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Carole Lombard
Hollywood auction draws devoted fans, rich collectors
Hollywood auction draws devoted fans, rich collectors

From the moment AJ Palmgren learned of Lot 397, he knew he had to have it. But he had never bid at an auction before, and as he took a seat toward the back of the gallery, his nerves took over. "I hoped I wasn't going to space out," he said. A mustachioed auctioneer was disposing of lots quickly, sounding off prices and signaling winners with a rap of his gavel. Nearby, several employees sat at a long table, receiving bids from clients on the telephone and Internet. All around them, collectibles gleamed behind glass in hulking display cases. It was time for Lot 397. Palmgren fidgeted in his seat, gripping paddle No. 129 tightly. Early online bidding had already...

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