Archive for April, 2009

Welcome to the New M.S. Rau Website!

April 28th, 2009 | posted by Bill Rau

Our new website is ready! It’s been many months in the making, the result of a lot of hard work and dedication from a number of people. Our goal, from the beginning, was to create a website that is informative, intuitive and reflective of the quality and breadth of the antiques, fine art and jewelry that we offer. This new site has a brand new “look and feel” and lots of new features.

Part of our mission at M.S. Rau is to offer clients the very finest antiques and works of art in an elegant and relaxing atmosphere. If you’ve visited our New Orleans gallery, we hope you felt welcome and comfortable as you shopped. We want our guests to the website to have that same experience. We can’t offer you a cup of good, strong New Orleans coffee here, but we will try to offer you that same positive experience. We hope you will leave feeling glad that you came, perhaps knowing a little more about something you collect or about an artist or maker or, at the very least, more inspired and passionate about antiques, jewelry and fine art.

I’d like to point out two of the new features that you’ll find on the website:

•If you’re reading this message, then you’ve already discovered our new blog! This may be one of the most exciting new features for us, and we hope for you. We’d like to use the M.S. Rau blog as a forum for discussing specific antiques and works of art, of course, but also for offering our insight into the the antiques and fine art industry. We’ll keep you informed about upcoming shows and let you know how those shows performed when they’re over. We’ll discuss trends in collecting. Tips for caring for your collection. Suggestions for improving your collections. And, because our city is such an integral part of our business, you may even find a blog or two about the great things happening in New Orleans. Not only will we have a general blog for the gallery as a whole, but each of our sales consultants will write a blog, offering their personal insights and knowledge.

•More videos and the introduction of audio files for certain items on the site. One of the challenges with many of our pieces is how to fully showcase them. For example, a music box may be beautiful to look at, but until now, we couldn’t highlight its most important feature…the music. So, we’ve added audio, when appropriate, to many of the pieces on the site. Now you can hear the music boxes play, the clocks chime and the bird boxes sing. By the same token, many pieces are best shown in person…not easily accomplished on the web. So, we’ve added video to many of our pieces. Now we can demonstrate how the wonderful Sormani desk opens to reveal numerous secret drawers and a pop up writing surface…or how an artist used brush strokes or expression to lend meaning to a painting. Our videos also help us to point out certain features, explain marks and signatures, or simply describe pieces in a much more dynamic way. Items with video or audio exhibit a small video or audio icon next to their title.

There are so many exciting, new things to discover in the new website, so we hope you will take your time and explore. Since the site is brand new, we ask for your patience with any glitches you may encounter. Should you encounter any glitches or something that you think could use a little tweaking, please let us know. We’ve added a “Give Us Feedback” link at the bottom of every page for your convenience.

Our goal, going forward, will be to continue to add relevant and interesting content to the website…in the reference library, in our new press section, and in the glossary. We will add new videos and audio files as quickly as we can produce them. And, of course, we will continue to add wonderful, rare and exquisite new antiques, works of art and jewelry masterpieces every day. We hope you enjoy the new site!

The Excitement of Collecting!

April 27th, 2009 | posted by Phillip Youngberg

I was visiting a client at his home last week and in our conversation he mentioned that his friends have such different tastes from him in their home furnishings which  almost quested his judgment.  My client has excellent taste and buys great pieces that he likes while his friends got caught up in designer trends and the interiors of their houses all look the same. 

It is a great feeling to come home and enjoy great pieces.  The passion of finding the right special piece for your home is fun and very rewarding since you enjoy them everyday.  Whether it is a painting, epergne for you dining room or a beautiful piece of furniture, the pieces tell a lot about your lifestyle and tastes.

I encourage you to get passionate about collecting, and come to our store or one of our shows and let me show you some very exciting and rare pieces. Or send me an email and let me know what you are looking for.  This week I will be at the International Antique Fair in Chicago and if you would like to attend please call our office at 800-544-9440 and we can place your complimentary tickets at will call.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

All the Best,


P.S.  Pictures of some of my favorite pieces are shown below.

Fabergé Flatware Set

April 27th, 2009 | posted by Jim Cottrell
Flatware set by Carl Fabergé

Fabergé Flatware

To me Carl Faberge was a great instrument of design. He brought together, in my opinion, the greatest of European designs.  I love to feel the flow and the airiness if his creations. You can certainly see that in this entire set of Fabergé flatware. I want you to know that these silversmiths worked with out restriction of time or material, which is what, makes works of art from Faberge so rare and desirable.

The Baptism of Russia

April 27th, 2009 | posted by Susan Lapene

My first passion is exquisite gem stones.  My second is art, especially when it has a great story attached to it.  I absolutely love, “The Baptism of Russia” by Navozov.  It is one of the most popular paintings at our shows.  We talk more about this painting than any others.

Baptism of Russia

It depicts a pinnacle point in Russia’s history and possibly our history.  It is also the story of the incredible power of a woman.  It takes place in the year 988AD.  At that time, women were pretty much lower than dirt, but not THIS woman.

The two main characters are Russian Grand Prince Vladimir and his new bride, Byzantine Princess Anna.  In the painting, they are the two figures to the right of the priest.  

They are married in Kherson; her town.   The very day they were married, Anna immediately “saw” to the baptism of Vladimir.  I would say probably just before the honeymoon.  She was appalled by Vladimir’s religious affiliation which was Islam, so she had him convert to her religion, Christian Orthodoxy. 

Shortly thereafter, they travel back to his town, Kiev and in tow she has priests, a ton of religious text books and icons.  Once there, in no time at all, Anna started her work.  The first to go down was the Royal Court and then the household servants.  They were all immediately baptized, Christian Orthodoxy.  Then she did her best work of all.  She convinced Vladimir to demand the baptism of every person in the entire country of Russia!  And they obeyed!  All I can say is never, never, never underestimate the power of a woman.

This is the kind of painting that each time you look at it, you will notice something different.  It is filled to the brim with subtleties.  Look at the men in the forefront.  You know that they are cold.  Some are slightly blue.  Their bodies are pasty white.  That is skin that has never seen daylight but their necks and faces are darker from working outdoors.  Notice the women in the background separated from the men, a practice of Islam, waiting for their turn.  Some of each group holding babies.  Then notice the throngs of people in line to the left of the priest which are in Islamic dress and then the multitude of people waiting behind the priest to the right.  The entire country obeying the wishes of a single woman!

Every time I look at this painting I wonder where we would be today without Anna.

By the way, there is one prerequisite in owning this painting.  You must be a good story teller.  You could have a multitude of paintings in your home and your guests will ask about this one.

First Edition By Sir Isaac Newton

April 27th, 2009 | posted by msrauantiques

I find sometimes that the more interesting pieces in the gallery are not necessarily the most beautiful. Take for instance this first edition of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Sir Isaac Newton. How fascinating is it to be able to look through one of the most scientifically influential books whenever you would like. Though I am not able to read Latin, I have really enjoyed looking through the pages and seeing Newton’s ingenious diagrams. For me this book is a great reminder of what the human mind is capable. I hope you find this piece as exciting as I do. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful piece of history please give me a call.

First Edition By Newton

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