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Circa 1790-1810 set of brass andirons, which sold for $32,000 ($40,960 with buyer’s premium) at Brunk.

Brooklyn Museum deaccession sale at Brunk yielded surprising results

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The deaccession sale of antiques from the vast holdings of the Brooklyn Museum in New York yielded some unexpected results from active bidders at Brunk Auctions March 20. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

While many items did well and landed generally within their range, it was a set of brass andirons that produced the most stunning outcome. Dating to circa 1790-1810, with urn finials, engraved floral decoration, and ball and claw feet, the set had a humble $400-$600 estimate going into the event. Bidding began with a $700 offer from a LiveAuctioneers user, only to see the price rise dozens of times to an incredible hammer of $32,000 ($40,960 with buyer’s premium).

Also turning in surprising results were the architectural salvage elements from demolished historic New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina mansions, stored in the museum’s warehouse in Newark, New Jersey. Topping the architectural lots at $60,000 ($76,800 with buyer’s premium) were circa-1820 elements from the Abraham Harrison home formerly located at 1109 Stuyvesant Avenue, Irvington, New Jersey. The lot had been estimated at just $2,000-$3,000.

Dining room woodwork elements from the Cane Acres Plantation House of Summerville, South Carolina, dating to circa 1789-1806, also wildly overperformed. The grand, two-story structure rested on a high brick foundation to avoid the swampy surroundings. Estimated at $2,000-$4,000, the lot sold for $55,000 ($70,400 with buyer’s premium).

The final architectural lot consisted of the elements of the entrance foyer and stairwell of 455 Madison Avenue, New York City, which was part of the Villard Houses at 451-457 Madison Avenue. The elements dated to circa 1882-1884 and hammered for $48,000 ($61,440 with buyer’s premium).

A top-anticipated lot, the Virginia Chippandale walnut fitted cellaret with a Luke Vincent Lockwood provenance, hammered for $95,000 ($121,600 with buyer’s premium), more than doubling its $40,000 high estimate. The other Lockwood provenance item, a Virginia Queen Anne scalloped walnut dressing table, beat its $40,000 high estimate at $50,000 ($64,000 with buyer’s premium).