Couse painting leads Neal Holiday Estates Auctions

EW ORLEANS – The annual Holiday Estates Auction at Neal Auction Company, Dec. 1-2, 2007, saw good crowds and strong sales that totaled more than $2.6 million in sales, including buyer’s premium.

The focus of the estate sales was fine art, and the results underscored the continuing strength of the art Couse 1-23.jpgmarket and the enthusiasm among collectors around the nation for good examples.

The Evening Camp, by Eanger Irving Couse (American, 1866-1936), lead the day at $257,000.

A remarkable early painting, The Evening Camp, by highly sought after western artist Eanger Irving Couse (American, 1866-1936) lead the day.

Hidden from public view since its 1907 exhibition at Knoedler Gallery in New York City, western art dealers, private western art collectors and a western art museum competed on the telephone against several private clients bidding in person. The Evening Camp sold amongst fierce competition to a long-standing local collector of southern art. With a presale estimate of $150,000-$250,000, the painting gaveled for $257,000.

Also witnessing fierce competition from the telephone bank, then also selling to a local collector within the salesroom, was a French painting by Francoise Auguste Biard (1798-1882), a court painter during the reign of King Louise-Philippe.

Though best known for his portraiture, Biard’s preferred subjects were scenes of social and political history. Depicting Carnival revelers in a melee with officers of the municipal guard, lot 282, A Carnival Scene, one of the many items being offered over the next several months from the Wyndham Canal Place Art Collection, hung prominently within the hotel’s famous 11th floor lobby for years where it was admired by locals and tourists alike. Against an attractive presale estimate of $12,000 to $18,000 the painting saw competition between four phone bidders, two absentee bids, and a collector within the room, selling for $73,500.

Andres Molinary’s (American/New Orleans, 1847-1915) Portrait of Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, also fared notably well. Against a presale estimate of $12,000 to $18,000, the young general achieved an impressive $48,175, a record price for a portrait by the artist.

Neal’s Dec. 1-2, 2007 Holiday Estates Auction was followed by an on-site auction at Bocage Plantation in Darrow, LA, on Dec. 8, 2007. The Bocage Auction, which began with the sale of the Historic Antebellum Mansion on more than 100 acres and concluded with the sale of the Historic Home’s Entire Contents of fine art and furnishings, also saw strong results. The home and acreage, which was auctioned by Neal’s President and Founder, Neal Alford, on behalf of Albert Burney Properties of Distinction, sold for $2,365,000, while the afternoon session of the home’s historic contents achieved a total of $500,000.

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