Art: Auction This Day

The most bodacious example in the U.S. of the plushy Victorian architecture variously known as jigsaw, gingerbread or General Grant, is the mammoth, decaying, 917-room United States Hotel at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.* Two years ago, the old "States" foundered in white-elephantine failure, closed its doors forever. Last week the entire furnishings of this ornament of an age went on the auction block. It was a great day for the fanciers of the art of the '70s and '80s.

The event attracted droves—townspeople, tourists, buyers from Texas and Michigan. They climbed the wide, stone...

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