We recently consulted with a local wealth manager on an estate in Charlottesville, Virginia with many items that have descended in the family of Brigadier General John Hartwell Cocke who established Bremo Plantation off of the James River in 1808. We suggested that the important items from the collection be consigned at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina. I know Andrew Brunk, the company president, after many years of working with him on Antiques Roadshow. He has a great staff and a world class operation and I knew Brunk Auctions was just the right auction house to work with.
In the collection was a large group of Civil War memorabilia including framed locks of General Robert E. Lee’s hair as well as his horse Traveler (Lot 1911). This is was one of those things that you couldn’t be sure of its worth until the bidding ended! In this case it was estimated at $600-900 but realized $14,400 (including BP)! Other surprises included Lot 1917 a set of framed Federal reserve proof notes sent to a family member in December, 21, 1914, who was council for the Federal Reserve Board. Estimated at $400-600 it ended up selling for $15,600.
A group of broadsides relating to horses bred and raced from Bremo were also popular items. Lot 1925 describing one such horse named Cleveland brought $6000 (estimate 600-900). Lot 1926 was an inlaid southern chest that brought $14,400 (estimate $5,000-7,000)! And, finally, Lot 1962 an oil on canvas painting attributed to British painter William Hamilton, and showing a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, brought an impressive $20,000 (estimated $3,000-5,000).
My biggest take away from this auction is that appraisals are nothing more than an opinion and when you have rare items with great provenance you never know what the final price will be! I feel so fortunate to get to see great things such as these and have a role in their future. Visit the following link to view the full auction (Bremo items lots 1909-1971): https://bit.ly/2I4RvzF
If you are seeking assistance with the handling of your estate, please contact us for a consultation!
All images from Brunk Auctions