Our Most



622 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Mon. - Sat. 9:00AM - 5:15PM

View Map

© 2023 Rau. All rights reserved

◦ Privacy policy

Stay in the know with all things M.S. Rau when you follow us on social media. You'll find our latest acquisitions, videos, behind-the-scenes photos, exhibition news, event updates and so much more!

Over the course of more than 100 years, M.S. Rau has acquired and sold some of the world’s most important and extraordinary antiques, works of art and jewelry. And, while each item we acquire, whether it be a rare gemstone, an Impressionist masterwork or a fine piece of porcelain, has its own remarkable story to tell, some of these pieces have made a truly lasting impression. Here we share with you just a few of our most Memorable Acquisitions. Enjoy. 

The Royal Ice Pail by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell

The Royal Ice Pail. By far the greatest silver service ever created was the Grand Service made by royal silversmiths Rundell, Bridge and Rundell for King George IV of England. It took approximately 10 years to complete and cost an amazing £100,000 (approximately $15 million in today's currency). This historically significant and magnificently crafted ice pail hails from that very same Grand Service, the great majority of which still resides in Windsor Castle and is used by the Queen to this day. This ice pail was one of two taken by the Duke of Cumberland when he became King of Hanover. The pail bears the coat of arms of the Duke, and retains its custom-made silver plateau, also by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. The ice pails were the centerpiece of the Grand Service, giving testament to their importance. Its exceptional rarity, historical importance and extraordinary beauty make this ice pail one of our most memorable acquisitions.

The Tower of Katoubia Mosque by Sir Winston Churchill

Many people do not know that Sir Winston Churchill, in addition to being one of history's most important statesman, was an accomplished artist. This particular painting has added significance in that it was the only painting Churchill completed during the entirety of World War II and it was gifted by Churchill to his good friend and ally, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in commemoration of their trip to Marrakech after the Casablanca Conference during World War II. The painting depicts the very moment the two world leaders shared as they viewed the majestic landscape of Marrakech as the sun set over the Atlas Mountains; Few works of art possess the remarkable and complete provenance of this painting. Created by and exchanged between two of the most pivotal and admired figures of their time makes The Tower of Katoubia Mosque an absolutely incredible, historically significant, and memorable work of art.

Prairie de Limetz by Claude Monet

Master Impressionist Claude Monet utilizes a color palette of the most amazing vibrancy in this gorgeous painting. The painting, believed to depict the artist's future wife, Madame Alice Hoschede, together with her two sons, Jean-Pierre and Jacques, is judged not only for its importance, exceptional beauty, and strong provenance, but for its charming subject matter. To find such a incredible work by Claude Monet depicting a scene so personal to the artist, is really quite remarkable....making it one of our most memorable acquisitions. 

The Royal Blue Diamond

This magnificent, 10.06-carat natural fancy blue diamond is one of the world's rarest and most extraordinary natural gemstones. Aptly named The Royal Blue, this stunning, radiant-cut jewel is the color of the clear blue sky, and is certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as being a natural fancy blue diamond with almost flawless VVS1 clarity. It is also certified as being a rare Type IIb diamond. This means that it contains no nitrogen, and therefore displays outstanding brilliance. The result is a highly important stone of monumental size, significance and beauty. True miracles of nature, blue diamonds are among the rarest and most desirable colored diamonds in the world today, with few than 0.3% of all colored diamonds being graded as predominantly blue. This stone's incredible size, exquisite color and enviable Type IIb grade, place it among history's most famous stones, including the famed Hope Diamond. 

Nature Morte, Glaieuls (Still Life with Gladioli) by Vincent van Gogh

The importance of Vincent van Gogh's contributions to the history of art simply cannot be measured. One of the world's most iconic artists, his commanding and sometimes disturbing canvases speak of a troubled, immense genius. In this phenomenal still life, entitled Nature Morte, Glaieuls, his brilliance at infusing the mundane with a subtle divinity is clear. Completed four years before van Gogh's death, it is both a contemplative scene of fragile beauty and an explosion of color, deftly reflecting the haunting complexity of van Gogh's own life. Executed in quick, heavy brush strokes, the painting exudes a sense of deep urgency, as if to capture the essence of the fiery gladiolas and white chrysanthemums before it disappears forever. Like his more famous paintings, Nature Morte, Glaieuls beautifully illustrates the incredible talent which continues to influence how art is created and viewed today. 

Laocoön Marble Sculpture

Described by Virgil in his epic poem The Aeneid, Laocoön is the iconic tale of the famous Trojan horse. The Greeks, after an unsuccessful ten-year siege of the city of Troy, craftily left a giant wooden horse outside the gates of the city with a small Greek contingency hidden inside. Laocoön a Trojan high priest, started to warn the people of Troy of the Greek's deception with the famed statement "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts". According to Virgil, the God Minerva, anxious to protect her Greeks, immediately sent two sea serpents to kill Laocoön and his twin sons before they could spread their warning This majestic, marble sculpture depicts this epic moment. What makes this sculpture so exceptional is not only its large scale, but its juxtaposition of beauty, knowledge, bravery and death, all of which are depicted at the same time. Because it so perfectly captures the desperate struggle of all its figures, it is considered by most experts the greatest sculpture depicting movement ever created. There are just a handful of pre-1780 century Laocoön marbles known, and ours (which was made between 1650 and 1780) is in the best condition by far of all the celebrated existing models. It is, indeed, one of our favorite and most memorable acquisitions. 

L'Arlésienne by Pablo Picasso

Perhaps more than any other artist, Pablo Picasso defined modern art of the 20th century. He pioneered the Cubism movement, was influential to Symbolism and Surrealism and, while he was foremost a painter, his sculptures were also groundbreaking and influential. We were thrilled, then, to offer this extraordinary masterpiece and we count it among the most memorable works of art to ever grace our gallery. Combining bold, primary colors with a jarring angularity, epitomizes Picasso’s mature Cubist style of the 1950s. The work, which is numbered IV, is the culminating canvas of a series of four he composed in a single day. Its subject is the young Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s muse who would become his second wife in 1961. She is immediately recognizable here from her raven-black hair and dark eyes, though she dons the triangular shawl and pillbox-style headdress of a woman from Arles, perhaps in homage to one of his great artistic influences, Vincent van Gogh. Original paintings of this caliber by the great Pablo Picasso are seldom found on the market, making this exceptional work a true rarity. 

Alma Parens by William Bouguereau

An incredibly important and monumentally-sized painting by French master William Bouguereau entitled Alma Parens (The Motherland). This work is, without question, one of the most significant paintings we had ever offered in our gallery. An unparalleled composition depicting Mother France caring for her children, this painting dutifully illustrates why Bouguereau and his masterpieces are so highly coveted by museum curators and fine art collectors throughout the world. The painting was once owned by actor Sylvester Stallone. Considered the finest of the French academic painters, Bouguereau's works are among the most renowned of all 19th-century paintings and this work in particular was a crowning achievement for this celebrated master. It stands among the most important works we have had the great fortune to offer.

President Lincoln's Assassination Opera Glasses

These opera glasses were used by Abraham Lincoln on the ill-fated evening he was assassinated at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. The glasses are believed to have been in the President's hands or lap when the Washington City Guards carried the wounded leader to the Peterson House where he died. Guard member Captain James M. McCamly noticed something fell from Lincoln's body and hit the ground, and he instinctively picked it up and placed it in his pocket in order to attend to Lincoln. The object was these glasses. McCamly had intended to return the glasses, but that seemed trivial compared to the loss of the nation's President in the midst of Civil War, and the historical significance of the glasses was lost for a period of time. The glasses were passed through the McCamly family for several generations, eventually being sold in 1968 to the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. That is when the investigation would begin into the glasses' history and provenance. Margaret Klapthor, then the Associate Curator of Political History at the Smithsonian, validated the age, materials and style of the opera glasses, proving they were the same used by gentlemen of Lincoln's period. The glasses were then compared to the original carrying case held by Ford's Theater Museum. These opera glasses fit the case perfectly, proving these were indeed Lincoln's opera glasses. 

The Paris Exhibition Clock by E. Farcot

The largest conical clock known to exist, this exceptional timepiece was almost certainly featured in the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and displayed at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 and was created by two of France's most important artisans of the late 19th century, E. Farcot and Carrier de Belleuse. Once housed in our gallery, the clock caught eye of the curator of an iconic New Orleans hotel. The Roosevelt Hotel, one of the city's most exquisite Grand Dames, reopened in June 2009 after a $145 million restoration. The Roosevelt chose the Farcot clock to serve as a symbol of luxury for guests arriving at the hotel, a tradition that is carried out at all Waldorf Astoria Collection hotels around the world. Each of the Collection's hotels features a clock of historical and artistic merit as the centerpiece of the lobby, but the Farcot Clock may just be the Collection's crowning achievement. 

Pre-Revolutionary Silver Porringers by Paul Revere

This exceptional pair of silver porringers by silversmith and revolutionary Paul Revere, Jr. is thought to be the only pair crafted by the beloved American patriot. These modest bowls were made for and owned by Tristram Dalton, the first United States Senator from Massachusetts. Featuring a pierced keyhole handle and engraved crest, the porringers are particularly exceptional because Revere crafted them of silver instead of the more commonly used pewter. Although all authentic porringers, especially those made pre-Revolutionary War, are considered rare, those made by Revere are widely held to be the rarest. Fashioned by one of this country's most celebrated master artisans, this lovely set embodies the art and history of American silver. A maker's stamp of P. Revere marks each interior, with Buhler mark and museum accession number.