Modern art pieces wow at St. Pete estate sale

Kellie Cowan reporting

- Picasso, Dali, Calder - It may sound like the lineup for a modern art gallery, but that's actually just a sampling of artwork from a Bay area estate that sold in St. Petersburg Sunday.

Once a month, Jeffrey Burchard's auction room fills with antique hunters and art lovers. But this was no typical auction.

Rare paintings, sketches and lithographs hit the auction block, the likes of which you might find in Sotheby's or Christie's.

"I've been in the collecting of antiques and fine art appraising for 45 years and this is truly exceptional," said certified appraiser Eric Lang Peterson.

More than 15 Picassos and 10 Miros were up for grabs, many selling for less than half of what they'd fetch in a gallery. And the treasures went well beyond the works of mid-century modern masters. The collection also included antique furniture dating back to the 18th century.

"It's like out of a time capsule. You very rarely see pieces of this quality and in this condition," auctioneer and owner Jeffrey Burchard said of a George III secretary bookcase, circa 1800.

Click here for a look at all the items and how much they netted.

Sunday's auction was only about half the estate that's up for sale. The second half will hit the auction block next month.

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