Cranston auction a success

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With well over 150 people in attendance throughout the day, beginning when the doors opened at 9 a.m. for “preview” time, the pace of the unusual three-event auction was brisk at Bruneau and Co. Auctioneers.

Starting promptly at 10:30 a.m. with bidders in their Cranston gallery, sitting theater-style with bid numbers in hand, items spent no more than one or two minutes being showcased on a computer screen, held up by Bruneau “runners” and being described in the print catalog and verbally by the auctioneer. Travis Landry took the lead at the auction helm, with earpiece and head microphone and was followed by owner, Kevin Bruneau, who would complete the auction.

Over to one side was staff to monitor the online bidders that made Saturday’s auction one of many items going well over its expected price. Scattered throughout the room were Bruneau staff members also on phones, calling bidders who wanted to partake, live; they could also hear a good deal of the excitement going on in the large room.

Whether you were interested in collectible art, fine art, rugs, or, in this case, military items such as a German Luger pistol (approx. $900) and even a purple heart medal from WWII ($250+), there was literally something to match anyone’s interest. Four or five weathervanes popped up, with a bronze cow (not all that unlike a Newport Creamery one) going for more than $2,700, and a copper fish weathervane going for more than $1,000. The extra-large flying goose with E-W directional would go for over $1,100.

At 4 p.m., a private collection of erotic art was auctioned in about a half-hour, with most items going to collectors via the online bidding method; with very few people in attendance bidding live.

One of the surprises (to the untrained eye) of the day was a small, intricately carved “Man o’ War” ivory battleship, circa 1895, which went for an unverified $4,250 to an online bidder.

Time seemed to fly by, with over 500 items being completed at approximately 4:30 p.m.  If you’ve never been to a live auction, and one with online and on phone bidding happening simultaneously, check out Bruneau and Co. Auctioneers next event on Feb. 18, which will auction off the collection Tamara and Norman Jay Bolotow of Rhode Island. This will be followed by Feb. 25’s auction, which will consist entirely of musical instruments from throughout the county.

You can browse online at www.BruneauandCo.com and even register with one of their online bidding services.

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