Nearly 1300 lots were offered over two days at the May 2017 Premier Auction at Brunk Auctions. Fine estates and collections graced the auction block, with bidders showing substantial interest in rare jewelry, fine art, and furniture.

Dazzling jewelry from the Estate of June Montague Ficklen of Greenville, North Carolina brought staggering prices during the first session on Friday. The top lot from the Ficklen Estate, as well as in the sale, was an Important Cartier Platinum and Diamond Bracelet. Consisting of 143 round, pear, and marquise diamonds, the 60-70 carat vintage bracelet brought considerable interest from an assortment of active bidders. When the hammer dropped, the stunning Cartier piece sold for $204,000 to a phone bidder. (Lot 0517)

Mrs. Ficklen served on several boards of directors including the North Carolina Art Museum, North Carolina School of the Arts, Greenville Art Museum, and Kenmore. She was also a fervent supporter of her community, and founded Women for Women in 2005, an organization dedicated to promoting women and girls near Greenville. Mrs. Ficklen somehow found time to travel the globe with her husband, and was known for her refined taste in jewelry.

A few of the other impressive lots from the Ficklen Estate include:

    • A 2.32 Carat Diamond and Platinum Cartier Ring, D color, selling for $26,400 (Lot 0492)


    • Platinum, Sapphire, and Diamond Earclips, each with a central 6 carat natural Sapphire, selling for $31,200 (Lot 0518)


  • A Platinum and Diamond Brooch with a total diamond carat weight of 14-20 carats selling for $22,800 (Lot 0515)

A Jeremiah Theus (1716-1774) portrait of Young William Branford (1753-1776) of Charleston, South Carolina sold for $180,000. This marks a new record for Theus at auction, surpassing the previous record total of $123,900. That record was set by Brunk Auctions in May 2012 with the portrait of Elizabeth Allen Deas, a relative of William Branford.
(Lot 0842)

In the portrait, Theus depicts Branford as a young boy with a battledore and shuttlecock. Presumably after the portrait, William Branford was sent to England for his education. While there, he met with a terrible fate, dying as a result of falling from a window, either by accident or suicide at the age of 23.

Other exceptional results in the auction include:

    • Jean Dufy (French, 1888-1964) Le Jardin des Tuileries et l’Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, selling for $36,000
      (Lot 0766)


    • A Bust of Daphne by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (Massachusetts/Italy, 1830-1908) selling for $43,200. This lot was featured on the catalog cover. It was purchased by an institutional buyer. (Lot 0935)


  • Jack Saylor (Beaufort, NC, born 1960) a painting Running for Cover from 1999 (Lot 0815) which sold for $16,800, a new record for the North Carolina artist at auction. Brunk Auctions is proud to hold the record at auction for Saylor, who joins the likes of Maud Gatewood and Claude Howell as renowned North Carolina artists with recent record prices at auction set by Brunk Auctions.

In total, the sale brought over $2.3 million. All prices include applicable buyers premiums. Brunk Auctions will hold their next premier auction on the weekend of July 22.