“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.” Mr. Lambert added the March 24-25 sale will comprise Part 1 of the Nelson estate. 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. Mr. 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.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
The American patchwork sampler quilt (est. $12,000-$18,000)
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);
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-
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);
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;
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);
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);
Crescent City Auction Gallery, LLC 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)
Crescent City Auction Gallery, LLC is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (504) 529-5057; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. A catalog for the March 24-25 sale is available on request, and all lots can be viewed at www.crescentcityauctiongallery.com.
To learn more about Crescent City Auction Gallery and the upcoming March 24-25 auction, please log on to www.crescentcityauctiongallery.com.
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Ken Hall writes pre-sale and post-sale press releases for auction houses, for a fee. He writes, submits and tracks stories for clients. Submissions are published in trade magazines, posted on industry websites and appear in local newspapers.