rolls of High Grade Peace Dollars which realized $7,995 and Lot 1271, Five American Gold Eagles which finished at a final total of $7,995. Lot 1224, a Spanish Colonial Silver Lion Pomander claimed the top lot of the silver category, achieving $7,040. 

A Platinum 5.58ct. Diamond Ring, Lot 1092, held the top lot of the Jewelry category, achieving a final total of $31,980. The Jewelry department continues to post strong sell through rates with 95% of lots sold in the December sale.

Neil Leifer’s Muhammed Ali Vs. Cleveland Williams, Houston, Texas, 1966, vintage chromogenic print claimed the top lot of the Photography category, realizing $24,600. Eadweard Muybridge’s Cottonwood Bend, Yosemite, a mammoth albumen print, achieved a final total of $10,880 –well over its $5,000-$7,000 estimate. Overall, 87% of lots sold in the Photography category.

Andrew Brunk, President of Brunk Auctions, remarked that “it was a solid December sale, with several “A+” offerings. The high sell through rates and prices realized demonstrate the continuing demand across categories and reinforces our reputation for bringing the best to market.”

With a 90% sell through rate, Brunk Auctions posted good results and looks forward to following up on its success for both collectors and consignors, inviting potential consignments at all our locations for Emporium and Premier auctions in 2020. Visit us in Asheville, Nashville, and Richmond, or online at


February 6th-8th/Asheville, North Carolina Emporium & Premier Auctions
March 26th-28th /Asheville, North Carolina Emporium & Premier Auctions
May 16th /Richmond, Virginia Premier Auction


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World Class Consignments and Exceptional Results– Founded in 1983

Results are listed in USD and include buyer’s premium

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Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Brunk Auctions has grown from a small regional auction house to a national auction service with significant international clientele.

Founded by Robert Brunk in 1983, Brunk Auctions became well known for its integrity and professionalism. As an anthropologist, writer, professional woodworker, and now valued consultant, Bob possesses a remarkable combination of skills that continues to illuminate catalog entries and inform auction-goers. Since joining his father in 2005, Andrew Brunk has brought further expertise to the company. His experience as the head of the American Furniture Department at one of the world’s largest auction houses has allowed Brunk Auctions to align itself with the best in the business. Brunk Auctions employs a full-time staff of 22 with experience gained in New York and Boston auction houses, galleries, and museums.

Featured Estates

The Kapnek Bluethenthal Collection

Estate of Mr. and Mrs. David Astor Dowdy, Jr

Private Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Estate of The Honorable Thomas Alexander Lohm, Maryland

Private New England Collection

The I. Noël Hume Collection of Artifacts and Antiquities

Private Collection, Nashville, Tennessee

A Private New York Collection

Private Collection, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

A Private Virginia Collection

Coleman Collection, Matthews, North Carolina

Private Collection, Pinehurst, North Carolina

Private Collection, New York/New Jersey/ North Carolina

Private Collection, Florida

Collection of John Ehle and Rosemary Harris, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Private Collection, Louisville, Kentucky

Private Collection, Jacksonville, Florida

Estate of Col. Robert and Mrs. Linda Newton, Marshall, Virginia

Private Collection, Memphis, Tennessee

Estate of Gail W. Dane, Delray Beach, Florida

Estate of Girard Chambers, Jr., Hampton, Virginia

Private Collection, Miami, Florida

Private Collection, Atlanta, Georgia

Private Collection, North Carolina

Private Florida Collection

Property From A Southern Institution

Property From an Important Virginia Living Estate

Riddle Collection

Private Collection, Saluda, North Carolina