Newcomb vase nails record price at Neal’s $1.5M Summer Estates Auction
NEW ORLEANS – A 1904 Newcomb College art pottery vase decorated by Marie de Hoa LeBlanc electrified Neal Auction’s June 27-28 Summer Estates Auction when it sold for a record-smashing $169,200. The highly important, 13-inch vase in the Clematis pattern soared above its $35,000-$45,000 estimate to achieve a world record auction price for Newcomb pottery.
Neal Auction Co. began promoting Newcomb Art Pottery as an important genre of American Arts and Crafts during the early 1980s, before any other auction company in the country. They are credited with having pioneered the Newcomb pottery market, cultivating it, and consistently achieving world record prices for exceptional examples of Newcomb sold under their auspices. A spokesperson for the purchaser of the June auction’s highest-priced lot remarked that the Clematis vase “represents a high-water mark for Newcomb College pottery and stands as perhaps the finest example extant of their floral designs.”
Artworks filled in the rest of the slots in the auction’s “top five.” A small (9 x 12 inch) oil painting by William Aiken Walker (American/Charleston, 1838-1921, active New Orleans, 1876-1905) titled Wash Day: Cabin Scene drew significant attention from collectors nationwide. It sold near the top of its estimate range for $28,850.
A painting by Joseph Rusling Meeker (American/Missouri, 1827-1887) depicting “Bayou Peyone,” also drew considerable attention, with a number of left bids in the auctioneer’s book. The 1879 oil realized $28,200.00 – just shy of its $30,000 high estimate.
George Louis Viavant’s (American/New Orleans, 1872-1925) watercolor still life titled Nature Morte: Mallard Duck put in a surprisingly strong performance. It more than doubled its high estimate to settle at $27,025.00. As a side note, Neal Auction continues to maintain the record auction price for a work by Viavant, with Nature Morte: Duck, which sold on Dec. 3, 2005 for $41,000.00.
Rounding out the quintet was a painting by Meyer Straus (American/California, 1835-1905, active New Orleans 1869-1872) titled Dusk on the Louisiana Bayou. The circular, 10-inch picture of a man navigating a pirogue filled with baled Spanish moss through the water achieved $25,850.00 against a $12,000-$18,000 estimate. Neal Auction continues to maintain the world record price for a Meyer Straus painting sold at auction, with Louisiana Landscape, which sold on Dec. 3, 2005 for $75,000.00.
Collectors of Asian art showed their resolve when lot 333 crossed the auction block. The pair of Chinese famille verte porcelain rouleau vases, probably from the Daoguang (1821-1850) period attracted intense interest from abroad, particularly Asia. The elegant duo sold to a European buyer on the phone for $18,800.00.
A quintessential example of Alfred Heber Hutty’s (American/Charleston, 1877-1954) watercolor technique was Mrs. Hutty’s Garden, a scene the artist spotted on Tradd Street in Charleston, S.C. The artwork made $17,625.00.
Despite evidence of some restoration, a fine, 20th-century Chinese carved ivory river scene climbed well above its $6,000-$8,000 presale estimate to achieve $14,687.00. The intricately carved piece, which likely dates to the late 1960s/early 1970s Cultural Revolution period in China, sold to an Asian collector against significant telephone and absentee competition from this country and abroad.
Forty-nine lots sold via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. A late-19th-century Italian carved and gilded console and mirror, with openwork crest of scrolled foliage, engaged putti and columns, went to an online bidder for $7,995.
Also selling via LiveAuctioneers was William A. Slaughter’s (Texas/California, 1923-2003) Bluebonnets by the River, a signed 12 x 16 inch oil-on-canvas painting in an attractive giltwood frame. It finished its run at $5,535.
To contact Neal Auction Company, call 504-899-5329.
View Neal Auction Company’s Summer Estates Auction catalog complete with prices realized online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
Summer Major Estates Auction Day 1
Summer Major Estates Auction Day 2
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE