Published: November 6, 2001
Confederate Officer’s Sword Draws $54,625 in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, LA. – A full gallery and spirited bidding energized the atmosphere at Neal Auction Company’s much-anticipated Annual Louisiana Purchase(tm) Auctions. The October 13 and 14 sale featured an outstanding selection of Southern, American and European art, Southern silver, furniture and Americana. Numerous Southern paintings achieved impressive and record-breaking sales.
A rare Confederate officer’s sword, forged by Alexandre Henri Dufilho, New Orleans sword maker, sold for $54,625, a record price at auction for a Confederate object. William Woodward’s raffaelli crayon painting of “Street Scene French Quarter, New Orleans,” sold for an impressive $34,500.
Two superb pieces of Newcomb Pottery, each from 1904, achieved impressive results. A tall and rare high glaze vase decorated by Harriet Coulter Joor sold for $42,550. An important and early Newcomb Art Pottery high glaze vase, circa 1900, decorated by Mary Sheerer, sold for $21,850.
Noel Rockmore’s exceptional “Preservation Hall” painting sold to the Louisiana State Museum for display in their History of Jazz Exhibition for a record-breaking price of $25,875. A private collection of paintings by famed Louisiana artist Henry Casselli dating from the 1970s were offered, including the pastel of “Two Ballet Dancers,” which sold for $8,280, and an oil on board of “On Stage Angel: From the Black Angels Series,” which sold for $6,525.
A painting by renowned American artist John McCrady entitled “Steamboat” sold for $55,600. The painting had been exhibited at McCrady’s one-man show at the Associated American Artists Gallery of New York City in 1946 and came from a private collection in the Midwest. After vigorous bidding, two early watercolors by self-taught Louisiana artist Clementine Hunter sold for $5,560 each. The painting “Cypress in the Swamp” by Alexander John Drysdale topped out at $9,775. The etching “Discussion Group in Carolina,” by Charleston artist Alfred Herber Hutty, achieved the remarkable amount of $8,625.
A Nineteenth Century American Rococo rosewood bed of New Orleans manufacture sold for $23,000, along with an armoire found en suite selling for $11,500. These pieces hold a significant place in Louisiana history because they share elements with the “Mallard” bed in the Gallier House Museum and also they have provenance from the family Louisiana Governor James Madison Wells, owner of Gravel Hill, Kateland, Duroc and Glencoe Plantations.
Southern silver brought impressive results as well. A milk pitcher by Anthony Rasch of New Orleans sold well above its estimated price at $6,325. A butter cooler by Adolphe Himmel also sold about its estimated price at $6,038. Seven Mint Julep cups by various Kentucky silversmiths enjoyed vigorous bidding and brought a total of $24,955 in sales.
Two paintings by Louisiana artist Clarence Millet were among the highlights of the Southern regional art in the October sale. Millet’s beautifully rendered American Impressionist paintings of “St. Louis Cathedral” sold for $13,800 and “Hillside Village” sold for $6,325. Six paintings by 1930s and 1940s French Quarter artist Alberta Kinsey attracted a great deal of attention. The Kinsey painting entitled “After Church” sold over the estimate for $5,775.
The American paintings selection featured two paintings by Indiana Hoosier Group artist William Forsyth. Both of the American Impressionist paintings came from the collection of the Forsyth family. The oil painting “Stream and Rock” sold for $13,800 and the watercolor of “The Old Home, Vernon, Indiana” sold for $4,600.
Sales of European paintings were highlighted by the Orientalist painting “The Intruder” by Fabbio Fabbi that sold over estimate for $21,700 to the European trade. French artist Marcel Dyf’s painting “Fille Lisant” sold for $16,700. Seymour Millais Stone’s splendid life-size portrait of “Mrs. Joseph Lyons, nee Enid Burnell” depicted the distinguished woman on horseback in the midst of a foxhunt. As wife of the Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyon, she became the first woman elected to parliament. The painting sold for $13,225 to a private collector from Las Vegas.
Staffordshire pottery from a Kentucky collection was a highlight of English decorative arts. A rare pottery figural group commemorating the New Marriage Act of 1822 brought $2,990. A Staffordshire Bull Baiting group by noted potter Obadiah Sherratt sold for $5,175.
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