Brunk Auctions

by Jarred Johnson/ May 2016

On May 14, Anne and Robert K. Zelle’s collection of antiques and fine art will be sold at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina. The collection amounts to over 400 pieces, including paintings, china, cookware, and jewelry.

Mr. and Mrs. Zelle were philanthropists and Nashville residents for many years. Together they were avid animal lovers, and this interest of theirs is present in the collection.


Martha Walter, The Garden Party, Circa 1910, Oil on canvas, 26″ x 21″ Est: $25,000 – $35,000

Firm Friends by the French artist Louis Eugène Lambert is painted in Romantic style and shows a white poodle beside a monkey. Another painting by the Spanish painter Vincente Viudes shows a dog in the style of Giuseppe Archimboldo, resplendently formed from fruits and vegetables. (See cover.)

The show’s most valuable item is American Impressionist painter Martha Walter’s The Garden Party. The painting shows three women lounging around a table in late-19th-century dresses under a colorful umbrella. It is valued at $25,000– 35,000.

“Mr. and Mrs. Zelle were respected and loved in Nashville,” Sarah Sperling, Director of Nashville Operations for Brunk Auctions, said. “They continue to touch lives in this community, and we are honored to offer the property at Brunk Auctions.”

Select items from the Zelle estate will be available for preview at Brunk Auctions’ Belle Meade office in Nashville, TN on May 4 from 10 am to 7 pm. The entire collection will preview in Asheville, NC, starting on Thursday, May 12, at 1 p.m. and will be sold on May 14. For more information, visit


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