Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gaston de Pontalba's Clock

The Baroness Pontalba was accompanied by her son, Gaston de Pontalba (1828 - 1875) when she came to New Orleans and built the iconic buildings flanking Jackson Square in 1848 - 1850.  In fact, it was her son who designed the monogrammed ironwork for the buildings, placing his mother’s initials on each gallery.  I have suspicions about Gaston; I often tell visitors that he was exceptionally good-looking, extremely artistic, never married and lived all of his life with his mother.  Do the math.  I really ought not turn him into a punch line because he truly was an artist and sculptor of the first rank.  Below is a photo of a clock that he created in 1864.  Measuring in at almost a crazy 3-foot high by 3-foot wide it represents the creation of the world and is covered with beaucoup campy imagery.  There are women holding floral garlands, an Apollo mask and even Cupid adds to the rococo insanity.  The clock sold in at Heritage Auctions, Dallas TX, in October, 2006 for $62,140.

 Gaston's Signature

 He also designed these wall brackets in 1858 which sold at Christie’s in October, 1012 for $8,750.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

We Are Creole

Enjoy this slideshow presentation of a collection of Creole portraits.

For the advanced student, see if you can recognize the following:
  • Henriette Delille
  • The Baroness Pontalba
  • Rose Nicaud
  • Bernard de Marigny
  • General P.G.T. Beauregard
  • Marie Laveau

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Lalaurie Artifact

I am very excited to have acquired a check written on August 1, 1867 by Forstall & deLassus; not one, but TWO of Madame Lalaurie's sons-in-law.  Placide Forstall married Madame Lalaurie's daughter from her first marriage, Maria "Borquita" Lopez y Angullo, and was the son-in-law to who Madame Lalaurie signed over her power-of-attorney when she and her husband fled Louisiana.  Pierre Auguste deLassus married Jeanne Blanque, Madame Lalaurie's daughter from her second marriage to Jean Blanque, and he was the the stepson-in-law to whom Dr. Lalaurie signed over his power-of-attorney.
Madame Delphine Macarty  Lalaure  died in 1849 and Dr. Lalaurie in 1863 so this check (dated 1868) makes one wonder if Forstall and deLassus had other business together or if there was still some lingering business connected with either the estate of Madame or Dr. Lalaurie.  It would take more research than I'm willing to devote in order to find out but I'm thrilled to have a paper connected directly to the Lalaurie family.