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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Va. woman sells Lichtenstein work for $128,700

By Jacqueline Trescott
Enid Liess, with "The Statesman" by Roy Lichtenstein. (Courtesy Quinn's Auction Galleries)

The "Statesman," a 1951 painting by Roy Lichtenstein, which was out-of-public view for 45 years, was sold on Saturday for $128,700.

The story of the painting, which was owned by Enid and Jerry Liess and hung in their Northern Virginia home for decades, was reported in the Dec.3 editions of The Washington Post.

Enid Liess purchased the painting with a friend at an auction in Milwaukee in the early 1960s. Liess spent $12.50 as her part of the bid. The painting, an early work that signaled some of the humor and geometric shapes that would make Lichtenstein a world-renowned leader of the Pop Art movement, stayed with the Liess family as they moved to Virginia.

Enid Liess decided it sell it this summer because of health and financial issues that have tested the family.

Last summer they decided to sell the painting after their daughter and her family had financial difficulties and Enid Liess was recovering from breast cancer.

The couple attended the auction at Quinn's Auction Galleries in Falls Church.The beginning bids were set at $40,000-$60,000.

"It was all terribly exciting," said Jerry Liess. "We are elated to say the least, the sale was much more than we had expected."

The new owner, a collector from McLean, did not want to be identified.

More on this story:

By Jacqueline Trescott  | December 7, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott  | Tags:  Enid Liess, Jerry Liess, Roy Lichtenstein, art auction, art auction in Northern Virginia  
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