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Paintings by Alexander Drysdale and Clementine Hunter to be offered at Crescent City Auction Gallery
Circa 1980 signed oil on board by the renowned New Orleans folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988), titled Courtroom Scene (est. $2,000-$4,000).


NEW ORLEANS, LA.- New Orleans history and lore will be front and center at Crescent City Auction Gallery’s two-day estates auction slated for June 20-21, in the firm’s gallery at 1330 St. Charles Avenue. Offered will be five artworks each from the legendary New Orleans painters Clementine Hunter and Alexander Drysdale, plus items from a home once owned by Anne Rice.

Anne Rice (b. 1941), still a resident of New Orleans, is the author best known for her series of novels The Vampire Chronicles, two of which were made into major motion pictures. She lived for a time at 3711 St. Charles Avenue, and the contents of that home will come up for bid. Also sold will be hundreds of quality items from prominent local and Southern estates and collections.

In all, 1,322 lots will cross the auction block, in a wide array of categories, to include French period furniture, original artworks (much of it by regional artists), clocks and watches, mirrors, sterling silver, three Russian icons, a collection of 20th century Meissen (including figures), and decorative accessories. Start times will be 9 a.m. on June 20 and 10 a.m. on June 21 (Central time).

The names Clementine Hunter (1886-1988) and Alexander Drysdale (1870-1934) are instantly recognizable to New Orleans residents. Both were accomplished artists in their genres – Hunter (known as the “black Grandma Moses”) for her folk art renditions of plantation life in Louisiana, Drysdale for his lush bayou landscapes and marshes. Their paintings are coveted by collectors.

The five Clementine Hunters in the sale (all from a single-owner collection) will include a circa 1980 signed and unframed oil on board titled Courtroom Scene (est. $2,000-$4,000); and a circa 1975 signed and unframed oil on board titled Ginning Cotton (est. $1,500-$2,500), each one 12 inches by 16 inches; and a smaller work from around 1976 titled Wash Day (est. $1,500-$2,500).

The five Drysdales will feature an early 20th century signed oil on burlap painting titled Oak Tree in the Bayou (est. $7,000-$9,000); an early 20th century pencil-signed oil on canvas titled Sun Rise Dispersing the Fog Above Black River, Monterey, La. (est. $6,000-$9,000); and a pencil-signed early 20th century oil wash titled Live Oak in the Louisiana Bayou (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Also certain to draw interest will be a somewhat startling figural painted papier-mâché sculpture by the Spanish-born New Orleans painter Jose Maria Cundin (b. 1938), titled Charity Hospital, named for the New Orleans public hospital that was permanently shut down following Hurricane Katrina (est. $3,000-$5,000); and an oil on board by Swedish-born painter Knute Heldner (1875-1952), famous for his Louisiana landscapes, titled Swamp Cabin at Dusk (est. $2,000-$3,000).

French furniture pieces will come up frequently throughout the auction. Expected top lots will include a Belle Epoque Louis XV ormolu mounted parquetry inlaid rosewood bombe secretaire, circa 1900 (est. $1,750-$2,750); a Louis XV style ormolu mounted marquetry inlaid rosewood marble-top commode from the early 20th century (est. $1,800-$2,800); and a Louis XV style carved oak double-glazed door armoire, Brittany, from the 19th century (est. $1,100-$2,100).

Additional French furniture will feature a Louis XV style carved oak double-door armoire from the 19th century, 81 ½ inches tall (est. $1,000-$1,500); a 19th century French Empire style carved cherry marble-top sideboard, 44 ¾ inches tall by 75 inches wide (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a French Empire carved walnut commode, also made during the 19th century (est. $900-$1,200).

The expected star of the antique clocks and timepieces category is a gorgeous Patek Philippe 18kt yellow gold pocket watch, made circa 1918, case serial #235773 and movement #190286 (est. $3,000-$5,000). Another highlight in the antique clock category could well be the French Restoration gilt bronze figural mantel clock, made circa 1820 and 18 inches tall. It’s expected to bring $1,400-$2,000.

Other notables in the clocks category will be a rare ebonized boulle and mother of pearl inlaid black lacquer portico mantel clock, made in the 19th century and with the white enamel dial painted “P. Mallard, New Orleans” (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a circa 1840 French gilt bronze figural mantel clock with a silk thread suspension that’s expected to hammer for $900-$1,200.

Returning to artwork, pieces to watch will include a 2003 Self Portrait of the Artist at Work by the recently deceased Louisiana painter George Valentine Dureau (1930-2014). The unframed work is a diptych charcoal on two canvases (made to hang side-by-side) and is 24 inches by 18 inches (est. $1,800-$2,500). Also sold will be an 18th century oil on canvas done in the manner of Jan Brueghel the Elder (Flemish, 1568-1625), titled The Death of Hector (est. $1,000-$2,000).

A tremendous online buzz has already been generated for the three 19th century Russian icons in the auction. They will include one of Saint Nicholas, with a silver oklad and the Cyrillic maker’s mark of “AC” (for Alexei Stepanov, Moscow, circa 1890, est. $1,200-$1,800). Also sold will be a 19th century French Louis Philippe style gilt and gesso over-mantel mirror (est. $750-$950).

Rounding out just some of the sale’s expected highlights are a lovely French first standard silver monstrance, early 19th century, weighing 27.9 troy ounces (est. $2,500-$4,500); a 55-piece set of sterling flatware by Gorham in the “Buttercup” pattern, weighing 60.8 troy ounces (est. $1,500-$2,500); and two circa 1900 oil on canvas paintings signed “W. Beaumont” and titled Gypsy Girl With Brass Vase and Gypsy Girl With Jewelry Coffer. Both are estimated to bring $1,000-$2,000.

Internet bidding will be provided by Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and left (absentee) bids will also be accepted. Lots 1-800 will be offered on Saturday, June 20th and lots 801-1,322 will be offered on Sunday, June 21st. All sales are final. A buyer’s premium will be applied to all purchases. Seating is limited, so plan to arrive at the gallery before the start times.





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