"Streetcar Tracks" tops $177K during Nov. auction

A mid-19th century oil painting, illustrating the technological developments of the day, lead all lots during the Louisiana Purchase Auction, with a final sale price of $177, 625.
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NEW ORLEANS -- Neal Auction Company’s November 21 and 22, 2015 Louisiana Purchase Auction™ witnessed excellent results for fine art, furniture, and decorative arts. The sale featured a number of notable collections, including Masterworks from the D. Benjamin Kleinpeter, Sr. Collection,

Streetcar Tracks

Oil painting "Streetcar Tracks" sold for more than $177,000. (Photo courtesy Neal Auction Company)

Baton Rouge, La.; Important Property from the Vieux Carré Residence of a Distinguished French Gentleman; and Property Descended in the Turnbull/Bowman/Fort Family of Rosedown and Catalpa Plantations, St. Francisville, La.; among others.

Among the record breaking prices paid for works by artists at auction, is Theora Hamblett ($67,375.00), Enrique Alferez ($55,125.00) and François Fleischbein ($28,175.00).

The top 10 lots of this auction include:

#1 ▪ Lot 167 ▪ Richard Clague ▪ $177,625 -- An important oil on canvas by Richard Clague (French/Louisiana, 1816-1878) depicting “Streetcar Tracks” in circa 1870 New Orleans. The painting represents a transitional period in the country’s history when technological innovations began to transform the post-antebellum South. After competitive bidding from the telephone bank and salesroom floor, Clague’s work sold for an impressive $177,625.00 to a local collector.

#2 ▪ Lot 174 ▪ William Henry Buck ▪ $118,750 -- “Cattle Grazing beside a Cabin among Live Oak Trees,” an accomplished depiction of a rural Louisiana landscape by William Henry Buck (1840-1888), achieved $118,750.00. With competition from the salesroom floor, the painting sold to a local collector bidding on the telephone.

#3 ▪ Lot 296 ▪ George Rodrigue ▪ $75,000 -- “Between My Mentor,” a monumental work featuring two iconic Blue Dogs by beloved Louisiana artist George Rodrigue (1944-2013) sold for $75,000.00 to a Louisiana collector. Blending an unusual combination of oil and acrylic paints, the 1998 painting represents the height of Rodrigue’s Blue Dog series.

#4 ▪ Lot 180 ▪ Louisiana Armoire ▪ $73,500 -- A rare Louisiana Creole inlaid cherrywood and cypress armoire achieved an impressive $73,500.00. Boasting a provenance chain that dates back to its circa 1810 creation date, this important piece of Southern furniture from the Kleinpeter Collection in Baton Rouge sold to a local museum competing against bidders on the salesroom floor.

#5 ▪ Lot 303 ▪ Theora Hamblett ▪ $67,375 -- “Path and Pasture,” a significant early work by celebrated Mississippi artist Theora Hamblett (1893-1977), sold to a telephone bidder competing against the phone bank, absentee bids, and the salesroom floor. The work more than tripled its presale low estimate of $18,000, selling for the record-breaking auction price of $67,375.00. The former record price of $35,850.00 for a work by Hamblett was achieved by Neal Auction Company in June 2015 with “School Children Getting Drinking Water.”

#6 ▪ Lot 175 ▪ William Aiken Walker ▪ $61,250 -- “Bringing in the Dory,” a well-documented Florida scene by preeminent South Carolina artist William Aiken Walker (1838-1921) sold for $61,250.00 to a Florida collector competing against the telephones and the salesroom floor. In this masterful 1895 composition, Walker depicts a fisherman and the architecture of the coast within the background of the Pacetti House and the Halifax River.

#7 ▪ Lot 288 ▪ Enrique Alferez ▪ $55,125 -- With a presale estimate of $15,000 to $25,000, lot 288, a carved wood sculpture of “Moses” by New Orleans artist Enrique Alferez (1901-1995) greatly exceeded expectation, selling for $55,125.00 and setting a new world record auction price for the artist. The work garnered considerable attention from the salesroom floor and the telephone bank that culminated in a bidding war between two local collectors.

Tied #8 ▪ Lots 293, 310 and 311 ▪ Ida Kohlmeyer ▪ $44,100 -- Three iconic abstract compositions titled “Circus Series 22A,” “Square D80,” and “Horizontal Rectangles #8” by Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer (American/New Orleans, 1912-1997), each sold for $44,100.00 to art collectors from Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina, respectively. The works attracted widespread attention from bidders across all bidding platforms.

#9 ▪ Lot 193 ▪ Coin Silver Streetcar ▪ $43,325 -- A very rare New Orleans coin silver and silver gilt exhibition model of a mule-drawn streetcar, generated intense interest from Southern regional collectors both on the telephones and on the salesroom floor. The mid-19th century replica of a “bobtail” streetcar manufactured by Zimmerman’s silversmith sold to a local museum for $43,325.00—over fourteen times its presale low estimate of $3,000.

#10 ▪ Lot 171 ▪ William Aiken Walker ▪ $36,750 -- “Common Blue Crab,” a rare oil on paper still life by William Aiken Walker (American/South Carolina, 1838-1921), sold exceptionally well. A Texas collector bidding in the room purchased the lot for $36,750.00 after trumping bids from the salesroom floor and the telephone bank.

Prices realized include Neal Auction Company’s Buyer’s Premium. Neal Auction Company’s Buyer’s Premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including $200,000, plus 10% of the hammer price greater than $200,000.

The next auction at Neal Auction Company is an Exceptional Regional Art sale, scheduled for Feb. 19-21. For more information, visit http://www.nealauction.com, or call 800-467-5329.

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