Real Estate / Neighborhoods

Renowned Auctions and Estates Sales Firm Brings its Treasures and Cutting-Edge Tech to Dallas — Black Rock Galleries’ Big Texas Move

Groundbreaking Duo Knows How to Uncover and Showcase True Gems

BY // 11.23.20

There’s a new name in Texas when it comes to auctions and estate sales, and it’s one of the most trusted in the business. Black Rock Galleries (BRG) has landed in Dallas, and it’s going to change the way you think about online bidding and estate sales.

Imagine relaxing at home on your sofa, cocktail in hand, as you peruse the treasures found in estate sales across the nation — jewelry, rare coins and stamps, furniture, decorative arts, silver, haute couture, anything that strikes your fancy, really — searching for that “perfect” item.

You’ll discover auctions with starting bids of $1, and a proprietary online platform renowned for its ease of use and excitement factor. BRG aims to make bidding fun again.

“Our online platform allows estate sale buyers to make their purchases anywhere — from the soccer field or the comfort of their homes — and then pick-up their merchandise locally,” says Christie Spooner, who, along with Grant Panarese, founded what would become Black Rock Galleries in 2010 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Two years later, the company’s success necessitated the move to a 53,000-square-foot luxury consignment showroom in Bridgeport, from which BRG’s team also performed appraisals and managed auction and estate sale services. Locations in Greenwich, Boston and Raleigh quickly followed. And now Dallas, the duo’s latest outpost.

Spooner and Panarese have more than 20 years of experience in the antiques, estates, auction and consignment business. And their goal to create a one-stop enterprise built on knowledge, honesty and integrity has been realized. BRG’s founders are making online auctions and estate sales more personal.

According to the duo, BRG’s auctions generally run online for 10 to 14 days, and usually “heat up” during the last few hours of bidding. The company’s extended bidding system gives you more time to “stay in the game” and increase your bids, adding to the overall excitement of auctions.

Happy, satisfied clients are often good indicators of a business’s reputation and quality, and Black Rock Galleries has legions of them.

“Some of our past auctions included collections from the set of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire series, the Sky Club, the Estate of Betty and Thomas Mellon Evans, The Getty Estate, the Estate of Alexander Raydon, the renowned Carlyle Hotel in New York City, the Estate of Felice Ingersoll (former model and Hollywood starlet), and other celebrities and jet-setters as well as thousands of other families and estates,” Spooner and Panarese detail.

This painting in oil, by George Botti, was sold by Black Rock Galleries.

Even a quick study of the BRG website demonstrates that the pair operate their company in a unique manner, based on changes to the auction and estate sale industries they say they saw a decade ago. For the past five years or so, they invested time and money into developing and perfecting proprietary online bidding software, and migrated their business online.

“We don’t hold estate sales in the traditional sense anymore,” Spooner says. “It’s really non-invasive for our clients who are selling the estates of their loved ones or their own personal property because they’ll never have strangers in their home — even if the auction technically takes place there — because it’s all done online and we remove the items ourselves once the auction is over.”

Just imagine it. You are the winner of a Biedermaier chest of drawers sold from a Newport estate, and utilize BRG’s warehouse-to-warehouse transport system to have it transported to BRG-Dallas for easy pickup. What could be simpler?

“Our online platform allows estate sale buyers to make their purchases anywhere — from the soccer field or the comfort of their homes — and then pick up their merchandise locally,” says Spooner.

A topnotch team of appraisers and experts, and the company’s dedication to the personal touch, result in satisfying auction and sales experiences for buyer and seller. “We continue to grow with the wonderful support of our clients and customers,” Panarese says.

And along the way, that dedication and personal approach uncovers more than a few gems.

Black Rock Galleries discovered this Rodin buste in an estate they were selling for a client. The winning bidder paid more than $450,00 for it.

“A few highlights quickly come to mind, but the best and most memorable occurrence to date was when we were competing for an estate against other well-known auction houses. They ended up declining the estate because it was filled with ‘dark brown wood,’ ” Panarese says. “We saw the overall value in the estate’s property, but actually spied something tucked in the dark recesses of the home that the others didn’t detect.

“We got the account and on cataloging day, discovered a long-lost Rodin bronze bust — that item which the others overlooked. When the sale went live, we started the bidding at $1. There was so much excitement around this particular piece that it ended up bringing in over $450,000 by the time the sale closed.”

Whether you are looking for a bronze by Rodin, a Chippendale dresser, a silver giraffe, a one-of-a-kind Harry Winston diamond, or that special item that’s been on your wishlist forever, Black Rock Galleries has everything you need to successfully bid on the treasure you desire and bring it home to Texas.

Learn more about Black Rock Galleries, their auction offerings, and current sales by visiting BRG online, or call BRG-Dallas for more information at 469-906-0000.

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