NEW YORK (AP) – A long-forgotten World War II statue of the famous flag-raising at Iwo Jima that had been expected to sell for as much as $1.8 million was passed on by bidders in an auction on Friday.
Bidding for the 12 1/2-foot-tall sculpture of the 1945 flag-raising reached as high as $950,000, below the undisclosed minimum sales price, Bonhams auction house said.
“We’re a little disappointed with what happened with the sculpture,” Bonhams Maritime Art Department sales specialist Gregg K. Dietrich said.
Three potential buyers placed competing bids for four or five minutes, Dietrich said.
The sculpture’s owner, military historian and collector Rodney Hilton Brown, did not wish to discuss the results of the auction.
Dietrich said prospective buyers could purchase the sculpture through Bonhams, which will negotiate a price on the seller’s behalf.
History buffs have fawned over the sculpture, a miniature of the familiar 32-foot-tall bronze Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. That sculpture, designed by Felix de Weldon, was patterned after a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press image of the Feb. 23, 1945, flag-raising by Marines and a Navy Corpsman on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.
The smaller sculpture was largely forgotten about for more than four decades after de Walden placed it in the back of his studio, covering it with a tarp. That’s where Brown found it in 1990 while researching a book on de Weldon. It was in desperate need of restoration.
Brown bought the 5-ton monument, paying for it with cash and two peculiar collectors’ items: a Stradivarius violin and a silver Newport yachting trophy from the 1920s.
In 1995, Brown presented a restored version of the statute to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Brown said earlier this month he wanted to sell the sculpture because “it doesn’t fit in my living room.”
“I want to find it a good home,” he said, “so we can pass the flag onto somebody else.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode