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Monday, May 2, 2016

Sand art sells for $45k

Friday, October 19, 2012

Paul Brenner, of Spencer, sold this 1890 Andrew Clemens sand art for $45,000 at the Rich Penn Auction Event on the weekend of September 29. This sale marked a world record for the price of a Clemens piece, breaking the previous record by $20,000.
(File photo)
Three weeks ago, Paul Brenner took one of his most unusual collectables, a bottle of sand depicting - grain by grain - an American bald eagle and flag, to the Rich Penn Auction Event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The piece, a work of the artist Andrew Clemens, was sold in part to benefit The Eliminate Project, a partnership between Kiwanis International and the United Nations Childrens' Fund to wipe out maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide.

Brenner expected the bottle to sell for $15,000, given the size and decoration.

Instead, the bottle sold for $45,000, breaking the world record for the sale of a Clemens piece by $20,000.

"I didn't see it sell," Brenner said. "But I could hear it, and I was shocked the entire time."

The buyer, from Pennsylvania, bid persistently via telephone, in a successful attempt to top bids from the six other telephone bidders. The event had never before had seven telephone bidders at an auction.

Though the piece sold for three times the expected price, Brenner isn't phased.

"I've been in the antique business for 40 years," he said. "I've sold lots of things, many of them for world records."

He continued. "(The Clemens piece) is a remarkable piece of art. When you consider him sitting down and placing all of those grains of sand in there. Over a hundred years later, it's still so pristine. It's really quite amazing."

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