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Theora Hamblett, 'Soldier with Flag on a Windy Day,' estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Neal.

Neal Auction Company presents its third-annual Vernacular and Outsider Art sale March 14

NEW ORLEANS – Neal Auction‘s third-annual Vernacular & Outsider Art sale on Thursday, March 14 features a who’s-who of self-taught names, often with multiple examples, from the American South. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Alabaman Mose Tolliver (1920-2006) has a dozen works in the sale, both paintings and painted furniture. One of a dozen children born to sharecroppers near Montgomery, Tolliver was disabled by a work-related injury in the late 1960s, so he turned to painting on whatever found materials he had – plywood, masonite, even old furniture. He achieved national recognition in the 1980s, and his works are now part of the Smithsonian’s African American collection. Erotic Scene and Table With Erotic Portraits are both estimated at $600-$800.

Theora Hamblett (1895-1977) of Paris, Mississippi, was discovered by New York gallery owner and collector Betty Parsons, who arranged for one of her works to be introduced at the Museum of Modern Art’s 1955 show of new acquisitions. Hamblett’s use of flat colors and backgrounds is contrasted with her point-based method for animating leaves in the wind, as seen in Soldier with Flag on a Windy Day. Dated 1969, the oil on canvas is a rare Hamblett original to the market, as she willed her entire collection to the University of Mississippi upon her death. The painting is estimated at $15,000-$25,000. A second Hamblett work, Purple Tree with White Dog, was painted two years before her death and carries an estimate of $7,000-$10,000.

Almost as much a local attraction as Bourbon Street itself, Robert ‘Dr. Bob’ Schaffer operates a studio dubbed Dr. Bob’s Folk Art, where visitors often drop by to view examples of his work. He is best known for his Be Nice or Leave painted signs, as well as images of birds and alligators. Monumental Alligator measures 46.325 by 95.25in and is painted on recycled ceiling tin from Battier’s Pharmacy in Memphis, Tennessee. The lot is estimated at $5,000-$8,000.

Rounding out the offerings from big names in the auction lineup is Clementine Hunter (1889-1998), who has five works represented in the sale. Wake is an oil on canvas board, estimated at $4,000-$6,000, which has been authenticated by Clementine Hunter expert Tom Whitehead. The sale also has six works by Purvis Young (1943-2010), with Horse the top contender at $1,800-$2,500.