Published: February 12, 2019
Review by Anne Kugielsky
NEW ORLEANS – Neal Auction Company’s January 26 and 27 important winter estates auction achieved excellent results for furniture, fine art and decorative objects, realizing more than $1.4 million in sales. The auction featured a number of notable collections, including property from the Stanley Weiss collection, Providence, R.I. ($216,000) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Bayou Bend Collection ($66,000).
Highlights from the Stanley Weiss collection include an early Nineteenth Century American Federal inlaid tall case clock attributed to New York maker Jacob Taylor. Estimated at $5/10,000, the clock achieved $15,860, selling to a telephone bidder competing against three additional telephones, online, and the saleroom floor. A circa 1830 American Classical carved mahogany sideboard, likely by Baltimore maker Edward Priestley, sold for $14,680 to an absentee bidder competing against the telephone bank and the saleroom floor. Against a $5/7,500 estimate, a Nineteenth Century American Renaissance marquetry and gilt-incised walnut center table realized $10,980, selling to an absentee bidder competing against other absentee bidders and the telephone bank. An Eighteenth Century American Chippendale carved mahogany blockfront secretary bookcase was gifted to Houston’s Fine Art museum Bayou Bend in 1976 from Miss Ima Hogg’s estate. The secretary bookcase witnessed widespread attention with ten telephone bidders competing against online bidders and the saleroom floor; it finally sold to a Missouri collector for $15,250. A circa 1760-90 American Chippendale carved walnut lowboy with a later two-board top, also saw widespread national attention. The lowboy, which was acquired by Miss Hogg from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1947 and gifted to Bayou Bend in 1969, had 12 telephones bidding against competition from the saleroom floor. Coming to the block with an estimate of $2/3,000, it sold for $9,455 to a private collector bidding on the telephone.
The weekend auction featured a variety of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American paintings. Two paintings by New York artist Julian Oliver Davidson (1853-1894), one titled “Monitor and Merrimac: First Fight Between Ironclads,” 1885, and the other, “Capture of New Orleans: Farragut Passing the Forts by Night,” 1886, were highlights. Estimated at $8/12,000 each, the paintings realized $50,020 and $28,060, respectively, breaking all previous auction records for a work by the artist. With considerable interest nationwide, the works sold to an institutional buyer bidding by telephone.
A small, 10-by-16-inch painting by Norwegian-born New Orleans artist William Henry Buck (1840-1888), performed admirably. Against a $25/35,000 estimate, “Louisiana Plantation along Lake Pontchartrain” sold for $45,140 to an absentee bidder competing against the telephones. Twentieth Century art also fared well: a Fritz Bultman (American/New Orleans, 1919-1985) 1952 oil titled “Interior – Game,” achieved $30,500; a George Rodrigue (American/New Orleans, 1944-2013) oil painting of “Jolie Blonde Holding a Rose,” realized $28,840 against an estimate of $15/25,000; a 1984 Ida Kohlmeyer (American/New Orleans, 1912-1997) work titled “Synthesis #49-2,” sold for $26,840 against a $20/30,000 estimate; and another George Rodrigue painting titled “Seated Jolie Blonde with Hat,” achieved $25,600 against a $15/25,000 estimate.
Neal Auction’s offerings of decorative objects were highly sought-after across the bidding platforms. Highlights include a Chinese spinach green jade brush pot, which sold for $15,860; a monumental Dale Chihuly (b 1941) blown glass dandelion “Machia,” which sold for $12,800; and a 1904 Newcomb pottery vase by Harriet Coulter Joor, which sold for $13,420.
Rounding out the sale, a lagniappe – as New Orleanians like to say – was a 1912 Mistik Krewe of Cumus Mardi Gras cup that sold for $14,030. (For those not familiar with the word, it is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase, like an extra donut when you buy a dozen).
Prices, with buyer’s premium, as reported by the auction house. For further information, www.nealauction.com or 504-899-5329.
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