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Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483-1561), Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist, sold for $158,500 at Christie’s New York on Jan. 28, 2009
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by Paul Jeromack

The Metropolitan Museum had a good week at the annual Old Master sales at Sotheby’s New York in January. At a time when budgets are tight and acquisition funds scarce, it’s unusual for any American museum to bid directly at auction and even more exceptional for it to win -- and rarer still when both lots in question are by the same artist.