Art: Do I Hear $5 Million? Sold!

York City auctions

Limousines glide up to the curb on Manhattan's East Side, disgorging a platoon, perhaps even a battalion, of the richest inhabitants of the planet. A seasoned observer estimates that the crowd rushing inside includes at least 100 people worth more than $50 million apiece. The fall art-auction season -- the "shark feed," as Connoisseur Editor Thomas Hoving calls it -- is at gavel pitch, and once again great works, and some not so great, are going, going . . . gone.

Such was the scene at Sotheby's and Christie's during the past two weeks as the speculative fever of Wall Street...

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