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Beauty, Rarity, History...The M.S. Rau Antiques Blog

Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques

Led by third-generation owner and published fine art expert Bill Rau, M.S. Rau Antiques has grown by leaps and bounds since his grandfather Max Rau opened the doors in 1912 to a then-small antiques store in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter. Bill's extensive knowledge and reputation as a leader places him among the most respected antique experts and gallery owners today.

A New Orleans institution for over 100 years, M.S. Rau Antiques is among the premier antiques galleries in the world. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, our 25,000 square foot gallery overflows with incredible antiques by names including Tiffany & Co., Paul Revere and Fabergé. Our unparalleled selection of important, original paintings and sculpture spans the 16th through the 21st century, created by legendary artists such as Brueghel, Monet and Rockwell, and our diverse selection of exquisite jewels, including rare colored diamonds, Kashmir sapphires and Burma rubies is without equal.

Blog entries from Beauty, Rarity, History...The M.S. Rau Antiques Blog

Edward VII's Siège d'Amour Love Chair.  This chair allowed the notorious playboy to "entertain" himself with two women at once.

Naughty and Nice Collide in M.S. Rau Antiques’ Latest Exhibition

Posted: May 01, 2018 13:03

In one of America’s most historic and fascinating cities, a delicate balance exists between excess and reverence that has endured for 300 years. It is this dichotomy that is the focus of M.S. Rau Antiques’ latest, and most tempting, exhibition.   In commemoration of New Orleans’ tricentennial, M.S. Rau Antiques presents Vice & Virtue: An Exhibition of Sex, Saints and Sin. Through the careful curation of over 100 works of fine art and rare objects from throughout history, M.S. Rau Antiques weaves a fascinating tale examining the fine line separating the righteous from the scandalous...

The Martyrdom of Saint Valeria and Saint Martial by the Vatican Mosaic Studio was displayed at St.  Peter's Basilica and the Studio for nearly a century.

Divine Provenance: The Vatican Micromosaic

Posted: March 29, 2018 10:53

Everyone loves a good story. In the realm of fine art and antiques, a good story, or what we call “provenance”, has the power to take a work of art from exceptional to awe-inspiring. In terms of workmanship, subject matter and sheer size, this incredible micromosaic detailing the Biblical story of Saints Valeria and Martial has it all. Measuring over 10 feet tall, the precision and detail required to execute such a piece is baffling. Combined with the high cost of materials, micromosaics of this immense size and artistry are beyond rare. When you factor in its provenance of being...

L'Arlésienne by Pablo Picasso.  Oil on canvas.  Signed and dated “ 14.7.58 IV Picasso” (upper left)

A Significant Portrait by Pablo Picasso

Posted: February 14, 2018 12:31

Pablo Picasso’s significant 1958 portrait of Jacqueline Roque as L’Arlésienne is currently on offer at M.S. Rau Antiques. The work presents a brilliant display of the Cubist painter’s mature style, exemplifying his creative acuity throughout his long and prestigious career. The work, which is numbered IV, is the culminating canvas of a series of four he composed in a single day of the young Roque as a woman from Arles. Bringing together Picasso’s life-long obsession with the theme of the Arlésienne and his fixation on the women in his life, the powerful portrait is a poignant example of...

A glittering tablescape in M.S.  Rau Antiques' exhibition, Aristocracy: Luxury and Leisure in Britain

Dining with the Victorians: An Aristocratic Indulgence

Posted: December 13, 2017 13:34

M.S. Rau Antiques’ latest exhibition, Aristocracy: Luxury and Leisure in Britain, delves into the aristocratic lifestyle of 19th-century England’s most elite families. While also exploring the history of tea, the centuries-old tradition of the hunting party, and the modern phenomenon of the Great Exhibition, the exhibition also boasts a remarkable dinner spread at the apex of the show. Set with gleaming mother of pearl and silver flatware, golden candelabra and exquisite porcelain, the tablescape offers a momentary glimpse into the long-standing traditions that surround the dinner table. ...

Frères Rochat crafted this rare, early Swiss singing bird box with the desirable fusée movement, housed in an elegant engraved silver and hand-enameled case.  Circa 1840.

The Tiniest of Treasures: Rare & Important Singing Bird Boxes

Posted: November 29, 2017 15:38

It’s often been said that the best gifts come in small packages. The maxim certainly rings true when delving into the world of antique singing bird boxes.  The Magic Within Masterpieces that literally fit in the palm of your hand, singing bird boxes combine the engineering genius of the watchmaker with the cultivated eye of the jeweler. At once, these miniature marvels appear to be snuffboxes – magnificent objets d’art delectably crafted of luxurious materials such as silver, gold, tortoiseshell or enamel – which is why they are often referred to as “tabatières à oiseau chanteur”...

Au Val Saint-Nicolas près Dieppe, Matin by Claude Monet.  Oil on canvas.  Signed, dated 1897.

Five Important Considerations When Buying Fine Art

Posted: November 06, 2017 12:34

The art market is a $45 billion global industry. With so much activity, in galleries, online, at fairs, and elsewhere, the act of collecting can be daunting. Whether you have eclectic taste or are assembling a highly curated collection, the five considerations below will help you build a collection with confidence. Provenance and Literature An artwork’s provenance, or chain of ownership, is crucial in establishing its authenticity and historical importance. It helps to trace the whereabouts of a work over time, backwards to the point it exited an artist’s studio. In addition to...

 

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