Axios: Inside D.C.’s most powerful auction house
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“Inside D.C.’s mos powerful auction house” by Anna Spiegel
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Picassos. Lace from George and Martha Washington. A Warhol whose owner mistook as a poster. These are just a few rare treasures sold through Alexandria’s small-but-mighty auction house, the Potomack Company.
Why it matters: Regional auction houses don’t typically have the buying power — or VIP clientele — of a Sotheby’s or Christie’s, but owner Elizabeth Haynie Wainstein (who worked at both) has built a power-bidding house that’s coming off a record-breaking year.
Driving the news: Potomack set record prices this fall for art, jewelry and antiquities, including a $530,000 oil painting from renowned surrealist Max Ernst, a stunning $60,000 Colombian emerald necklace, and an ancient Roman marble torso once belonging to a discerning British lord (hammer price: $295,000).
That’s on top of high-profile estate sales from the likes of novelist Tom Clancy, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose prized belongings recently collected over $800,000 for charity.
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