New Orleans-made derringer gun discovered in fresh-to-market antiques auction

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NEW ORLEANS, La. – More than 1,100 lots of mostly fresh-to-the-market items – culled from prominent local estates and collections and spanning a wide variety of categories – will be sold on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 by Crescent City Auction Gallery. In addition to a large collection of Chinese and Asian art, two antique guns are expected to generate much bidder interest.

The first is a scarce Confederate Civil War Whitworth sharpshooter’s rifle, made circa 1860, which is expected to sell for as much as $25,000. What will make this weapon so desirable to collectors is the fact that it is stamped “Natchez” on the underside, below the trigger guard. Also, it is in fine condition.

This V.G.W. Libeau New Orleans-made percussion cap derringer gun was manufactured before 1845. The barrel is engraved “V.G.W. Libeau New Orleans.” It may sell for as much as $7,000 in Crescent City Auctions’ Dec. 3 sale.

The second is a rare V.G.W. Libeau New Orleans-made percussion cap derringer gun, manufactured pre-1845 and with the barrel engraved “V.G.W. Libeau New Orleans” (Mr. Libeau is listed as a gunsmith in the New Orleans city directories from 1832-1845, at No. 9 Camp Street). The pistol should change hands for $5,000 to $7,000.

Another New Orleans original includes a carved rosewood double-door armoire attributed to Prudence Mallard, circa 1860, which could sell for as much as $2,500.

Offered will be original works of art (mostly by regional artists, but some by national and international artists as well), fine Chinese objects, antique weaponry (to include two rare and highly collectible antique guns), wonderful estate jewelry, silver, period American and European furniture, objets d’art, chandeliers, Persian rugs, Moorcroft pottery and decorative accessories.

“The auction before the holidays is always an exciting one,” observed Adam Lambert of Crescent City Auction Gallery. “We are getting an early start to accommodate over 1,100 items, but we’ll probably wrap up around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. This is the last auction of the year, and the quality of the merchandise is truly impressive.”

A large (3 feet by 4 feet) oil on canvas work by George Rodrigue (b. 1944), titled Blue Dog is Happy, could sell for as much as $35,000.

Original works of art will be served up in abundance. Two works expected to wow the crowd are an oil on canvas by David Johnson (1827-1908), titled Forest Landscape with Stream, unframed and signed and dated lower right (est. $5,000 to $7,000); and a large (3 feet by 4 feet) oil on canvas work by George Rodrigue (b. 1944), titled Blue Dog is Happy (est. $25,000 to $35,000).

Other notable artworks will include an 1858 oil on board rendering by Arthur Fitzwilliam (1819-1905), titled Teepee on the Shore, signed and dated and measuring 7 ¼ inches by 16 inches (est. $7,000 to $12,000); and an early 20th century pastel on board work by Fremont Ellis (1897-1985), titled New Mexico Landscape with Adobe Houses, signed (est. $5,000 to $7,000).

More examples will include a signed and dated (1925) oil on canvas by William Woodward (1859-1939), titled Oak Lawn Biloxi, 22 inches by 28 inches, titled verso on the original price tag (est. $15,000 to $25,000); and a 20th century unsigned oil painting by Conrad Albrizio (1892-1973), titled Olympia Brass Band, 47 inches by 35 ¾ inches (est. 4,000 to $6,000).

Other original works of art will feature an early 20th century signed oil wash landscape by Alexander J. Drysdale (1870-1934), titled Moss Draped Oak Tree (est. $2,500 to $3,500); an oil on board by Gideon Townsend Stanton (1885-1964), titled Woman in a Pink Dress Walking on a Country Road, signed and inscribed (est. $2,000 to $4,000); and an oil on canvas by Colette Pope Heldner (1902-1990), titled Swamp Idyll, signed lower left and titled verso (est. $1,200 to $2,000).

Rounding out the artwork category is a 19th century signed work by Benjamin William Leader (1831-1923), titled Welsh River Landscape With Fishermen, signed lower left (est. $2,000-$4,000); a 1983 oil on canvas painting by William Tolliver (1951-2000), titled Bare Oak Tree in the Woods, signed and dated (est. $2,000 to $4,000); and a signed and dated 19th century oil on canvas painting by Louis C. Girault, titled Cabin and Boat on the Bayou (est. $1,500-$2,500).

This 7-inch-tall Chinese matte white carved baluster vase was made in the 18th century during the Ching Dynasty.

Oriental objects will include a Chinese famille verte wine cup from the 18th century, decorated with a fisherman wading in the water (4 ½ inches tall by 3 ½ inches in diameter); and a 7-inch-tall Chinese matte white carved baluster vase made circa 18th century from the Ching Dynasty, under the Emperor Chien Lung (1735-1796), with intricate relief scenic decoration.

Furniture pieces will feature a Georgian inlaid mahogany bow-front chest-on-chest, made circa 1800 and standing 79 inches tall (est. $1,200-$1,800) and a diminutive French provincial carved cherry double-door armoire, circa 1800, 82 inches tall (est. $1,000 to $1,500).

A marvelous selection of estate jewelry will include sapphires, diamond, rubies, emeralds and pearls. Also offered will be an unusual 18kt white and yellow gold flamingo pendant brooch, made in the 20th century and modeled after the Duchess of Windsor’s example, mounted with diamonds, baguette emeralds, sapphires and rubies and signed “Blanco” (est. $9,000 to $12,000).

This Newcomb College pottery vase was made in 1931 by Sadie Irvine in the “Moon and Moss” pattern.This Newcomb College pottery vase was made in 1931 by Sadie Irvine in the “Moon and Moss” pattern.

A Newcomb College pottery vase, made in 1931 by Sadie Irvine in the “Moon and Moss” pattern, will cross the block. The 5 ¼ inch tall, 6 ½ inches in diameter vase should hammer for $2,500 to $3,500. Bidders will also be treated to a nice collection of 20th century Moorcroft pottery.

A stunning 70-piece set of sterling flatware, in the “Rhapsody” pattern, weighing 87.73 troy silver ounces (est. $2,500 to $3,500); other sets of sterling flatware; and a large, early 20th century cast stone fountain figure of the sea god Poseidon on a conforming cast stone plinth (est. $2,000 to $4,000).

Exhibition previews will be held from Wednesday, Nov. 23, through Dec. 2 (excluding Thanksgiving day and on Sunday, when Crescent City Auction Gallery is closed), from 10-5. Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be taken.

To learn more about the upcoming Dec. 3 auction visit Crescent City Auction Gallery.

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