Neal Auction Company’s Spring Estates Auctions Achieves $2.75 million
NEW ORLEANS—Neal Auction Company’s May 3-4 auction of fine art and antiques garnered considerable interest from around the country and abroad. International purchasers included bidders from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jordan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United Kingdom among others. Auction catalog preview and Internet bidding for all Neal Auction Company sales is provided by www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
The highlight of Neal Auction Company’s Spring Estates Auction was lot 84, a hand-colored engraving after John James Audubon (American, 1785-1851) titled Pileated Woodpecker, No. 23, Plate CXI, from the Havell edition of The Birds of America. Estimated at $20,000-$30,000, the elephant folio engraving reached $64,625.00. The $64,625.00 achieved at Neal Auction Company represents the second highest price ever achieved at auction for the Audubon work; the first being an example from The Magnificent Sachsen-Meiningen Collection of Audubons which sold in New York in 2004. Neal Auction Company’s exemplary May offerings of Audubon engravings were without royal provenance, but instead came from a local Estate collection.
Lot 80, the hand-colored engraving titled Night Heron or Qua Bird after John James Audubon (American, 1785-1851), also performed exceedingly well. With a presale estimate of $15,000-$25,000, Night Heron achieved $41,125 — again, second in price only to the 2004 New York example sold from the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen.
Neal Auction Company’s Canada Goose (lot 78), after John James Audubon (American, 1785-1851), performed commendably. With significant telephone and floor interest, the elephant folio engraving reached $32,312.
Other engravings after John James Audubon worth note were lots 81, 82, 83 and 85. Estimated at $5,000-$7,000, lot 81, the Red-Shouldered Hawk, saw $10,575, while lot 82, the Ferruginous Thrush reached $8,225 against a $2,000-$3,000 estimate. Lot 83, Purple Grackle or Common Crow Blackbird, achieved $7,050 with a $3,000-$5,000 presale estimate, while lot 85, the Painted Bunting, with the same presale estimate saw $9,400.
AMERICAN REGIONAL ART
The highlight of Neal Auction Company’s May offerings of American Regional art was a painting by the nationally acclaimed contemporary New Orleans artist, George Rodrigue. With a retrospective of the artist’s works currently on exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the popularity of George Rodrigue has never been greater, as evidenced by this painting’s extraordinary recent sale.
Lot 352, George Rodrigue’s (American/Louisiana, b. 1944) 1994 oil titled Corporate Dog, performed exceptionally well. With an estimate of $25,000-$35,000, the painting, which depicts three images of the artist’s iconic “blue dog,” achieved $63,450.
AUTOGRAPH WORKS ON PAPER
Neal Auction Company witnessed an impressive collection of autograph works on paper within its May 3-4 Spring Estates Auction, including several important examples of historic autograph memorabilia as well as a group of Marc Chagall autograph sketches sold to benefit the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio.
Lot 169, Neal Auction Company’s Marc Chagall (French, born Russia, 1887-1985) sketch titled Pour Efrem received international attention.
The poignant drawing was executed in two campaigns: first in ink for Elaine Shaffer (American flautist (1925-1973)) in 1971 and then again in crayon for Efrem Kurtz (Russian-born conductor (1900-1995), married Elaine Shaffer, 1955) in 1973—
likely after Shaffer’s demise on February 19th of that year. Pour Efrem, Chagall’s touching homage to Elaine Shaffer for his friend, Kurtz, her grieving husband, achieved $11,331.00.
Neal Auction Company’s following Marc Chagall lot, 170, likewise performed well. The 1957 Self-Portrait ink sketch on hotel stationary, also inscribed to Elaine Shaffer, sold for $5,400.
Neal Auction Company’s May American Furniture offerings witnessed considerable attention from around the country. The highlight of Neal Auction Company’s furniture offerings was lot 861, a mid-19th century American Rococo Carved Mahogany Half-Tester Bed attributed to Prudent Mallard, New Orleans. Against four interested telephone bidders, the bed reached $31,725.00.
The Spring Estates Auction continued Neal Auction Company’s tradition of offering Fine English and Continental Furniture, witnessing overseas interest on many lots. Neal Auction’s European Furniture highlight was lot 204, a mid-18th century Louis XV Carved Walnut Commode. The commode almost tripled its presale low estimate of $10,000, selling for $27,000.00
Neal Auction Company’s Spring Estates Auction included many nice decorative arts examples, including lighting, clocks, silver, porcelain and sculpture. Lot 69 performed exceptionally well. The pair of late-19th century elaborately Cut Crystal Eighteen-Light Chandeliers, probably by Baccarat, reached $56,400.
The highlight of Neal Auction Company’s sculpture offerings was lot 460, an unsigned, early-19th century Regency Patinated Plaster Figure of a Vestal, designed after the colossal marble original by Jean Antoine Houdon now in the Louvre. Against considerable interest, the Neal Auction Company example more than doubled its pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$7,000 and sold for $14,100.
Lot 525, an Art Deco White Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Necklace, achieved a handsome $16,450; while Lot 524, a custom made Tiffany & Co. Yellow Gold Choker soared well above its $3,000-$5,000 estimate to reach $10,575.
To preview the fully illustrated auction catalog, with prices realized, visit www.LiveAuctioneers.com.