With a record number of collectors on the phones and live streaming the auction online, Brunk Auctions greatly exceeded expectations for its Spring sale, surpassing its presale total estimate and posting a final sale total of $2,138,215.75. While buyers from the U.S. largely drove the bidding for the May sale, collectors registered bids from across the globe, representing 21 countries on three continents.
Fine Art claimed the best results in the May auction, posting an impressive 95% sell through rate and accounting for over a third of the total weekend sales. Lot 1128, Ernst Barlach’s patinated bronze sculpture, Der Verschwender II (The Spendthrift), captured the top lot of the sale, selling for nearly eight times the presale estimate for a final total of $59,040. Lot 1008, a luminous high alpine landscape painting by Ivan Fedorovich Choultsé achieved a final total of $56,580. Lot 1210, Tangier, by Harry Humphrey Moore finished at a final total of $36,900. Other Fine Art highlights included Lot 1271, Albert Earnest (Beanie) Backus’ oil on canvas board, Back from Nassau, which achieved $19,680; Lot 1161, Herman Fuechsel’s oil on canvas, The Foundry at Cold Spring, NY, which sold for $16,640; and Lot 1043, Benjamin Cañas’ oil on panel, Icaro, which finished at a final total of $36,900.
With a 98% sell through rate, offerings from the Jewelry department performed well and indicated a strong and continuing demand for fine jewelry. Notably, Lot 880, a stunning Platinum 24.0 ct. Diamond Rivière Necklace claimed the top lot of the Jewelry category, realizing a final total of $23,370. Other Jewelry highlights included Lot 810, an 18kt. 2.62ct. Diamond Ring which sold for $15,990 and Lot 858, a Rare Patek Philippe 18kt. Pocket Watch which commanded $15,990. Highlights from a delightful collection of vintage Hermès jewelry included Lot 837, a Vintage Hermès Paris 18kt Brooch in a pine cone design, which sold for $2,432 and Lot 839, a pair of Vintage Hermès Paris 18kt Earclips in a similarly pleasing pine cone design, which realized a total of $2,460.
Both the American Furniture and the Continental Furniture departments demonstrated solid returns with 97% sell through rates. American Furniture highlights included Lot 1225, a Fine American Federal Tiger Maple Tall Case Clock, which finished at a final total of $19,680; and Lot 1366, a late 18th century Pennsylvania Chippendale Walnut Chest on Frame, which achieved $12,600. Lot 1183, a Fine American William and Mary Tavern Table and Lot 1189, a Fine American Queen Anne Red Painted Tea Table generated considerable interest among collectors, driving bids up to well over double the presale estimates for final totals of $8,610 each.
With 98% and 96% sell through rates respectively, the Fine Silver and the Coins and Currency departments continued to shine. Silver highlights included Lot 1325, a W. H. Calhoun Nashville Coin Silver Coffee Pot, which achieved a total of $5,227.50 and Lot 1319, a 19th century Georgia Coin Silver Dipper, which realized a total of $3,997.50. Coins and Currency highlights included Lot 940, a 1914 China Silver Dollar, well exceeded its presale estimate and achieved a final total of $12,800; Lot 959, a 1911 China Silver Dollar tripled its presale estimate, realizing a final total of $11,520; and Lot 937, a 1932 China Silver Dollar, Birds Over Junk which also surpassed its presale estimate and sold for a final total of $8,960.
Andrew Brunk, President of Brunk Auctions, remarked that “We are grateful to our bidders and our consignors, and also that the market is so strong in these unusual circumstances. Our second fully virtual auction has proven again that our patrons and our staff are resilient and dedicated, and that quality offerings continue to bring excellent results.”
Brunk Auctions looks forward to building on its success this year for both collectors and consignors and welcomes potential consignments for Premier and Emporium auctions at its locations in Asheville and Richmond.