Published: June 3, 2008
Neal Auction Company’s May 3‴ auction of fine art and antiques garnered considerable interest from around the country and abroad and totaled $2.75 million.
International purchasers included bidders from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jordan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
The star offering was a hand colored engraving after John James Audubon (American, 1785‱851), “Pileated Woodpecker,” No. 23, plate CXI, from the Havell edition of The Birds of America. Estimated at $20/30,000, the elephant folio engraving reached $64,625 against eight active telephones and considerable salesroom interest.
George Rodrigue’s (Louisiana, b 1944) 1994 oil, “Corporate Dog” performed well. With an estimate of $25/35,000, the painting showing three images of the artist’s iconic “blue dog” achieved $63,450 against seven telephones, one absentee bid and interest on the salesroom floor.
Against five competing telephones, a pair of late Nineteenth Century elaborately cut crystal 18-light chandeliers, probably by Baccarat, reached a solid $56,400, selling to a collector within the room.
A Helen Maria Turner, NA (New Orleans, 1858‱958), painting, “Italian Girl,” achieved $55,812. The oil on canvas that was later affixed to Masonite was dated 1921, the year in which Turner became the third woman elected to full Academician status at the National Academy of Design.
Neal Auction Company continues to maintain the world record price for a work by the artist with “The Sisters,” which sold here in December 2002 for $93,250.
The first of Neal Auction Company’s William Aiken Walker (American, 1838‱921) paintings in this sale depicted a cabin scene with a moss-laden live oak tree; it achieved $42,300 against considerable interest.
A hand colored engraving, “Night Heron or Qua Bird,” after John James Audubon, performed well. With a presale estimate of $15/25,000, “Night Heron” achieved $41,125 †again, second in price only to the 2004 example from the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen.
A few lots later, the second William Aiken Walker painting also performed solidly. Titled “The Cabin” at 6¼ by 12¼ inches, the oil on academy board achieved $32,900.
An ephemera standout was an autograph letter signed by William Clarke Quantrill to his mother that received interest from around the country. In the letter, dated October 3, 1857, Quantrill refers to the issue of slavery in the Kansas Territory (1854‱861) and predicts that “it is certain to be a free state.” With an estimate of $6/9,000, the autograph letter achieved $32,900.
Performing a hat trick of sorts, “Canada Goose,” after John James Audubon, performed well. With significant telephone and floor interest, the elephant folio sized engraving, No. 44, plate CCI from the Havell edition of The Birds of America reached $32,312.
Rounding out the sale was a mid-Nineteenth Century American rococo carved mahogany half-tester bed attributed to Prudent Mallard, New Orleans, that brought $31,725, selling to one of four interested phone bidders competing against an active room.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. Consignments are currently being accepted for Neal Auction Company’s annual Louisiana Purchase Auction, scheduled for September 27′8.
Neal Auction Company is at 4038 Magazine Street. For information, 504-899-5329 or www.nealauction.com .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm