Archive for April, 2010

10 Reasons to Come Visit Us in New Orleans

April 23rd, 2010 | posted by Bill Rau

I just hung up the phone with a gentleman from Seattle. It’s not that it isn’t a great place to live, “I just miss the sun,” he said with a sad nostalgia. With the 2009/2010 winter the way it was, it could do everyone some good to get some sun. Which brings me to number 1. on my list.

1. You need some sun. While it doesn’t last long, right now the weather in New Orleans is in the 70’s, the humidity is low, and there is plenty of sun to be soaked up. Also Vitamin D has been proved to enhance the immune system and help fight off the bad stuff.

2.You’ve never ridden a streetcar down St. Charles Avenue. And you need to. street4

3. It’s NOT Mardi Gras. Yes yes, the partying is fun, the costumes are great, the smell is…well..smelly. Come see the French Quarter in all its glory; clean, sunny, and nice smelling. (Did I mention our gallery is in the heart of the French Quarter?)

4. The Music. The bands on Royal Street are amazing. Effortless..genuine..and they play all day.aday-0541

5. New Orleans is New Hollywood. We’re so hip and we don’t even know it. The hit HBO show “Treme” and many other movies are filming all around the block. You never know who you’ll run in to.

6. If you think it looks good on the internet, it will look better in person. You need to come see our gallery. We’re overflowing with things for you to try on, observe, love and learn about. You’ll see.

7. Travel is good for the soul. New Orleans is like New York but cheaper, like Europe but closer, and like San Francisco but no earthquakes. Win win!

8. Windows. You’ll leave with a whole new appreciation for them…

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9. It’s crawfish season. You’ll never understand until you try them.

10.Because we’re voted Best Antique Store in New Orleans. And we are!

A Musical Note that Never Fades: A Rau antique that endures the generations

April 1st, 2010 | posted by Bill Rau

Charles and Janet Bryant (pre 1942)

Provenance, or the history of ownership, is of great importance at M.S. Rau Antiques, and we encounter many pieces with an impressive history behind them. Such items are quite uncommon, but even more rare and valuable are those antiques that build a compelling history after they leave our store.


In March of 1942, during the early days of World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps soldier Charles Bryant visited New Orleans with his unit while awaiting orders. The unit, from Des Moines, Iowa, spent three weeks in the Crescent City, at which time Bryant shopped at M.S. Rau Antiques. Bryant purchased a very special music box from the late 1800s and a gold Victorian wedding band for his wife Janet, hoping she would fall in love with the pieces he had selected for her.


Bryant’s unit was soon deployed to Corozal, Panama, a staging area before heading to Europe. Sadly, while on a search operation, Bryant went down in a plane crash with three other officers. Three of the four, including Bryant, were killed on April 13, 1942.


Following his death, the trunks containing Bryant’s belongings were sent home to his wife. When one of the trunks was opened, music was playing from the music box, which was tucked inside of Bryant’s uniform. Also enclosed was a card from M.S. Rau Antiques and a note stating that the music box was purchased there. Later, Janet received a letter written from a fellow soldier, which mentioned the gifts.


The music box remained for many years in the entryway of Janet’s home. Her daughter and granddaughter tell the story now – of the Bryants’ romance and their family adoration for the music box purchased at Rau in 1942.


Music Box purchased by Bryant at M.S. Rau

Music Box purchased by Bryant at M.S. Rau