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Metropolitan Galleries

The Metropolitan stands apart from its trash-and-treasure neighbors with its high-end inventory of paintings, sculptures, and furniture from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Every six weeks, between September and May, the gallery puts thousands of collectibles on the auction block, with opening bids starting as low as $5 for Confederate-era trading cards and a 1913 copy of a book about Gettysburg. But buyers have been known to raid 401Ks to afford rarer finds, from a Cartier cigarette case in 14-karat gold to an 1828 oil painting by British artist Frederick Calvert.

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