Asheville, North Carolina, October 5, 2020 — Brunk Auctions sustains impressive hammer prices and sell through rates in their second sale of the Fall season. The October 2-3 Premier Auctions attracted national and international buyers across many categories with Silver, Fine Art, Textiles, Jewelry, American Furniture, and Historical Documents obtaining the best results. The auction boasted a 96% sell through rate with a final sale total of $3,874,549.
The Friday, October 2nd Premier Auction opened with fine offerings from our Jewelry, Coins & Currency, and Silver departments. Lot 155, the Temple St. Clair 18kt. Gemstone Bracelet attracted many bidders and exceeded its presale estimate with a total of $24,600. Lot 239, the Samuel Kirk Repousse Coin Silver Water Pitcher realized $8,198 and claimed the top lot in the Silver category.
On Saturday, October 3, an impressive group of twenty-four needleworks, beadworks, and embroideries from The Collection of Dudley and Constance Godfrey started the day off strong. This group of textiles achieved an overestimate total of $163,159. Lot 345, a 1725 Signed Silk and Canvas Needlework, achieved $18,450 exceeding its high estimate by over $15,000.
Fine Art stole the show on Saturday. Luther Brady’s Milton Avery, Birds Over Sea, lot 555, realized $1,722,000. This painting from the American modernist’s mature period has exceptional provenance with an exhibition history from over twenty museums and galleries across the country. The Avery received extraordinary interest from dealers, institutions, and private collectors alike. Laura Crockett, Modern Art Specialist, commented on the painting, “It is perhaps impossible to measure the impact Milton Avery had on a young generation of modern artists. He shunned what was popular, was driven to express himself purely, and shared selflessly with artists who gathered around him.” The proceeds from the important painting will benefit The Luther W. Brady Foundation and will support students of both science and the arts.
Lot 579, Mauritz Frederik Hendrick De Haas proved a Fine Art highlight as well. This painting, Sailing at Sunset, achieved $49,200― more than tripling its presale estimate. A John James Audubon etching, engraving, and aquatint, lot 608, achieved $79,950, further contributing to the Fine Art Department’s success.
In the last half hour of the sale, a group of Important Quasi War Related Naval Documents, lot 665, with a modest estimate of $4,000 – $6,000, realized $135,300. This lot was one of eighteen from the Historic Captain James N. Sever Collection of Nautical Charts and Documents.
Lot 669, a Rare North Carolina Chippendale Desk and Bookcase achieved $44, 280, also tripling its presale estimate. Andrew Brunk, President and CEO, remarked, “On the heels of the Estate of William N. Banks, Jr. Auction, it was exciting to see continued strength in the market across categories and periods. We were thrilled with the response and result for the Milton Avery painting at $1.7 million hammer. Interest was strong and prices robust throughout the sale, particularly for jewelry and objects from important single-owner collections such as that of Dudley and Constance Godfrey Collection, and the Sever historic map collection.”