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Pricey G. Washington portraits at auction

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NEW YORK, Nov 30, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- An auction at Sotheby's in New York Wednesday features a rare offering of two very expensive portraits of the first U.S. president, George Washington.

The first was painted by Gilbert Stuart, who did nearly 100 paintings of Washington, and depicts the president during his final year in office, seated in a black velvet suit jacket with a sword resting across his lap and holding a document he has signed.

Stuart's best-known image of the president, made from an incomplete portrait, is on the $1 bill.

His work is expected to fetch at least $10 million, CNN reported.

The second portrait, also by Stuart in 1796, shows Washington standing, his left hand holding a sword and his right hand resting on a copy of the Constitution unrolled on a table.

The works are among a group of 15 paintings and four sculptures being sold by the New York Public Library to raise money for its endowment to acquire books and manuscripts.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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