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A Brass Sculpture Could Deliver a 1,400,000% Return for Heirs

  • American couple bought head of a muse for about $5,000 in 1955
  • Christie’s estimates piece will fetch more than $70 million

Great art investments often come down to one simple thing: holding for as long as possible.

That’s certainly true for a Constantin Brancusi sculpture to be offered at Christie’s Impressionist and modern art auction May 15. Americans Elizabeth and Frederick Stafford were in Paris in 1955 when they bought the work directly from the artist for about $5,000. Today, the 31-inch-tall piece is estimated at more than $70 million. That’s about a 1,400,000 percent return over 63 years (compared with a mere 39,000 percent for the S&P 500 Index).