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Last week, global audiences watched in awe as Sotheby’s sold a rare 15th-century Sandro Botticelli portrait for $92.2 million in New York, making it the second-most expensive Old Masters lot ever auctioned. While the Botticelli went on to over-perform, a minuscule Rembrandt painting poised to be one of the sale’s top works failed to impress—the guaranteed lot was withdrawn in the days before the auction began.

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