October 27, 2003

For Immediate Release

Neal Auction Company’s annual Louisiana Purchase Auction™, held October 4th and 5th, produced record prices for fine antique furniture, decorative objects, and particularly Southern art. A crowd of locals, national and international collectors and dealers filled both Neal Co. galleries for the early autumn weekend auction. Thanks to exquisite property from the Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, South Carolina, and other notable Southern estates, the annual Louisiana Purchase Auction stimulated enthusiastic bidding.

Highlights from the Calhoun Mansion include a monumental carrara marble of Amore and Psyche (lot 282), more than doubling the high estimate and hammering for $152,500, an auction record in New Orleans. A Ferdinando Vichi carrara marble titled “Bacchante” (lot 313) realized $26,000. Three other marbles by Romanelli, “Rebecca and Jacob at the Well” (lot 392), “Rebecca” (lot 314), and “Kneeling Venus” (lot 151) sold for $19,000, $18,000, and $14,000 respectively. An Italian mahogany and parcel gilt bookcase and secretaire by Luigi Frullini (lot 193) sold for $50,000, while an English carved mahogany tubular tall case clock (lot 401) climbed way above the high estimate to $33,000. Other highlights include a fine Steinway mahogany and parcel gilt grand piano, c. 1900, Model “A” (lot 276) hammering at $22,000, an English oak and marquetry bed from the late 17th/early 18th century selling for $23,000, an antique Aubusson parlor suite (lot 220) selling for $13,000. A fine pair of antique Louis XVI-style “Sevres” porcelain and gilt urns (lot 271) realized $20,000.

Several Southern artists achieved record prices. “Ursuline Convent/New Orleans” by William Woodward (lot 536) sold for $125,000, substantially higher than its estimate. A rare oil on panel by Walter Inglis Anderson, “A Study for a Mural of Southern History and Life” (lot 545), realized $75,000, setting the auction record for this unique deep South artist. “Horn Island” a watercolor triptych (lot 549), also by Anderson brought $18,000. Clarence Millet’s “The Shadow” (lot 537) hammered at $31,000 and his “Road from Woodville” (lot 541) sold for $18,000. Joseph Rusling Meeker’s “Live Oaks, Louisiana” oil on canvas (lot 516) brought $22,000. The Louisiana State Museum purchased Charles Martin’s “DeSoto Crossing the Mississippi at Baton Rouge” (lot 466) for $17,000.

Continental paintings were very strong with Luigi Bechi’s “The Cat Nap” (lot 199) selling for $82,500. A large oil by Danish artist Carl Frederic Aagaard “A Lush Wooded Landscape with Distant Deer” (lot 205) realized $20,000, while Ernest Gustave Girardot’s “The Young Master” (lot 224) fetched $16,500.

In the bicentennial year of the Louisiana Purchase, Neal Auction Company was pleased to offer several lots of historical interest. Notably, an Eighteen Star hand-sewn American Flag, c. 1812-1816 (lot 471) sold to a local preservationist for $22,500. A set of twenty- eight works in sixty-nine volumes relating chiefly to Napoleon Bonaparte (lot 391) achieved $48,000 hammer. A rare American carved oak “House of Representatives Armchair” (lot 496) in fine condition realized $14,000.

Fine silver throughout the sale also realized impressive prices. A Reed & Barton six piece sterling silver coffee and tea service in the “Francis I” pattern (lot 327) hammered at $16,000, while a eight piece sterling silver coffee and tea service, c. 1865-1870, by Tiffany and Co. (lot 319) realized $15,000. A beautiful Art Deco sterling silver, hand-hammered lemonade or ice water service, c. 1920, also by Tiffany and Co. (lot 336) brought $14,500 from the phones.

Other major lots attracted considerable interest including a rare Kentucky Federal inlaid cherrywood reverse serpentine tall chest, c. 1800 (lot 472) capturing $40,000.00. An American Rococo carved mahogany half tester bed (lot 354) sold for $23,000, and an American rosewood, faux bois, marble and giltwood pier table (lot 368) realized $14,000. A fine William IV gilt pinewood center table, with a label to the Duke of Hamilton (lot 260), brought $17,000, while a pair of monumental French patinated bronze six-light figural torcheres (lot 98) brought $13,000.

Saturday, October 11, Neal Auction Company held an on premises auction of the historic property of the Terrell Guest House, located on lower Magazine Street in New Orleans. The Holiday Estates Auction will be held December 6th and 7th at the 4038 Magazine Street Gallery. For more information, please contact Katie Hovas, Vice President at (800) 467-5329.

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