Meeker Bayou Landscape brings $27,000 at Antique Helper

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  • August 25, 2011

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Joseph Rusling Meeker American; (1827-1889). Louisiana Bayou landscape with willow Oil on canvas. Signed lower left. Sold for $27,000 at the August 20 Summer Art & Antiques Auction, Antique Helper Auctions, Indianapolis.
Antique Helper

The August 20 Summer Art and Antiques Auction at Antique Helper was a multifaceted sale.  Sessions included the sale of Asian antiques, Native American costumes, objects and accessories, Art Glass and fine art.  There are numerous success stories to report from this small but diverse auction.


Asian antiques offered early in this auction brought solid prices.  Among the top sellers in this session was a Chinese Qing Dynasty carved cinnabar lacquer plate (est. $100-$200), bringing a hammer price of $950.    

Fairing even better, two Chinese Archaic bronze jars more than doubled high estimates ($300-$500 each).  The first, a wine jar, brought $1,050.  A funerary jar with ring handles sold next, with an ending bid of $1,350.

 On a more delicate note, a pair of Chinese porcelain fencai “Gu” form vases (est. $400-$600) surpassed high estimate as well, realizing $3,000.


 There was a large session featuring Native American items, including costumes, objects and accessories. Several lots saw serious bidding; most sold within or above estimate.  One very desirable antique Sioux beaded buckskin doll kindled some stiff competition,  ending at its high estimate of $400.  Six beaded or quilled bowler and top hats generated plenty of interest.  The highest seller in this group was the most ornate example:  a beaver skin top hat decorated with an American Flag motif (est. $500-$1,000). The gavel fell at $600.

There were also numerous examples of Native American beading. One lot that included beaded moccasins, a woodland Indiana boot and a fully beaded, sinew sewn bonnet on buckskin brought a winning bid of $275.

Bringing even better results, a group of Native American beaded and decorated items, including a medicine or spice bag, shoeshine kit and other items (Est. $150-$300) realized $425.

Among the many examples of Native American costumes in this session, a vintage Woodland Indian costume, dating from the 1920s (est. $200-$400) proved to be a sought-after prize.  It brought $425.

Additional Native American costumes brought even stronger prices.  Two Northern Plains/Sioux Indiana decorated wool felted wool and twill dresses (est. $200-$400) fared even better.  The beautiful pair brought $775.

Even more impressively, prices were achieved by two beaded buckskin dresses (est. $200-$400) both surpassed high estimate, bringing hammer prices of $450 and $700.

A beaded breastplate was the main draw in a lot that also included a vintage fringe buckskin jacket (est. 100-$200); the hammer price was an impressive $600.


Among the furniture finds was a lovely little Adirondack-style folk art twig shelf (est. $300-$500), that reeled in a hammer price of $800. 

The final session was devoted to a wonderful selection of Italian art glass, including a rare Ercole Barovier Murano art glass polar bear for Vetraria Artisca Barovier and Co., Ca. 1928.  It realized a cool $2,100.  Keeping in the animal kingdom, a pair of Venini Pasta Vitrea Rossa Murano glass roosters by Napoleone Martinuzzi gave everyone something to crow about.  This duo, dating from around 1930 brought home a hammer price of $3,750.


There was a very good representation of fine art in this auction.  Bringing its fair share of pre-sale attention was a landscape by Frederick Debourg (De Berg) Richards (est. $3,000-$5,000).  It sold just below estimate, with a hammer price of $2,000.

But the undisputed show stopper of the day’s event was a bayou landscape by American Painter Joseph Rusling Meeker.  This 19th Century landscape emerged as a family piece, fresh to the market and untouched.  It generated quite a bit of pre-auction stir and Antique Helper staff required re-enforcements to support more than half a dozen telephone bidders.  When the hammer finally fell, it was to the tune of $27,000.

Antique Helper specialist Andrea Hastings is pleased to talk about the successful sale of this work of art:   “We saw seven bidders, all on the phone. Each one was a dealer this type of art, specific to the Louisiana Bayou region, and they found us.  It’s great to know that our business is reaching the right audience.”

Antique Helper’s September Art and Antiques will take place on Saturday, September 17 at 10 AM.  For more information, visit





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