NEW ORLEANS – Neal Auction’s June 12-14 Summer Estates Auction garners impressive results, achieving $2.2 million in sales. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Day one of Neal Auction’s three-day Summer Estates Auction was highlighted by two prominent estate collections: that of local philanthropist Dr. Isidore Cohn Jr. and that of world-famous “Blue Dog” artist George Rodrigue. The Cohn collection was composed of art glass by modern masters as well as contemporary paintings. The Rodrigue collection featured examples of important modern and contemporary art that George and his wife and muse, Wendy, collected over the years.
Highlights from the Dr. Isidore Cohn Jr. Collection include lot 22, Magnificent Chaos (above), an irregularly shaped oblong bowl made of fused and thermo-formed glass threads by American glass artist Mary Ann “Toots” Zynsky (b. 1951), which sold for $31,700 against a presale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
Lot 36, Fenice (Phoenix), by Italian glass master Lino Tagliapietra (b. 1934) also performed respectably, selling for $19,300 against a $12,000 to 18,000 estimate. Several other pieces by the artist exceeded their presale low estimates as well, including lot 35, Angel Tear, which sold for $18,300; lot 38, Fuji, which sold for $17,600; and lot 34, Dinosaur #6840, which sold for $14,000.
Other works by master glass artists featured in the Cohn Collection included lot 17, Teasing Buns Johnson by Stephen Rolfe Powell (American, 1951-2019), which sold for $14,000; lot 30, Black-Blue with Yellow, by Dante Marioni (Italian, b. 1964), which sold for $12,800; and lots 11 and 12 Dreams on the Lake and Green Grass Mountain by Kyohei Fujita (Japanese, 1921-2004), which realized $7,500 each.
Several fine and rare examples of Steuben glass also performed exceedingly well, with designs by James Houston (Canadian, 1921-2005) and Sydney Waugh (American, 1904-1963) surpassing others. Top lots in the clear glass category include 137, African Zebras, and 136, Leopard in Moonlight, Houston designs that achieved $7,320 and $7,000; and 143, Zodiac Bowl by Waugh, which realized $7,320. Steuben “stock pieces” also saw a remarkable uptick during the auction, with pieces doubling and tripling their presale estimates. The Cohn Collection featured some impressive paintings including works by Nebraskan artist Charles Rain (1911-1985), who’s precise and moody composition Prophesy (lot 76) stirred interest from far and wide, selling for $28,060 against a $20,000 to $30,000 estimate.
Highlights from the George and Wendy Rodrigue Collection include lot 214, a monumental six-panel composition titled Cockatoo Chinensis (Hornbills and Cockatoos) by Louisiana artist Hunt Slonem (b. 1951). The 2001 archetypal painting (below), which was estimated at $40,000 to $60,000, sold for an impressive $78,000.
Lot 212, a 1986 screen-print of Teddy Roosevelt by American pop art artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) also sold well at $33,500 against a $25,000 to $35,000 estimate.
Two bauxite and mixed media sculptures by Alabama artist Dan Corbin (b. 1947) saw intense interest. Carrying presale estimates of $1,800 to $2,500 each, lots 225, Untitled: Standing Nude in Yellow, and 226, Untitled: Standing Nude in Gray, sold for $15,600 and $9,300 respectively, creating new world record prices for works by the artist sold at auction. Lot 216, a porcelain Balloon Dog in blue by pop artist Jeff Koons (American, b. 1955), sold predictably well at $15,250 against an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
And lastly, lot 234, an oil titled “Ringing the Bell/Baptism” by self-taught Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988) far exceeded its estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 to achieve $11,200. Neal Auction continues to maintain the record price for a work by Hunter sold at auction with The Annunciation and the Adoration of the Wise Men, which sold on March 3, 2018 for $70,000. The Rodrigue Collection also featured a large selection of wine from the Château Mouton Rothschild Artist Series. Estimated at $300 to $500, lot 167, a rare, postwar bottle from 1945 designed by French illustrator Philippe Jullian (1919-1977) with a “V” for victory label, saw compelling interest, selling for just over $5,000.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Wendy and George Rodrigue Collection will benefit the Life and Legacy Foundation Inc. (https://legacyarttour.org). The Life and Legacy Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that inspires children of all ages and diverse backgrounds to explore the world of art through unique programming centered on and honoring the life and art of George Rodrigue.
Days two and three of Neal Auction’s Summer Estates Auction, which showcased property from various owners and estates, also witnessed extraordinary success. Taking the vanguard, was lot 319, a bronze sculpture titled Vietnam by New Orleans artist Enrique Alferez (1901-1999). The remarkable large-scale installation was displayed at the Helis Foundation Sculpture Garden in New Orleans’ City Park for several years prior to making its way to Neal. Estimated at $40,000 to $60,000, Vietnam achieved $112,800 amid fierce competition.
Lot 343, Cluster Series, a 1975 oil on canvas by New Orleans artist Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997) doubled its $25,000 high estimate to achieve $50,000.
Fittingly, all the George Rodrigue (1944-2013) paintings in the sale sold, with lots 330, Tiffany Moon; 353, Starry, Starry Eyes; 331, Blue Night; and 332, One Brick at a Time, topping the list at $48,600, $39,600, $35,300 and $35,300.
The cover lot (lot 325), a Jacques Amans (French/Louisiana, 1801-1888) portrait of his nephew Pierre Landreaux (1845-1917) sold very well at $36,600 and lot 369, a watercolor depicting Coots in Lagoon by Mississippi artist Walter Anderson (1903-1965), realized $22,500. Neal Auction continues to maintain world record auction prices for works by Enrique Alferez, Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer, George Rodrigue, Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, and Walter Inglis Anderson. Additionally, lot 367, Still Life with Watermelon, a 2005 oil painting by Amy Weiskopf (American, b. 1957), created a new world record price achieved at auction for the artist by selling for $21,700. Noteworthy, was lot 340, a 17-inch aluminum kinetic sculpture by New Orleans artist Lin Emery (b. 1926) titled Petal Forms, which generated considerable interest. With 14 phone bidders and several absentee bids competing, the piece sold for $10,000 against a $2,500 to $3,500 estimate.
Furniture and decorative arts at Neal Auction’s Summer Estates Auction fared well. Highlights included two early 20th century Louis Vuitton steamer trunks that garnered substantial interest. Vuitton lots 274 and 273 sold for $24,900 and $23,600, thrashing their $3,000-$5,000 and $4,000-$6,000 estimates.
Lot 39, a French Restauration soup tureen by silversmith Pierre-Marie Devilleclair (act. 1812-1824) realized $9,100 against a $2,000 to $4,000 estimate and lot 739, a Chinese rose quartz teapot, realized $8,500 against a $100 to $200 estimate. Lot 303, a fine American Federal mahogany armoire achieved $9,000.
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