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Offerings by Southern artists plentiful in Jan. 27-28 auction

Painting and ceramics by notable Southern artists including George Ohr and William Aiken Walker are up for bid Jan. 27-28 through Crescent City Auction Gallery.

 NEW ORLEANS, La. – Original paintings by renowned Southern artists William Aiken Walker and William Hemmerling will come to auction Jan. 27-28. Plus, a mug and a vase from the studios of George Ohr (the “Mad Potter of Biloxi”). In addition, there is a stunning five-piece Mexican sterling silver coffee and tea service by Maciel. These are just a few expected top lots in Crescent City Auction Gallery’s upcoming Winter Estates Auction.

The major two-day sale will be held online and in Crescent City’s gallery, located at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. In all, 1,185 lots will cross the auction block. The selection also includes French and American period furniture. In addition, original artwork, fine estate jewelry, and Russian icons will be on offer. Plus, bronzes, silver, clocks, lamps and lighting, and pottery are represented. Internet bidding will be facilitated by and

'Cabin Scene' May Top Southern Artists Works

Walker's 'Cabin Scene' painting

19th century oil on board painting, 'Cabin Scene,' by Southern artist William Aiken Walker could command between $12,000 and $15,000 at auction. (All photos courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery)

South Carolina artist William Aiken Walker (1838-1921) has been featured in past Crescent City auctions. His 19th century oil on board titled 'Cabin Scene' bears his signature on the lower left. The piece measures 8 ¾ inches by 11 ¾ inches, with an estimate of $12,000-$15,000. Walker's notable works include moving depictions of the lives of poor sharecroppers in the post-Reconstruction American South.

Another Southern artist with work in the sale is William "Bill" Hemmerling. The Louisiana folk artist is the creative mind behind the New Orleans 2005 Jazz Festival poster. He is prolific, and his legions of fans are nothing less than devout. A 2007 acrylic on panel with the title 'Boiled Peanuts,' brings an estimate of $4,000 to $7,000 into the sale. It measures 37 ½ inches by 10 ¾ inches.

George Ohr (1857-1918), another one of the region’s more colorful and eccentric characters, is behind a lot in this sale. The American ceramists and Southern artist's work includes innovative experimentation with modern clay forms. Working out of his Biloxi studio led, his style became the precursor to the American Abstract-Expressionist movement. Today, his pieces are rare and highly sought after by collectors. Two are in the auction.

Unique Ohr-Made Mug

George Ohr studios mug and vase

Mug and vase from the studios of George Ohr, the self proclaimed "Mad Potter of Biloxi," may command between $1,500 to $2,000.

One is a mug, fired in 1896 of high glaze waisted form, 6 ¼ inches tall, with the side having an inscribed presentation for Joseph Jefferson. The other is a high glaze bottle form, made circa 1897 and with the bottom inscribed “Jules Gabry, First Place, July 1897,” the side inscribed "Jules Gabry Born in France 1829 Suiside(sic) in Biloxis Water, Poverty cause, July 15, 1897," and signed "G Ohrs.” Both have estimates of $1,500-$2,500. Gabry was Newcomb College’s first potter (1894-1895), and was living with the Ohr family when he committed suicide.

The Mexican sterling silver coffee and tea service by Maciel was made in the mid-20th century and has a total weight of 176.83 troy ounces ($3,000-$5,000). The tray is 18 inches in diameter. The jewelry in the auction is a dazzling assemblage of tanzanites, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, alexandrite, emeralds, South Sea pearls, Victorian bracelets and other fine pieces.

It wouldn’t be a Crescent City auction without French period furniture, and this sale’s got some wonderful pieces, to include an unusual 18th century Louis XV style carved cherry double-door armoire (est. $1,200-$2,000). Furthermore, an outstanding pair of circa 1860 Louis XV style carved pine architectural doors is on offer. The door frames measure 116 inches tall by 40 ½ inches in width. They carry an estimate of $1,200 to $1,800.

Goth-Style Buffet Headlining Furniture

Also offered will be an impressive 19th century French carved walnut Gothic style buffet a deux corps (two-bodied buffet), 86 inches tall (est. $1,200-$1,800); and a 19th century French provincial carved walnut tester bed, 88 ½ inches tall by 71 ½ inches long (est. $1,000-$2,000). In addition, a 19th century unusual and lovely French carved mahogany Renaissance style desk could bring $800 to $1,200.

The list of original artworks by local and regional artists is also impressive, and will be led by a circa 1970 oil on board painting by Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter (1887-1988), titled Cotton Pickers (est. $3,000-$5,000). Furthermore, a group of 13 pieces of porcelain fruit and vegetables by Alabama artist Mary Kirk Kelly may bring $600 to $900.

New Orleans artists will include Knute Heldner (1877-1952), whose signed oil on board titled Cabin in a Bayou with Black Man in Pirogue, should rise to $2,500-$4,500. In addition, George Bauer Dunbar (b. 1927), encaustic 1980 work Abstraction has an estimate of $800-$1,200. Additionally, David Harouni (b. 1962), represents in two offerings in the sale: Ball Gown and High Heels. Furthermore, they are oil on Masonite works, artist signed and housed in arched gilt frames. Each carry an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000.

More Works by Southern Artists

Additional artworks will feature an oil on Masonite by the German-born American painter and teacher

Henry Hensche oil on Masonite

"Eclectic," oil on Masonite painting, Henry Hensche, could bring $4,000 to $6,000.

Henry Hensche (Mass., 1899-1992), titled Eclectic (est. $4,000-$6,000); a 1981 oil on canvas by Ghanaian artist Ablade Glover (b. 1934), titled The Conversation (est. $4,000-$6,000); and a 19th century unsigned oil on canvas after the Portuguese Neoclassicist painter Francisco Viera Portuense (1765-1805), titled Music’s Allegory, expected to hammer for $1,500-$2,500.

The fine selection of cabinet bronzes will include a figure on a gured violette marble base by Joe Descomps (Fr., 1869-1950); a work by Spiro Schwatenberg (Germ., 1898-1922), a figure by Pierre Felix Fix-Masseau (Fr., 1869-1937). In addition, there is a work after Alphonse Alexandre Arson (1822-1880). The Parisan-born sculptor best known for his depictions of birds and other animal subjects.

Offerings from Tiffany Studios will feature a circa-1900 bronze desk lamp, 11 ¾ inches tall, expected to breeze to $2,000-$3,000. In addition, the sale includes an early 20th century Favrile glass vase, 6 ¼ inches tall. It may bring $500 to $700. In addition, the clocks category will be led by an unusual 19th century French gilt bronze mounted white marble open escapement portico clock. Furthermore, the Samuel Marti-made clock bears an estimate of $800 to $1,200.

Russian Icons Also Available

A stellar collection of Russian icons will include The Virgin of Kazan (Moscow, 1893, by Ivan Khlebnikov); The Virgin of Kazan (Moscow, late 19th century, also by Ivan Khlebnikov); Christ Pantocrator (Moscow, circa 1908-1917); and Saint Vladimir (Moscow, made circa 1908-1917).

Also up for bid will be a 19th century American cast iron sugar kettle with a flared rim, made in Louisiana (est. $1,500-$2,500). In addition, a circa-1870 American carved mahogany marble-top center table could bring $500 to $900. In conclusion, an early 19th century Dutch inlaid mahogany commode heads into the sale with an estimate of $500 to $700.

For more information, visit, call 504-529-5057, or email

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