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1760S DESK SET SELLS FOR RECORD $12.1 MILLION

SHARE 1760S DESK SET SELLS FOR RECORD $12.1 MILLION

A mahogany desk and bookcase made in the 1760s sold at auction Saturday for $12.1 million, setting a world record for a piece of furniture, Christie's auction house said.

The Chippendale secretary was bought by Harold Sack, a New York dealer, after a three-way bidding contest that lasted about a minute, said Dana Micucci, a spokeswoman for Christie's."It was a very dynamic event. People rushed up to Sack. And basically the sale stopped while they applauded him," she said.

The desk, made for Nicholas Brown of Rhode Island, is attributed to John Goddard, a renowned cabinetmaker from Newport, R.I. Nine known Goddard six-shell secretaries are known to exist.

The desk soars to a dramatic 113 inches. The upper section is divided into three blocked cupboard doors, each carved with a shell. The lower case has a slant lid blocked and carved with three shells.

"This particular piece is probably the consummate example of 18th century American furniture," said Dean Failey, head of Christie's American decorative arts department. "It is perhaps America's finest contribution in the history of furniture making."