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Home > News, Articles & Multimedia > Worth Points > Auction with a Decidedly New Orleans Flavor Set at Crescent City Auction Gallery

Auction with a Decidedly New Orleans Flavor Set at Crescent City Auction Gallery

by WorthPoint Staff (03/21/12).

This unusual 19th-century American patchwork sampler quilt, with 26 velvet and silk patches, is one highlight in the upcoming auction set for March 24-25 and to be facilitated by Crescent City Auction Gallery.

NEW ORLEANS – An unusual 19th century American patchwork sampler quilt, a phenomenal Italian carved walnut three-piece parlor suite and outstanding works of art from the estate of a local doctor that features New Orleans and Louisiana scenes will be sold at a premiere auction event planned for March 24-25 by Crescent City Auction Gallery in the firm’s new showroom located at 1330 St. Charles Ave.

“It worked out that the inaugural auction at the new facility is a spectacular mix of items, with over 1,200 lots,” said Adam Lambert of Crescent City Auction Gallery. “The private collection and estate of Dr. James W. Nelson of Gonzalez, La., is a fine assortment of Louisiana and New Orleans artworks.” The March 24-25 sale will comprise Part 1 of the Nelson estate Lambert added. Part 2 will be held in May.

Crescent City’s new address is the former home of New Orleans Auction St. Charles Gallery, another longstanding New Orleans auction house. Growth and expansion brought on the need for more space than Crescent City’s former quarters, on Julia Street, could provide so when the St. Charles space became available last year the firm moved quickly to acquire and occupy it. The new facility allowed them to consolidate its gallery with their seven off-site warehouses.

The historic St. Charles Avenue building, erected in 1917, was structurally sound, but some modernization and renovations were still in order. Lambert said, “Inside, we wanted the 22,000-plus square feet of space to have all modern conveniences available, to make the experience for buyers and sellers truly something special.”

A little less than half the total square footage is dedicated to modern display space and showrooms, while the rest contains warehouse space, storage and a photography studio. The walls of the gleaming new facility will provide a wonderful backdrop to Dr. Nelson’s marvelous collection of artworks. Some of the pieces in the auction will include paintings by Colette Pope Heldner, Knute Heldner, Robert Rucker, James Michalopolous, Alexander J. Drysdale, George Schmidt, Childe Hassan, Rosalie Roos Wiener (Newcomb College) and Ellsworth Woodward.

Internet bidding for the auction will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

The American patchwork sampler quilt (est. $12,000-$18,000) contains 26 velvet and silk patches, each stitched with elaborate bird, animal and figural decorations. The framed quilt is 75 ½ inches tall by 55 inches wide. The Italian parlor suite (est. $5,000-$8,000) consists of a settee and two armchairs (all pieces 61 ¾ inches tall).

Original oil on canvas by James Michalopolous, titled “French Quarter House with Balcony,” is just one a many pieces of original artwork with a New Orleans flavor in the auction.

Artworks expected to do well include an oil on canvas by James Michalopolous (b. 1951), titled “French Quarter House With Balcony” (est. $10,000-$15,000); an oil on canvas by Robert M. Rucker (1932-2001), titled “Louisiana National Guard Armory” (est. $4,000-$6,000); and an oil on board by George Schmidt (b. 1944), “Sacra Conversazione” (est. $4,000-$6,000).

The auction will feature two original works by Collette Pope Heldner (Minn./La., 1902-1990) and one by her husband, the noted Swedish-born artist Knute Heldner (1877-1952). The couple met in Minnesota and were established there (in Duluth) before eventually settling in New Orleans in 1923, residing on St. Peters Street in the French Quarter (the Vieux Carre).

The two works by Ms. Heldner, both signed oil on boards, are titled “Senora on Stairway in the Brulatour Court” (1935) and “Madame John’s Legacy Old French Courtyard in Dumaine Street” (1935). Each should bring $1,200-$1,800. The painting by Mr. Heldner is an oil on canvas titled “The Old Man and the Sea.” The signed, 20th century painting should realize $1,000-$1,600.

Period furniture pieces will feature a 16th century Renaissance-style carved oak sideboard having an upper section with angel carved corners over a curved panel back (est. $2,500-$3,500); and an 18th century French provincial Louis XV-style carved oak double-door armoire (est. $1,500-$2,500).

Other furniture pieces will include a circa-1880 carved oak Jacobean style banquet table, possibly made by the renowned furniture maker R. J. Horner (est. $1,200-$1,800); a Louis XVI-style carved wood marble-top console table, circa 1900, in green paint (est. $1,200-$1,800); and a circa 1830 Charles X marble-top gueridon on a hexagonal support (est. $1,200-$1,800).

Decorative accessories will feature an English trophy centerpiece, circa 1910, with two ivory tusks holding a reticulated shaped, silver-plated center bowl on a mahogany base (est. $2,000-$3,000; a Restoration gilt bronze figural mantel clock, circa 1840 (est. $1,000-$2,000); an 1880 American Aesthetic gilt and gesso gold leaf overmantel mirror (est. $1,200-$1,800); and an elegant, 11-piece Tiffany bronze dore desk set in the Zodiac pattern (est. $1,500-$2,500).

Silver pieces available will include an 1855 coin silver cup, a Fuller White demitasse coffee pot and an 1849 Hyde & Goodrich cup.

Also offered will be a Louis XV-style, 20th century crystal and gilt iron 18-light chandelier draped with amber prism chains (est. $1,000-$2,000); silver, to include an 1855 coin silver cup, a George II sterling silver demitasse coffee pot by Fuller White, and a Hyde & Goodrich 1849 sterling cup by Adolph Himmel; and jewelry, to include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts, pearls, ladies’ Rolex wristwatches and a Cartier Tank Francaise wristwatch.

Returning to artwork, noteworthy pieces include a 2000 black and gray clay on canvas work by George B. Dunbar (La., b. 1927), titled “Coin du Lestin 66” (est. $2,000-$3,000); a 19th century oil on canvas after Guido Reni (It., 1575-1642), titled “Aurora,” in the original frame (est. $1,500-$2,500); a rare oil on board, signed and dated by Alexander J. Drysdale (La., 1870-1934), titled “Louisiana Bayou Scene” (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a 20th century oil on Masonite painting by Jack Cooley (La., 1923-2008), signed, titled “French Quarter Street Scene” (est. $600-$900).

Crescent City Auction Gallery is a locally owned and operated full-service auction house based in New Orleans. The firm conducts auctions featuring fine art (particularly works from Louisiana and the Southern U.S.), pottery, silver, jewelry, art glass, furniture (especially American, English and Continental), lighting, rugs, bric-a-brac, decorative accessories and more.

For more information about this auction, call 504.529.5057, e-mail to or visit the Crescent City Auction Gallery website.


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