A James MacNeill Whistler painting bought just after World War II, and not seen since, was sold in New Jersey this week. The auctioneers had hoped the work would attract $800k to $1.2m:
Auctioneer Bill Barron of Wall-based William Barron Galleries tried to start the bidding for “Nocturne in Green: Boats by the Thames” at $1 million, a price that would have fallen in the middle of its estimated $800,000 to $1.2 million range. “It’s just a dynamite, dynamite picture,” Barron said before he started the bidding process.
But with no takers, he started to lower the price, first to $750,000 than to $500,000 and $400,000. “We’re going the wrong way,” Barron said at one point. The starting bid settled at $300,000 when an unidentified and absentee bidder set the price.
There was no second bid.