NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Gallery’s Summer Estates Auction on Aug. 2-3 provided a welcome diversion and escape from the late summer heat in New Orleans. Between the early morning rain and the steamy heat, a handful of loyal auction patrons – happy to spend the day in the cool gallery – bid against great interest from the phones and the Internet.
The Saturday session offered a variety of property and provoked surprises. Highlighting the day was a suite of 15 French wooden wine crates that soared to an astounding $31,200. With bidding from the room, the phones and the Internet, the winning bid came from a local oenophile building a wine cellar.
Collectors competed for monkeys with briar pipes, an albino turtle carapace, miniature stairwells to nowhere and ivory-handled magnifying glasses. The amusing monkey in Mideastern fez was the object of several bidders’ affection but ultimately he will go home to southeast Louisiana for $3,840. A Texas collector paid $11,400 for a rare and large albino loggerhead turtle carapace.
A New Yorker went to $9,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $1,800-$2,500 for an English mahogany architectural model of a spiral staircase. But it was the three ivory-handled magnifying glasses that soared past all expectations; they went for a total of $29,100.
A good pair of French parcel-gilt first standard ice cream servers by Eduardo Ernie soared past the $700-$1,000 estimate to achieve $3,840 from a Michigan collector bidding by phone.
One of the highlights of the Saturday session was two Regency sterling silver armorial nesting platters that sold to a New Orleans couple for $8,400. Moments later the couple added a large Edwardian sterling silver punchbowl to their collection for $5,520. A Canadian collector was the successful bidder on a set of seven Italian .800 silver dishes. Estimated $1,800-$2,500, the set sold for $6,900.
Other highlights included a stately French carved, parcel-gilt and smoky charcoal-painted beechwood overmantel mirror that brought $15,000. An Israeli collector won the lovely French painting Les Glaieuls by Victor Gabriel Gilbert (French, 1847-1933) for $10,500. A Louis XVI-style polychrome wood buffet, second quarter 19th century, sold for $9,600 to a local collector. An Edwardian leather-upholstered Chesterfield sofa, estimated $2,500-$4,000, soared to $7,800, selling to a Ohio collector.
Although the Sunday session traditionally offers American property, the highlight of the two-day auction was a Russian painting that drew considerable interest during the preview. Coastal View with Fisherman and Sailboats by Georgy Alexandrovich Lapchine, estimated $1,800-$2,500, sold for $45,600 to an Israeli collector bidding by phone. George Rodrigue’s Jolie Blonde with Dreams sold for $40,800 to a local collector and his Beautiful Dog brought $18,000 from a New York City collector. A Robert Rucker oil, Porgy and Bess, achieved $12,600. Highlighting the selection of Clementine Hunter paintings was an oil on paper entitled A Couple Going for a Walk on a Fence-lined Road, circa 1945. The picture sold for $12,000. William Woodward’s Country Church, Mississippi sold to a New Orleans collector for $8,100.
Of local note, a tall Newcomb College Pottery vase decorated with Moon and Moss decor achieved $9,000. An oval portrait miniature by Thomas Young (circa 1775-1834) with the impeccable provenance sold well above the $200-$400 estimate for $2,640 to a Philadelphia collector.
Highlighting the American furniture was an American Classical mahogany tester bed, early 19th century, that soared to $12,000. A set of 12 provincial black-painted hardwood sidechairs, late 19th century, in the Cromwellian taste, caught the eye of a Houston collector who went to $15,600 against an estimate of $5,000-$8,000. A gorgeous Danish gilt-brass and rock crystal 12-light chandelier, in the late 18th-century neoclassical style brought $19,200. A pair of Egermann cut Lithyalin glass garniture vases soared to $9,900 against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
Capturing the whimsy of the day before, a silver-leafed coffee tree specimen soared past the pre-sale estimate of $600-$900 to sell for $4,560.
New Orleans Auction Galleries is located at 801 Magazine Street, New Orleans. For more information call 504-566-1849 or 800-501-0277, or visit www.neworleansauction.com.