Published: October 4, 2011
Neal Auction’s September 10‱1 estates auction featured property from the collection of Texas antiquarians Jack and Katie Wheeler, paintings descended in the family of noted Mississippi art collector Bitsy Irby and several other estates. The sale achieved $2.1 million and was led by a rare painting by William Henry Buck (American, 1840‱888) depicting a working cotton plantation. Attracting great interest, “Picking Cotton, Louisiana Plantation Scene,” a 12-by-20-inch oil, which descended in the family of the artist through his daughter Wilhelmina Buck, achieved an impressive $327,000 against a presale estimate of $125/200,000.
A large folio, three-volume set of the History of the Indian Tribes of North America published by Thomas L. McKenney (American, 1785‱859) and James Hall (American, 1793‱868), performed very well. The volumes came to Neal Auction Company having descended directly in the family of the original subscriber †pioneer and statesman, George Strother Gaines (1784‱873). Garnering widespread national attention, the George Strother Gaines McKenney & Hall three volume set achieved $113,525.
Realizing $47,800 was a 1917 portrait by Helen Maria Turner (American, 1858‱958) of “The Laughing Girl.”
A circa 1945 watercolor by Mississippi artist Walter Inglis Anderson (American, 1903‱965) depicting “Two Pelicans in Flight,” achieved $41,825 amid intense competition. The work came to Neal Auction Company through the family of noted Mississippi collector Bitsy Irby.
For the past several years, Chinese works have enriched Neal Auction Company’s sales, broadening the company’s international clientele and achieving top auction prices. In this sale, a 78-inch-tall Chinese jade, hardstone and cloisonné embellished lacquer panel set in a rosewood stand as a floor screen, saw widespread attention from both the telephones and the Internet. Against a presale low estimate of $15,000, the massive Twentieth Century embellished panel went to $34,655.
A Nineteenth Century continental highly carved giltwood console realized $23,180. Carrying an estimate of $2/3,000 coupled with an appealing size, the 49-inch console in “estate” condition represented a fine example of expert craftsmanship featuring caryatid supports, bacchic masks, entwined dragons and substantial hairy hoof feet.
A 17-inch-high, late Eighteenth/early Nineteenth Century Continental octastyle circular tempietto of the Tuscan Order achieved $21,510. The Grand Tour table top model (ultimately based on Bramante’s monumental tempietto at San Pietro in Montorio, in Rome) with intricate specimen marble inlay attracted widespread interest.
Additional sale highlights included a late Eighteenth Century Creole tropical hardwood (probably coffee wood) armoire, $20,315; a circa 1972 abstract landscape painting by Marie Atkinson Hull (American, 1890‱980), $20,315; and a circa 1920 William Moorcroft Eventide pottery covered jar, $18,300 †a record price at auction for the Eventide pattern.
Prices realized include buyer’s premium of 22 percent of the hammer price up to and including $200,000, plus ten percent of the hammer price greater than $200,000.
For information, 504-899-5329 or www.nealauction.com .
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