The Market: Highs

French impressionist oils have long been breaking record prices at auctions. So have old masters. Last week two unusual items of artistry also soared to fabulous new highs:

¶At Manhattan's Parke-Bernet Galleries, a first edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America went for $60,000. The four-volume "Elephant Folio," so called for its outsize format, contains 435 plates of U.S. fowl by the naturalist engraver. Only 129 sets are known to exist. The price nearly doubled the last sale of Audubon's Ele phant, which went in 1959 for $36,400. ¶At London's...

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