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After the Mellon, a Lemon? Sotheby’s Bidders Salute the “Flag” in Slow-but-Steady Veteran’s Day Sale

After breezing through the buoyant Mellon sale last night, Sotheby’s auctioneer, Oliver Barker, needed to swig two glasses of water (at least that’s what I think it was) at the end of tonight’s various-owners contemporary sale.

It was slow-going and less than riveting. But he gamely extracted whatever bidding was to be had and efficiently got the job done.

Fittingly for a Veterans Day sale, this work broke the auction record for Jasper Johns:

Jasper Johns, "Flag," 1983 Sold for $36 million ($32 million hammer against presale estimate of $15-20 million) Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

Jasper Johns, “Flag,” 1983
Sold for $36 million ($32 million hammer against presale estimate of $15-20 million)
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

For full sale results, go here.

Below is my running Twitter commentary of tonight’s action and inaction.

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