Take home a piece of New Orleans history at Neal Auction

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NEW ORLEANS-- Neal Auction is celebrating the Tricentennial with the rest of New Orleans, making some pieces of New Orleans history available for purchase at their next auction on March 24 & 25, 2018.

The oldest of the items is a painting by Jose Salazar.

Dating to the 1790s, this portrait is by Jose Francisco Salazar, Louisiana’s first portrait painter.  His portraits represent the intersection of the three main cultures that comprise New Orleans – French, Spanish and American. Although this sitter’s identity remains a mystery, Salazar painted only the city’s most prominent citizens during one of its most tumultuous and fascinating times. Neal Auction Company has a long history of selling Salazar’s work, including the record-setting depiction of Major General James Wilkinson which sold for $591,000 in 2013.

The second oldest item is a Tanesse Map  ranging from $12,000-$18,000.

Made by the surveyor Jacques Tanesse, the 1817 plan is an aerial projection giving a good idea of the city's crescent shape. Eleven border insets show the city's most important buildings, and they represent the French, Spanish, and American periods of New Orleans history. Tanesse also includes the fortifications that proved to be very decisive in America's defeat of the British during the famous Battle of New Orleans in 1815. This interesting detail is shown perpendicular to the Mississippi River at the lower right-hand corner of the city plan. In the title cartouche, an exotic American Indian family of unknown tribe poses near a lion skin.

The Auction will also feature several pieces by Alexander John Drysdale including a rare large-scale paiting with a  $30,000-$50,000 auction estimate.

One of New Orleans most instantly recognizable artists, Alexander John Drysdale’s works are beautiful impressionistic representations of bayou scenes, so the monumental and vibrant work from 1929 in the upcoming important spring estates sale. Other known instances of Drysdale painting on a similar large-scale format include the canvases done to decorate the Weiss Dining Room, (now conserved at Tulane University), the murals painted for the D. H. Holmes Department Store on Canal Street, and the murals done for the New Orleans Shushan Airport. This painting is undoubtedly the artist’s best work and tremendously exciting to collectors.

And last but not least, Clementine Hunter's murals from the Melrose Plantation have returned home to Louisiana. Ranging in price from $15,000-$30,000.

These large format oil paintings on wood originally decorated the walls of Melrose Plantation.  Sold as a part of the 1970 Melrose Plantation Auction, the locations of the murals were unknown for decades.  The three murals presented here, “Harvesting Gourds near the African House and the Ghana House,” “The Annunciation and the Adoration of the Wise Men,” and “The Cotton Crucifixion,” all include rich and complex iconography on a monumental scale.  The return of these historic paintings to New Orleans in the Tricentennial year affords a wonderful opportunity for new scholarship on one of Louisiana’s most noted and beloved artists.


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