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Crescent City Auction to debut gallery at Mar. 24-25 sale

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Written by Auction House PR   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:28

Unusual 19th century American patchwork sampler quilt, with 26 velvet and silk patches. Image courtesy 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 Dr. James W. Nelson will be sold March 24-25 by Crescent City Auction Gallery. Internet bidding will be facilitated by for those who cannot attend the auction 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.” 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. When the St. Charles space became available last year the firm moved quickly to acquire and occupy it. The new facility enabled 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 in order.

“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,” Lambert said,

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 gleaming new walls of the facility will provide a proper 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.

In addition to Internet bidding, 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 1/2 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 3/4 inches tall).

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 (Minnesota/Louisiana, 1902-1990) and one by her husband, the noted Swedish-born artist Knute Heldner (1877-1952). The couple met in Minnesota and were established 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 over-mantel 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).

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 (Louisiana, b. 1927), titled Coin du Lestin 66 (est. $2,000-$3,000); a 19th century oil on canvas after Guido Reni (Italian, 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 (Louisiana, 1870-1934), titled Louisiana Bayou Scene (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a 20th century oil on Masonite painting by Jack Cooley (Louisiana, 1923-2008), signed and titled French Quarter Street Scene (est. $600-$900).

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), lighting, rugs, bric-a-brac, decorative accessories and more.

To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, call them at 504-529-5057 or email them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . All lots can be viewed at

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to


Unusual 19th century American patchwork sampler quilt, with 26 velvet and silk patches. Image courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery. 

Original oil on canvas by James Michalopolous, titled 'French Quarter House with Balcony.' Image courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery.    

Phenomenal 19th century Italian carved walnut three-piece parlor suite (settee and armchairs). Image courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery.

Silver pieces will include an 1855 coin silver cup, a Fuller White demitasse coffee pot and an 1849 Hyde & Goodrich cup. Image courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery.

English trophy centerpiece, circa 1910, with two ivory tusks holding a reticulated center bowl. Image courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:02

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