Lot 136: Louisiana School, mid-19th c
December 2, 2016
New Orleans, LA, USALive Auction
Description: Louisiana School, mid-19th c., "Rose Nicaud's Coffee Stand, French Market", oil on canvas, unsigned, typed Louisiana State Museum accession label reading "Clague, Richard (Artist) Attributed to / Coffee Stand in French Market in 1800s", museum label en verso, 20 in. x 24 in., framed. Provenance: Gaspar Cusachs, entrepreneur, historian and collector, (1855-1929); The Gaspar Cusachs Collection, loaned to the Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA (c. 1909-2016). Note: Born a slave in 1812 in New Orleans, Rose Nicaud eventually bought her freedom and joined the many free people of color operating businesses in the city. Credited with owning the first outdoor coffee stand in New Orleans, by 1871 Nicaud was listed in the City Directory with a location in the French Market at the corner of Dumaine and Chartres Streets. The current lot depicts Nicaud, wearing a dress, apron, and tignon, serving coffee to three seated customers. A similar scene, titled Rose, who sells coffee in the French Market, was published in a book of New Orleans Characters by artist Leon Joseph Fremaux (1821-1898) in 1876. According to contemporary descriptions, Nicaud was known to call out Café Noir! and Café au Lait! to attract customers and was a fixture in the French Market community for over thirty-five years. Ref.: Field, Martha Reinhard Smallwood. The Story of the Old French Market, New Orleans. New Orleans: The New Orleans Coffee Co., 1916; Grayson, Sandra M. Symbolizing the Past: Reading Sankofa, Daughters of the Dust, & Eves Bayou as Histories. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000.