Going... Going... Gone!

The auction business is booming as more and more Americans catch art-collecting fever

Those wily old Romans started it all. They developed the form of sale that became the auction, and used it to sell everything from statues to tapestries to palaces and, finally, the relics of their republic. They knew well that audio (literally, an increasing) was where the action was. They should be around today.

Not since the first hammer dropped to the highest bidder have sales of valuables commanded such audiences, such publicity, such prices. While anything that is relatively...

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