Mark Rothko painting sold for $75M at N.Y. auction

Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- "No. 1 Royal Red & Blue," a 1954 abstract painting by Mark Rothko, has been sold for $75 million at an auction in New York, Sotheby's said.

The Wall Street Journal reported John Marion, a former Sotheby's president, and his oil-heiress wife, Anne, didn't expect to sell their 9 1/2-feet-tall painting for more than $50 million, but at least five bidders drove up the price Tuesday.

The work was eventually sold to an unnamed client of Charlie Moffett, a Sotheby's specialist who typically works with U.S. collectors, the newspaper said.

The sale was part of Sotheby's contemporary-art auction, which netted a total of about $375 million, the Journal said.

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