Trio of metal mask sculptures by Calder up for grabs

NEW ORLEANS — Neal Action Company just announced the addition of three painted metal wall sculptures by Alexander Calder as part of its September 14 & 15, 2013 Important Estates Auction.

The Calder sculptures, which are being offered as lot 247, were commissioned in 1949 by

These three metal masks, "Moon Mask," "Red Smiling Mask," and "Blue Mask with Orange Nose," were created in 1949 by Alexander Calder and carry an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000 heading into the Sept. 14 auction at Neal Auction Co. (Photo courtesy Neal Auction Co.)

These three metal masks, “Moon Mask,” “Red Smiling Mask,” and “Blue Mask with Orange Nose,” were created in 1949 by Alexander Calder and carry an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000 heading into the Sept. 14 auction at Neal Auction Co. (Photo courtesy Neal Auction Co.)

the New Orleans architectural firm of Curtis & Davis to adorn the walls of the new Mardi Gras themed Sazarac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. According to Nathaniel Curtis, upon seeing the Calder works, Seymour Weiss, the hotel’s legendary owner, rejected the sculptures and refused to pay for them. Both Nathaniel Curtis and Arthur Davis were so embarrassed, they split the artist’s fee themselves and divvied up the sculptures. The three masks being offered at Neal Auction Company were installed at Nathaniel Curtis’ home on Marquette Place in New Orleans until recently.

In addition to this trio of Calder pieces, the Auction features 18th and 19th c. American, French and English antiques, Southern paintings, historical material and decorative arts especially consigned by discerning collectors, estates and institutions.

The auction begins at 10 a.m. CT Saturday, Sept. 14, at Neal Auction’s primary gallery on Market Street, New Orleans, followed by auction action beginning at 11 a.m. CT Sunday, Sept. 15 at Neal Auctions’ Carondelet Gallery. Online bidding takes place on www.liveauctioneers.com. For more information visit www.nealauction.com/indexnet.html or call 800-467-5329.

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