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Artworks by Iconic Louisiana Painters Knute Heldner and Clementine Hunter will Headline Crescent City's May 8-9 Auction

04-30-2021 08:25 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Crescent City Auction Gallery

Artworks by Iconic Louisiana Painters Knute Heldner

New Orleans, LA, USA, April 29, 2021 -- Original oil paintings by iconic Louisiana artists Knute Heldner and Clementine Hunter, a 129-piece sterling flatware by Gorham in the La Scala pattern, pottery pieces by local potters (including Newcomb Pottery examples), vintage couture and dazzling estate jewelry are just part of Crescent City Auction Gallery’s two-day Important Spring Estates auction slated for the weekend of May 8th and 9th, starting promptly at 10 am Central both days.

The auction, totaling 752 lots across the two days, will feature property from the collection of Nicholas Burke (1834-1905), formerly of 5809 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans (The Wedding Cake House), by descent to the present consignor; the estate of Dr. Sue LeBlanc in Hammond, La.; Lower Garden District and distinguished Garden District collectors; and other fine items pulled from prominent estates and collections throughout the region.

With a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-$35,000, the oil on canvas painting by Knute Heldner (Swedish/New Orleans, 1875-1952), titled Singing by the Mississippi River, is a candidate for top lot of the auction. The 39 ¾ inch by 31 ½ inch painting is signed lower right. From Clementine Hunter (La./1887-1988), a group of twelve painted objects by the revered folk-artist, all from the Yvonne Ryan collection, will be sold as a single lot (est. $8,000-$12,000).

The 129-piece set of sterling flatware by Gorham in the La Scala pattern was designed in 1964 by Richard Gavette (1930-2018) and has a total weight of 178.7 troy oz. (est. $2,500-$4,500). Vintage jewelry from the estate of Dr. Sue LeBlanc and other collections includes an 18kt “Sputnik” brooch, a ruby ring, amethyst earrings and more. Vintage couture items will feature items from names such as Judith Leiber, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Lots 211-214 are dedicated to fine pottery items and include the following:

- A Shearwater pottery bowl crafted in 1977 by James (Mac) Anderson (1907-1998), 4 ¼ inches tall and 8 inches in diameter (est. $800-$1,200).

- Leaf Bowl (2009) by New Orleans potter Paula Ninas, 3 ¾ inches tall (est. $1,000-$2,000).

- A Newcomb College art pottery matte baluster vase created in 1918 by Anna Frances Simpson, 10 inches tall (est. $3,000-$5,000).

- A Newcomb College art pottery high glaze vase done in 1909 by Marie de Hoa LeBlanc, 7 ¼ inches in height and 4 ¼ inches in diameter (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Also expected to generate great bidder interest is a mid-19th century oil on canvas portrait painting attributed to Thomas Sully (Philadelphia, 1783-1872), titled A Young Woman in a Moment of Inspiration, signed faintly in monogram on verso (est. $1,500-$2,500); and a 19th century French Louis XV-style bombe marquetry inlaid mahogany marble top ormolu mounted bowfront parlor cabinet, measuring 45 ¾ inches tall by 84 inches wide (est. $2,500-$4,500).

The clocks and watches category will feature a men’s 18kt yellow gold Rolex President Oyster Perpetual Day “Presidential” wristwatch with an Italian 18kt yellow gold link band (est. $7,000-$12,000); a lady’s stainless steel and 18kt yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch, self-winding (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a three-piece French Louis XVI-style gilt bronze and gray marble clock set with a candelabra, dating to the 19th century, the candelabra 19 ½ inches tall (est. $600-$900).

Paintings by renowned New Orleans and Louisiana artists is another category bidders and collectors have come to expect from Crescent City Auction Gallery, and this sale is no exception.

An oil on canvas painting by William Hemmerling (1943-2009, Louisiana/Illinois), titled New Orleans, signed and dated verso, unframed, measuring 29 ¾ inches by 40 inches should realize $4,000-$6,000; and an oil on board by Noel Rockmore (New Orleans, 1928-1995), titled Man with Trombone (1963), from the artist’s New York Jazz series, signed and dated lower left and 29 ½ inches by 19 ½ inches (canvas, less the frame) is expected to change hands for $2,500-$4,500.

A pair of artworks by New Orleans artists have identical estimates of $1,000-$2,000. One is a 20th century charcoal self-portrait on paper by George Valentine Dureau (b. 1930), artist signed lower middle and measuring 39 inches by 28 ½ inches. The other is a 19th century oil on canvas attributed to John Genin (1830-1895, a French artist who was active in New Orleans from 1860-1895), titled Portrait of a Young Creole Girl, unsigned, measuring 24 ¾ inches by 19 ¾ inches.

An oil wash on board by Alexander J. Drysdale (La., 1870-1934), titled Louisiana Bayou Scene, signed lower left and measuring 9 ½ inches by 28 ½ inches, has an estimate of $1,500-$2,500; while a circa 1923 oil on board by William Woodward (La., 1859-1939), titled Road to Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, signed and dated lower left, is estimated to command $1,200-$1,800.

A 19th century New Orleans School work, Portrait of Nicholas Burke (1834-1905), Founder of Hibernia Bank, unsigned and 39 ¾ inches by 29 ½ inches, is expected to rise to $2,000-$4,000. Also, a 19th century oil on canvas Continental School Iberian Peninsula Coastal Scene, unsigned and measuring 28 inches in height by 38 ½ inches in width, is estimated to garner $1,000-$2,000.

A five-piece sterling silver tea set made in the 20th century by Black, Starr and Frost (No. 1288), made in 1915 with all the pieces engraved “Silas Bent McKinley,” weighing a total of 119.66 troy oz., should knock down for $2,500-$3,500. Also, a rosewood boudoir grand piano by John Broadwood (London, manufactured circa 1885) has a modest pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,200.

A 20th or 21st century patinated bronze fountain figure of two putti holding a large fish, 54 ¾ inches tall, should change hands for $1,500-$2,500; a 19th century patinated bronze of Venus de Milo, stamped on the base verso, “F. Barbedienne, Fondeur”, 38 inches tall, has an estimate of $700-$1,200); and a late 20th century patinated bronze sculpture after Hippolyte Moreau (French, 1832-1927), titled Seated Woman on a Tree, 28 inches tall, is expected to finish at $400-$600.

French furniture always does well in Crescent City auctions. This sale features a 20th century parquetry inlaid, ormolu mounted Louis XV-style marble-top mahogany commode, the stepped serpentine rounded edges and corner Breche d’Alpes marble over three frieze drawers and two deep lower drawers (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a 19th century French ormolu mounted marquetry inlaid mahogany marble-top secretary commode, about 53 ½ inches in width (est. $800-$1,200).

Furniture not from France is also tantalizing and will include an early 20th century William IV rosewood rent table, 42 ½ inches in diameter (est. $800-$1,200); and a glass and steel console table by Mario Villa (Nicaragua/New Orleans, b. 1953), made in the 20th century and part of a collection of Mario Villa furniture pieces, 68 inches wide by 20 inches deep (est. $600-$900).

Live, in-person bidding, as well as exhibition previews, will be held by appointment only, in the Crescent City gallery located at 1330 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Previews will be held daily, starting on Thursday, April 29th (excluding Sunday). A Saturday, May 1st preview will be held from 9 am -1 pm. To schedule an appointment for live gallery bidding on auction day, or for a preview, call 504-529-5057, or, you can send an email to

Internet bidding will be provided by, and Absentee and phone bids will be accepted until 1 pm Central time on Friday, May 7th. A 25 percent buyer’s premium will be applied in-house (three percent discount for cash or check). A printed catalog is available; call 504-529-5057 or email

For more regarding Crescent City Auction Gallery and the two-session Important Spring Estates Auction scheduled for May 8th and 9th, please visit Updates are posted often.

Sully Hildebrand
Crescent City Auction Gallery
1330 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 529-5057

Crescent City Auction Gallery is a privately owned auction company and one of New Orleans’ premier auctioneers of fine art and antiques. CCAG is proud of their participation in the rich history and tradition of the New Orleans Auction culture.

Crescent City Auction Gallery, LLC is a locally owned and operated full service auction house located on the historic St. Charles Ave streetcar line New Orleans. CCAG concentrates on auctioning Local Estates, Fine Art (particularly of Southern or Louisiana interest), bric-a-brac, pottery, silver, jewelry, art glass, American, English and Continental furniture, lighting, oriental carpets, etc. CCAG’s Real Estate department can handle the auction sale of properties both residential and commercial.

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