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10 Things You May Not Know About M.S. Rau

Sure, you know that we carry the finest art, antiques and jewelry around, but there are certainly a few things you don’t know about M.S. Rau! From stories of the past to details about our incredible staff, there is a lot to learn. Read on to discover some of the secrets and fun facts about your favorite French Quarter gallery.


What does the M.S. stand for?


M.S. Rau is named after founder Max Simon Rau who opened the antique store in 1912 at 719 Royal Street before moving to its current address 19 years later. Max was third-generation owner Bill Rau’s grandfather, and M.S. Rau has been a family-owned operation since its inception.


Bill Rau, our third-generation owner, started working at M.S. Rau when he was only 14.


As a part-time employee, Bill’s job was to wrap sold antique items in newspaper for safe handling. Spending his adolescence around antiques clearly made an impression on Bill — he has been with the company ever since.


We are renovating our original gallery to create a world-class jewelry boutique.


After completing a large-scale expansion in late 2019 for our fine art and antiques galleries, the focus for the future turned to an updated space for our collection of fine jewelry. Construction is currently in progress, and the space is set to open in Summer 2021. The updated gallery will also feature a large gallery for temporary exhibitions on the second floor. Here, we will be able to showcase more of the exceptional jewelry and impressive exhibitions M.S. Rau is famous for.


Can you say Numismatics? Our newest department is all about rare currency.


We are excited to welcome Bruce Smith, M.S. Rau’s Director of Numismatics, to the team. With over 25 years of experience in the field, Bruce is bringing this important specialty to you. Each coin has an impressive history that we are honored and thrilled to share.





Our gallery hours are 9:00 AM to 5:15 PM. Why 5:15?


When the gallery opened in 1912, Max Simon wanted to stay open until 5:30. However, his brother and business partner wanted to close at 5:00. The pair compromised on 5:15, and the time stuck.


Can’t make it before 5:15? We are available outside of regular business hours by appointment.


If you’re highly interested in an item of ours, we can arrange a gallery meeting. It is really incredible to view our one-of-a-kind items in person. Sometimes you have to see something to believe it!


We have a four-member team of expert cabinet makers and restorers in the United Kingdom.


Members of this team travel all over Europe to find new treasures for our clients, and their expertise in antiques is astounding. Additionally, they are also able to restore, clean and fix nearly anything our gallery acquires. Thus, all of the objects acquired by this team arrive in the United States expertly packed and in pristine condition.

Route Enneigée avec maison, environs d'Éragny by Camille Pissarro

Route Enneigée avec maison, environs d'Éragny by Camille Pissarro



We travel all over the country — and world — for shows.


M.S. Rau typically participates in about eight art shows a year. We travel to art and antique shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, Aspen, Palm Beach, and even Dubai and Hong Kong. Join our email list to see where we are headed next.


M.S. Rau has a non-profit called Rau for Art which supports local arts education.


This organization hosts an annual art scholarship competition that awards three scholarships to New Orleans area high schoolers, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Additionally, Rau for Art plans a yearly classroom art fund for Southeastern Louisiana high schools. These grants allow art teachers to supply their classrooms with much-needed supplies. Last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rau for Art team saw a need in the community and created individual art kits through a program called Art From Home, which were distributed to local high school students.


The Rau sales team has over 200 years of combined sales experience.


Our team of 12 salespeople is highly qualified and ready to help you find the fine art, antiques and jewelry of your dreams. Over two centuries of expertise creates a top-of-the-line customer experience that is tailored directly to your needs.

The Rau sales team



Remember to stay in contact with us to continue to learn more about M.S. Rau and our world-class selection of fine art, antiques and jewels.


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