NEW ORLEANS, La. – Two exceedingly rare oil on canvas portrait paintings by the Mexican-born Louisiana artist José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (1750-1802) will headline a major two-day auction slated for the weekend of January 19th and 20th by Crescent City Auction Gallery, online and in the gallery at 1330 St. Charles Avenue. Nearly 1,000 lots will be offered.
The first painting (lot #330, to be sold on Day 1, Jan. 19) was rendered in New Orleans circa 1785-1795 and depicts Matias Francisco Alpuente y Ruiz (1750-1812), a member of the distinguished Caribiner Cavalry and the Financial Administrator of New Orleans, under Spanish rule. The work, measuring 36 ½ inches tall by 28 ½ inches wide, has a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$150,000.
The other portrait, to be offered immediately following, at lot #331, is either one of Marguerite Amirault Duplessis Alpuente y Ruiz (1761-1790) and son Francisco Bonaventure Alpuente y Ruiz (1783-1842), or Isabel Henriette de Chouriac de Alpuente y Ruiz (1773-1850) and Child. It was painted in New Orleans circa 1785-1795 and is 35 inches by 27 inches (est. $80,000-$120,000).
José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza was a Yucatan-born painter who came to Louisiana in 1784 and spent 18 years creating portraits in New Orleans during the Spanish administration (1762-1802). He’s now recognized as North America’s only known 18th century Spanish colonial portraitist. Fewer than 50 portraits are documented and most remain in New Orleans collections and museums.
Salazar’s beautifully executed likenesses of New Orleans leading military figures, merchants and their families are highly prized by collectors. He was the recent subject of an exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, titled Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish Louisiana (March 8-Sept. 2, 2018). Bidding on the two portraits in the auction is expected to be spirited.
The rest of the auction is jam-packed with the broad mix of merchandise people have come to expect from a Crescent City auction: fine period French furniture and antique French clocks, original artworks by New Orleans and other regional artists, silver, estate jewelry (to include wristwatches by Piaget, Tag Heuer, Omega, Breitling and Bulova) and decorative accessories.
The fine period French furniture will include a 19th century carved cherry Louis XVI-style bowfront commode, 33 ½ inches tall by 43 ½ inches wide; and a late 19th century Louis XV-style inlaid walnut vaisselier, 98 inches tall by 55 inches wide. Both have $1,500-$2,500 estimates.
Also from France is a 19th century Louis XV-style carved oak wedding armoire, 91 ½ inches tall by 66 inches wide (est. $1,000-$2,000); a 19th century French Provincial Louis XV-style carved walnut and elm vaisselier, 100 inches tall by 78 ½ inches wide (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a 19th century carved cherry farmhouse table 76 ½ inches wide by 32 ¼ inches deep (est. $800-$1,200).
Fine French clocks will feature a 19th century three-piece gilt bronze Sevres mounted clock set, together with a pair of matching urn garnitures with Sevres-like mounts (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a 19th century Napoleon III gilt bronze and alabaster clock, depicting Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, and presented in a blown glass dome on an ebonized base (est. $800-$1,200).
Original artworks by artists from New Orleans and Louisiana will be plentiful, to include these:
- An untitled (Evangeline with Oak Tree) pastel on paper work by George Rodrigue (La., 1943-2013), signed by the artist famous for his Blue Dog series (est. $3,000-$5,000).
- An oil on board landscape rendering by Steele Burden (La., 1900-1995), titled Moss Gathering in the Swamp, unsigned, 21 ½ inches by 27 ¾ inches (est. $3,000-$5,000).
- A painting by Colette Pope Heldner (New Orleans, 1902-1990), titled Swamp Idyll, signed lower left and titled on verso, 23 ½ inches by 29 ½ inches (est. $1,000-$2,000).
- An oil on canvas by Robert Rucker (La., 1932-2001), titled Boathouse Along the Shore, artist signed lower right and measuring 23 ¾ inches by 36 inches (est. $1,200-$1,800).
Decorative items will include a mid-19th century American coin silver serving tray by Gorham, 35 ½ inches wide, weighing 199.8 troy ounces (est. $3,000-$5,000); a large post-1945 Rene Lalique clear and frosted class swan (Cygne) centerpiece, presented with an octagonal mirror “lake”, with the swan 6 ¾ inches tall by 14 inches wide (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a set of eleven English Coalport cabinet plates, 19th century, each one 9 ½ inches in diameter (est. $800-$1,200).
Internet bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Lots 1-650 will be sold on Saturday, Jan. 19, starting at 9 am; lots 651-950 will come up for bid Sunday, Jan. 20, starting at 10 am; all times are Central.
Previews will be held beginning Thursday, January 10th, from 10-5 Central time (except on Sunday, when the gallery is closed). A late evening preview will also be held, on Wednesday, January 16th, from 5-7 pm. Absentee and phone bids will be accepted until 1 pm Central time on Thursday, January 17th. A printed catalog is available on request. Please call or email the gallery.
Crescent City Auction Gallery is always seeking quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you can call them at (504) 529-5057; or, you can send an e-mail to email@example.com. All phone calls and e-mails are confidential.
For more information about Crescent City Auction Gallery and the January 19th-20th New Year Estates Auction, please visit www.crescentcityauctiongallery.com. Updates posted frequently.
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1330 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana