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Original artworks by major New Orleans painters will headline Crescent City's May 13-14 auction
Russian icon of the Virgin of Kazan, one of 60 icons up for bid, produced circa 1908-1917, in a pendant .88 silver and enamel frame (est. $2,000-$3,000).


NEW ORLEANS, LA.- A beautiful oil on canvas landscape rendering by New Orleans artist Richard Clague (1812-1873), three oil on board figural works by the iconic African American folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988), and a Russian icon of the Virgin of Kazan, one of 60 icons up for bid, are expected headliners in Crescent City Auction Gallery’s May 13-14 auction.

The two-day estates auction will be held in Crescent City’s gallery, at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, with start times of 9 am on Saturday, May 13th, and 10 am on Sunday, May 14th, both Central time. Online bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Absentee and phone bids will be accepted up through 1 pm Central time on Friday, May 12th.

Headlining the event will be property from the private collection of antiquarian Don Didier of New Orleans; the succession of Sidney J. Mazarat III, also of New Orleans; and numerous local and Southern estates. An online preview can be viewed now, at crescentcityauctiongallery.com.

Richard Clague was born in France and was largely trained in Europe, but he settled in Louisiana and became part of the Bayou School there. He opened a studio in New Orleans in 1862 and was an influence on artists such as William Aiken Walker. His lush landscape work titled The Back of City Park, New Orleans, done circa 1870 and signed lower right, should bring $60,000-$90,000.

Clementine Hunter was a self-taught folk artist and the granddaughter of slaves. She worked as a farm laborer and never learned to read or write, but in her 50s she began to paint and was so prolific (4,000-5,000 artworks produced), she earned the nickname “the black Grandma Moses.” Her 1980 Playing Cards (one of three paintings) comes with a photo of Hunter and should fetch $3,000-$5,000.

Of the 60 or so icons in the sale, one that stands out for its beauty and excellence in design is the Russian icon of the Virgin of Kaza, executed circa 1908-1917 and housed in a pendant .88 silver and enamel frame marked “K. Faberge”. The icon, with a scratched inventory number (68836), measures 4 ¼ inches tall by 3 inches in width. It’s expected to change hands for $2,000-$3,000.

In all, just over 1,300 lots will come up for bid over the course of the two days – items that people have come to expect from Crescent City Auction Gallery’s estate sales: period furniture (much of it French, but also American), original artwork (by New Orleans and other regional artists), Mardi Gras memorabilia, Russian and other icons, sterling silver and decorative items.

There are four oil on canvas paintings in the auction by Robert Rucker (1932-2001), the New Orleans-born impressionist artist who opened his first gallery in the city’s French Quarter at age of 16. The highlight, titled Manresa Retreat House (1968), should rise to $5,000-$7,000; the other, laid on Masonite titled Steamboat on the Mississippi at New Orleans, should command $2,500-$4,500.

Oil paintings by other New Orleans artists will include Evening in the Louisiana Swamp (1909), by Alexander Drysdale (1870-1934), expected to bring $7,000-$10,000; and Patio Little Green Shutter Inn by Colette Pope Heldner (1902-1990), with an estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Both are artist signed. Also, a mid-19th century Louisiana School oil on canvas painting titled Portrait of a Young Gentleman with a Beard, 30 ¾ inches by 24 ¼ inches, is expected to bring $2,000-$4,000.

19th century French furniture pieces will include a Louis XV-style carved cherry sideboard (est. $800-$1,200); a Louis Philippe carved cherry marquetry inlaid ormolu mounted armoire (est. $800-$1,200); and an Henri II-style carved oak bookcase, 105 ¼ inches tall (est. $1,000-$2,000).

Additional French furniture pieces will feature a French Empire-style carved mahogany ormolu mounted marble-top commode (est. $900-$1,500); a Louis XV-style carved oak double-door wedding armoire (est. $800-$1,200); and a Louis XVI-style ormolu mounted inlaid walnut and rosewood marble-top secretaire abattant, or French fall-front writing desk (est. $1,500-$2,500).

Also from France, both with estimates of $1,000-$2,000, are a brass inlaid ebonized rosewood cave a liqueur (highly decorative French liquor box, containing four decanters and 16 glasses), crafted circa 1870; and a late 19th century Louis XIII-style highly carved walnut games table.

Mardi Gras collectibles will be offered in abundance, with lots including a Comus silver-plated King’s chalice (1977) by Reed & Barton (est. $6,000-$9,000); a King’s short sword, probably Comus, late 19th or early 20th century (est. $1,000-$2,000); and other Comus and Rex items.

Also offered will be three Mardi Gras Krewe of Rex Ducal badges, including the themes In the Realm of Imagination from 1904 (est. $600-$900); Arts and Sciences from 1911 (est. $1,200-$1,800); and Idealistic Queens from 1905 (est. $1,200-$1,800), in their original presentation boxes.

Also sold will be a Krewe of Rex Ball invitation from 1894, titled Illustrations from Literature, designed by Bror Anders Wikstrom and presented in a nice double-sided frame (est. $300-$500).

Sterling silver will feature a 20th century five-piece tea and coffee service by Whiting, in the Lily pattern and weighing 96.7 troy ounces (est. $1,500-$2,500); a large 20th century .950 sterling silver tray weighing 89.3 troy ounces (est. $2,000-$3,000); and a 160-piece sterling flatware set by Gorham in the King Edward pattern and weighing 168.6 troy ounces (est; $3,000-$5,000).

Rounding out some the sale’s expected top lots is a platinum pendant with a pear-shaped 65.54-carat tanzanite atop a double-graduated concentric border of round diamonds (est. $35,000-$45,000); a 19th century Carrara marble sculpture from the School of Pietro Bazzanti (It., 1842-1881), titled Baby Moses in Basket, 16 inches in height (est. $8,000-$12,000); and an American Victorian carved rosewood marble-top étagère, circa 1860, 104 inches tall (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Preview exhibitions will be held in the gallery from Thursday, May 4th, through Friday, May 12th, from 10 am to 5 pm Central time (except on Sunday, when the gallery is closed). A late evening preview will be held on Wednesday, May 10th, that will last until 8 o’clock pm, also Central time.





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