A British surprise at Brunk, March 1

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – On March 1, a signed Gillow burlwood desk sold at Brunk Auctions for 10 times its pre-sale estimate.

The kidney-shaped desk, with rich brown color, green tooled leather writing surface and a Brahma lock in the central drawer, was crafted by famed Lancaster and London furniture maker Gillow and Company (active 1728-1961). The company was an early exporter to the colonies through the West Indies, a source for the mahogany used as a secondary wood in furniture such as this. 0454 AT 3-26.jpgIncluding a 15 percent buyer’s premium, the desk gaveled at $126,500.

The sale’s top lot: A kidney-shaped Gillow desk in burlwood veneer over mahogany brought $126,500 (est. $8,000-$12,000).

Surprises continued when Quiet Hours, a circa 1890 oil on plywood by George Inness (American, 1825-1894) sold for $26,450. The dark, moody 18-inch by 24-inch Tonalist painting of three trees at dusk more than doubled its high estimate. 0499 AT 3-26.jpgAccompanying the painting was a 1905 receipt for $320, its selling price 11 years after Inness’s death. An Internet bidder bought the Inness painting.  

Quiet Hour by George Inness, circa 1890, sold for $320 in 1905 according to a receipt from a New York City dealer that accompanies the 18” X 24” oil on plywood panel. On March 1, it sold for $26,450.

During his lifetime, William L. Montague, Jr., of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., commissioned a number of works by Tennessee watercolorist Hubert Shuptrine (1936-2006). Three were in the sale and two dramatically exceeded pre-sale estimates. A 16 3/8-inch by 18 ¾-inch portrait of Thomas Jefferson from 2002 sold for $23,000 ($4,000-$8,000). Blackberry Branch, a 1979 illustration from Shuptrine’s book, Home to Jericho, hit a surprising $12,650 on a $1,000-$2,000 estimate.
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“Thomas Jefferson” by Hubert Shuptrine (1936-2006) sold for $23,000 on a $4000/$8000 estimate, one of many surprises at Brunk Auctions March 1 sale.

The Montague estate also consigned selections from his candlestick collection. The family was pleasantly surprised when a pair of 9-inch petal base brass candlesticks from the early to mid-18th century sold for $2,990 on a $400-$800 estimate.

0397 AT 3-26.jpgThis fine George III silver lidded tureen with marks for Joseph Craddock and William Reid, London, 1817 sold for $17,250. It was the top silver lot of the sale.

The top silver lot was consigned by Charlotte, N.C., benefactor Wylle Guterman. Her George III tureen bordered with gadroons, acanthus leaves and shells sold for $17,250 (est. $5,000-$10,000). The oval lid has an interlocking snake handle and a finely etched bow and arrow mark. A family crest was engraved on the base midway between the paw feet. Marks are for Joseph Craddock and William Reid, London, 1817.

For more information, call 828-254-6846, or go online to www.brunkauction.com.