Original Iwo Jima monument fails to sell at auction

NEW YORK — A long-forgotten World War II statue of the famous flag-raising at Iwo Jima that had been expected to sell for as much as $1.8 million was passed on by bidders in an auction Friday.

Bidding for the 12 1/2-foot-tall sculpture of the 1945 flag-raising reached as high as $950,000, below the undisclosed minimum sales price, Bonhams auction house said.

“We’re a little disappointed with what happened with the sculpture,” Bonhams Maritime Art Department sales specialist Gregg Dietrich said.

Three potential buyers placed competing bids for four or five minutes, Dietrich said.

The sculpture’s owner is military historian and collector Rodney Hilton Brown.

History buffs have fawned over the sculpture, a miniature of the familiar 32-foot-tall bronze Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. That sculpture, designed by Felix de Weldon, was patterned after a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press image of the Feb. 23, 1945, flag-raising by Marines and a Navy Corpsman on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.

The smaller sculpture was largely forgotten about for more than four decades after de Walden placed it in the back of his studio, covering it with a tarp. That’s where Brown found it in 1990 while researching a book on de Weldon. It was in desperate need of restoration.

Brown bought the 5-ton monument, paying for it with cash and two peculiar collectors’ items: a Stradivarius violin and a silver Newport yachting trophy from the 1920s.

Brown said earlier this month he wanted to sell the sculpture because “it doesn’t fit in my living room.”

“I want to find it a good home,” he said, “so we can pass the flag onto somebody else.”

More in Local News

Water to be shut down for up to 2 days for about 100 homes

The city of Everett plans to disable one of four pipelines next week while crews work on the system.

“Compromised by deterioration,” Everett apartments condemned

The city says the conditions at Broadway Station Apartments were unsafe for tenants.

Load up: Cheesecake Factory plans Lynnwood location

The chain restaurant is listed as a tenant in new development at Alderwood mall.

Clear, cold weather could give way midweek to chance of snow

A chance of lowland snow looms for Snohomish County by… Continue reading

Everett appeals court’s ban on dress code for bikini baristas

The baristas say they seek to protect their civil rights. The case is on hold pending the appeal.

Senate Democrats propose property tax cut with surge in revenue

The latest revenue forecast predicted $1.3 billion more in the next three years than anticipated.

Lake Stevens girl wants to make sure her peers are well fed

Anneliese Ballou, 9, was named the first student ambassador by the Hungry Hearts Foundation.

Front Porch

EVENTS Snow goose festival coming up The Port Susan Snow Goose and… Continue reading

Sound Transit funding splits lawmakers trying to cut car tab fees

With the legislative session set to end March 8, pressure is building for action.

Most Read