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Rare Ruhlmann piano to be auctioned in NYC

The Associated Press, Thursday, February 14, 2013, 12:21am (PST)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An art deco grand piano that sailed aboard the French ocean liner Normandie in the 1930s and spent decades inside a Buffalo mansion is up for auction.

Sotheby's in New York City expects the Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann-designed piece will sell for between $400,000 and $600,000 during an auction of 20th Century design works next month.

The piano was purchased by the Butler family of Buffalo in the early 1940s and for years was displayed in the Butlers' opulent mansion in the city.

Sotheby's says the piano is one of only six Ruhlmann pianos whose whereabouts are known and one of three with an unusual shape.

The U.S. government turned the Normandie into the troopship, the USS Lafayette, In 1939 and its contents were sold.

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