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The art market is still crackling. Christie's International PLC said Tuesday it sold $4.5 billion of fine and decorative art during the first half of the year, up 22% from the same period a year ago—and representing a record high for the privately held company based in London. Christie's total included $3.6 billion in auction sales and $828 million in privately brokered art sales. Its private sales were up 16% compared with the first half of 2013.

Rival Sotheby's said it auctioned $3.3 billion in art during the first half, up 29.4% from the year before. The New York-based auctioneer will release consolidated totals next month.

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In the 2012 Anniversary issue of Antiques & Fine Art, Peter Kenny, administrator of the Met’s American Wing, introduced readers to the landmark exhibition Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in June and extends through September 9, 2012. It is fitting that this retrospective was conceived at the Met, since that venerable institution was responsible for bringing Phyfe to the attention of the American public in 1909, and ever since has played a leading role in championing his work.

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