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A somber painting by a Dutch master that used to hang over a fireplace in the California home of the late film star Elizabeth Taylor sold Wednesday for $2.01 million, Christie's said.
The winning bid in New York more than doubled pre-sale estimates of $700,000 to $1 million, mirroring frenzied competition for Taylor's vast wardrobe and jewelry collection which sold for $156.8 million in December at Christie's.
The painting, "Portrait of a Gentleman, half-length, in a black coat," was executed by 17th century Dutch master Frans Hals.
It was the sole Old Master work owned by Taylor, who favored flashier art and ornaments, and was only authenticated as a Hals in 2011, having previously been thought to be the work of a follower.
"The elegant portrait of a gentleman had been displayed above the fireplace in Elizabeth Taylor's Bel Air home," Christie's said.
Thirty eight works of Impressionist and Modern art once belonging to Taylor will be sold at Christie?s in London on February 7-8. The Hollywood siren died in March 2011, aged 79.
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