Bidders push Harriman sale beyond estimates
By the start of yesterday, the collection left by Ms Harriman, who died in February while United States ambassador in France, had already attracted almost $7m (pounds 4.2m). The identity of most buyers was kept secret, but among them was the actress, Whoopi Goldberg.
"One of the interesting things about the collection is [Harriman] was really a citizen of three countries," said Sotheby's spokesman Matthew Weigman. "She was born in England, she lived in France for a long time and she became an American."
The main beneficiaries of the sale, which included many items from her Washington townhouse, will be her son, Winston Churchill, as well as his estranged wife, Minnie Churchill, who attended some of the sale sessions.
Among items that sold for much greater sums than expected was a four- poster bed. Valued by Sotheby's at $12,000 to $15,000, it was bought on Tuesday for $41,000. A copy of John F Kennedy's nuclear test ban treaty, estimated at $5,000 to $7,000, was sold to an unidentified European foundation for $46,000.
While the sale has seemed a tame sequel to the Jacqueline Onassis auction of last year, also held at Sotheby's, any sense of anti-climax has been offset by the handsome bids.
"When things go for 10 times or 15 times their bid, there is definitely an aura," said Diana Brooks, Sotheby's chief executive.
One happy bidder was a Chicago hairdresser, David Bradely, who had tried but failed to get into the packed Kennedy Onassis sale last year. He paid $1,995 for seven silver pieces owned by Harriman. "She is a piece of history," he said. "This is second best. She had a bunch of great stuff".
Ms Goldberg was reported to have bought a Picasso print, La Danse, for $4,600.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...