First came the Brunk Auctions catalog, full of choice offerings. Then came the county order to “Stay at Home; Stay Safe,” so the doors to the gallery were closed to the public. That did not stand in the way of what would be considered a resoundingly successful auction, even in the best of times. Private video conference previews were held, countless additional high-resolution photos were emailed, and then the Brunk Auctions staff was sent home with laptops and lists of clients. Phone bidders were represented by staff who all called into a group meeting. Three digital platforms saw record use. AND the Wi-Fi held up.
“Lead up to an auction is always busy and tense but this brings it to a new level,” said Andrew Brunk, President of Brunk Auctions. “In the end, it was a tremendously successful auction with a clutch group of serious collectors emerging to compete for some rare items.”
With a record number of collectors on the phones (707 phone bids) and live streaming the auction online, Brunk Auctions surpassed its presale total estimate, posting a final sale total of $1,476,998. While buyers from the U.S. largely drove the bidding, collectors registered bids from across the globe.
American Furniture and Decorative Arts claimed the best results in the weekend sale and posted a 96% sell-through rate. Lot 1093, a Rare Lemuel Curtis Federal Girandole Clock captured the top lot of the sale, tripling its presale estimate and finishing at a final total of $51,660. Lot 1138, an Important American Chippendale Desk and Bookcase drew significant attention from buyers across the U.S. with bidding finishing at a final total of $46,740. Other American Furniture highlights included Lot 1071, a Rare and Important Southern Queen Anne Dressing Table which achieved $36,900, and Lot 1061, a Very Rare North Carolina Federal Miniature Chest which sold for a final total of $36,900.
Fine Art delivered strong returns with notable results that included Lot 1143, Hermann Herzog’s Afternoon in the Everglades, which quadrupled its presale estimate, selling for a final total of $41,820; Lot 1149, William Michael Harnett’s Still Life with Jug, Bread, and Newspaper, which achieved $39,360; and two Maud Gatewood works, Lot 979, Straw Field Spring and Lot 980, Sandbars, which realized final totals of $36,900 each. Other standouts included Lot 811, Roelof Koets the Elder’s A Breakfast Still Life, which sold for a final total of $18,450; and Lot 1146, T. Worthington Whittredge’s Near Bernardsville, New Jersey, which finished at a final total of $15,990.
The Fine Silver department posted a 100% sell through rate while the Jewelry department demonstrated solid returns with a 97% sell-through rate.
Brunk Auctions is still accepting potential consignments and has Premier and Emporium auctions scheduled at its locations in Asheville and Richmond. Pickups and delivery will be scheduled as soon as safety and best practices deem it a good idea. Because of the uncertainty of both state restrictions and supply chain variables, the May Premier Auction that was scheduled for Richmond, VA has been relocated to Asheville, NC. Our digital catalog is scheduled to go live by mid-April, and we will resume our print catalog as soon as possible.