Filed under: Auctions
How much would you pay for a flag? What if there were four of them? A bidder at a Sotheby's auction paid a total of $17.4 million for four flags from the time of the American Revolution on Wednesday. The flags were captured by a 24-year old British officer and kept in his family since 1780; they were offered at the auction by one of his direct descendants.
According to a vice chairman at the auction house, flags were a primary target in the Revolutionary War because they were clear symbols of victory. The buyer and all the other bidders were assured that soldiers "suffered grievous wounds and made sacrifices to defend what were sacred objects," which gave these historic pieces additional significance.
Only 30 flags, excluding these four, from the period are known to exist today. All are housed in museums or other institutional collections.
[image via Seattle P-I]