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The Good Life

The Story Dealer

Bill Rau, the purveyor of New Orleans’ greatest repository of rarities and fine art, is forever on the lookout for items with a past
| From Cam Newton, July/August 2021
The Story Dealer
“It’s called a lawyer’s coffin,” says Bill Rau, as he points to a wooden table in his showroom. Rau, the third-generation president and CEO of M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans, is conducting a weekly morning meeting with a dozen of his sales associates, briefing them on some of the antique dealer’s newest acquisitions as they walk through the first floor of the 40,000-square-foot-gallery on Royal Street in the French Quarter. The table is a gorgeous piece, carved from rich mahogany by English furniture makers circa 1910. It’s priced at close to $24,000. But it’s unclear why it would be a final resting place for attorneys. Rau steps up and opens the lid. An …
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