Art: Raphael, Cheap

The ways of art collectors are just as mysterious as those of artists. Andrew Mellon once paid the Soviet government $1,166,400 for an example of Raphael's genius, the Alba Madonna (TIME, March 4, 1935). Last week another Raphael Madonna, less fine than Mellon's but highly praised by the experts, was put up for sale in Manhattan. The auctioneer vainly suggested that bidding start at $50,000. Final knockdown price: $27,500.

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