NEW ORLEANS – Property from the Estate of Julia Reed was offered within a single-owner sequence at Neal Auction’s annual Winter Estates Auction on Feb. 5. Carrying a presale auction estimate of $128,875 to $197,125, the sale of the beloved author’s collection soared way beyond expectation to achieve $618,550 hammer total, all of which benefits the Julia Evans Reed Charitable Trust. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Reed, a prolific writer on life in the American South who lived in and authored books about New Orleans, died after battling with cancer in August 2020. Reed, 59, was a renowned, hostess and arbiter of taste.
Despite being a virtual auction, open to absentee, telephone and online bidding only, participation was phenomenal and bidding was enthusiastic, leading to many auction records being set. (A record auction price is the highest traceable price that a work by an artist or maker achieves at auction.)
“It seemed everyone, both friends and admirers, wanted a remembrance of Julia,” Katie Hovas, Neal Auction’s senior vice president.
All prices in this report are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Artists whose works achieved record auction prices include Joan Griswold (American, b. 1954) with lot 47, Papers and Books (Julia’s Office), which realized $7,930; Ashley Pridmore (American/New York, 20th century) with lot 49, Guarding Nefertiti, which achieved $5,120; William Dunlap (American/Mississippi, b. 1944) with lot 52, Mississippi – Father of Waters – History of Mud (above), which soared to $42,700 pummeling the previous auction record of $7,200 (lots 53 and 54 also by the artist, performed exceptionally as well, achieving $19,200 and $8,640 respectively); Emil-Allain Seguy (French, 1877-1945) with lot 65, four pochoirs (stencil prints) of Beetles (below), which beat the former record of $9,100 for 20 pochoirs and achieved $19,520; and Jack Spencer (American/Mississippi, b. 1951) with lot 158, M & E Service Center, Greenville, Mississippi, archival ink jet print, which achieved $6,750, breaking the former record of $4,270.
“Because so many of the artists represented in our auction were friends of Julia’s, I found it particularly poignant that many of their works would achieve record prices,” said Hovas.
Other lots that achieved incredible results include: lot 2, a 19th century Victorian taxidermy songbird parlor dome, which realized $6,080 against a $800 to $1,200 estimate; lot 5, an anonymous English painting of a Young Cricket Player (above), which realized $17,080; lot 13, a marble and metal low table, which reached $11,285 against a $400 to $600 estimate; lot 14, a Giacometti-style floor lamp, which with a $300 to $500 estimate reached $7,930; lot 28, a George III inlaid mahogany bookcase, which garnered $38,400; lot 75, eight Louis XVI-style dining chairs, which achieved $15,860; and lot 78, a pair of early 19th century inlaid olivewood commodes, which realized $20,625 (below).
Lot 80, a 78-piece Cauldon bone china luncheon service (below), achieved $26,840; lot 99, an 88-piece Edwardian sterling silver flatware service in the Triffid pattern, earned $10,000; and lot 187, a Mish (Mish Tworkowski) New York coral necklace, realized $13,440.
The Julia Evans Reed Charitable Trust, which is the sole beneficiary of the auction of her estate collection, will continue her work, as set out in their mission statement: The Julia Evans Reed Charitable Trust continues the philanthropic work that Julia began in her lifetime to help people in need. We do this by supporting organizations dedicated to providing the things in life that Julia deemed essential: a good home, nourishing food, a quality education, and opportunities for learning, literacy and engagement in the arts.
Neal Auction Co. has achieved international recognition as the South’s preeminent antiques and fine art auction gallery. Neal Auction Company has a thirty-seven-year history of selling distinguished collections and achieving record auction prices. More at www.nealauction.com.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/