Nothing like a wealthy socialite's auction to remind you how poor you are.
Bidders paid $15.2 million at an auction at the country estate of socialite and vinter Patricia Kluge. Sotheby's held the event Tuesday and Wednesday at Albemarle House in Charlottesville.
Furniture and fine art were all for sale. Among the goodies -- an ornate Qing Dynasty Chinese table clock, which raked in almost $3.8 million.
There were some odder items for sale, too, and they fetched a good price. One bidder paid $3,400 for a mounted bison head. A 1954 set of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" books went for $17,500.
Sotheby's previewed the 900-item collection for a week beforethe sale, and more than 2,000 visitors who paid $65 for the620-page auction book attended the public exhibition to examine thecollection at the 23,000-square-foot English country manor.
The preview and auction also was a showcase for the 45-roombrick Georgian, which also is on the market. Kluge acquiredAlbemarle House, its accouterments and 3,000 acres in thesettlement of her 1990 divorce from billionaire media mogul John W.Kluge. The couple had been married for nine years.
Sotheby's International Realty has listed the estate at $48million, reduced from $100 million last fall. The property alsoincludes about 300 acres, multilevel English gardens and fountains,a swimming pool, and a rustic guest cabin. Kluge and her husband, William Moses, have moved to a6,400-square-foot home elsewhere on the estate grounds. She saidthat they wanted to scale back so they can focus on traveling andrunning their winery business.
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Published at 1:15 PM EDT on Jun 10, 2010 | Updated at 3:04 PM EDT on Jun 10, 2010
Copyright Associated Press