Neal Auction Company Spring Estates Auction

NEW ORLEANS – Neal Auction Company will offer an impressive collection of autograph works on paper within its May 3-4 Spring Estates Auction, including a group of Modern and Contemporary works of art to benefit the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Among the offerings will be: a Marc Chagall (French, born Russia, 1887-1985), Self-Portrait Sketch, signed and dated “30/8 1957,” ink on letter paper of Bürgenstock Hotels, Lucerne, Suisse, inscribed “Pour Elaine Shaffer.”

Shaffer and Chagall were close personal friends.

Christian Bérard’s (French, 1902-1949) Dancers, 1938, watercolor and wash on paper, inscribed at bottom “à Efr…[Efrem]/ Kurtz / Ch. Bérard Sept. [19]38,” and inscribed en verso with a handsome small vignette sketch of a laureate sculpture bust in black ink, will also be on the block and is expected to be the subject of intense bidding.

Kurtz was married to the American flautist Elaine Shaffer until her death in 1973.

Another Chagall, Pour Efrem, 1971 and 1973, pastel crayon and ink on paper, inscribed to Efrem [Kurtz] and Elaine Shaffer, 12 7/8 inches by 19 inches, also from the Efrem Kurtz and Elaine Shaffer collection, will be up for bid.

The drawing was made for Shaffer in 1971 and reworked for Kurtz in 1973 – most likely after Shaffer’s demise.

Neal Auction Company will be featuring two rare 1857 autograph letters signed by William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865) to his mother. Both letters were found in an autograph album of Confederate generals assembled by a Civil War veteran of the 2nd Kentucky Infantry, Breckenridge Div., Army of Tennessee (1861-1865), while a librarian in Atlanta, Ga. The album will also be offered in the sale.

For more information, call 504-899-5329, or visit