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Norman Rockwell masterpiece sells for record $46M at NYC auction

norman-rockwell-saying-grace.jpg

This undated file photo provided by Sotheby's shows the popular Norman Rockwell masterpiece "Saying Grace," which is heading for the auction block. It is among seven works by The Saturday Evening Post illustrator going on sale at Sotheby's in New York on Dec. 4. (AP/Sotheby's/File)

A Norman Rockwell painting titled "Saying Grace" has been sold at a New York City auction for a record $46 million.

According to Sotheby's, "Saying Grace" set an auction record Wednesday for works by the Saturday Evening Post illustrator. The price includes a premium.

The painting had a pre-sale estimate of $15 million to $20 million. In 2006, the same auction house sold Rockwell's "Breaking Home Ties" for more than $15 million, then a record.

"Saying Grace" depicts a crowded restaurant with a boy and woman bowed in prayer at their table.

For nearly two decades, it had been on loan at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

Another Rockwell painting, "The Gossips," sold for just under $8.5 million, while "Walking to Church" fetched a little more than $3.2 million.

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