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FrontRunners: Romancing the Stone

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the citizens of the Roman Empire, lapis lazuli (in powder form) served as an

aphrodisiac. Over the years, the blue stone also has been used for painter’s

pigments, as dressings for boils, for jewelry, and for furniture for Russia’s

royal family. The gueridon shown to the left was carved in the first half of the

19th century for Czar Alexander II. Valued at $275,000 to $400,000, it will be

among the rarer items offered at Sotheby’s Important Furniture and Works of Art auction (www­.sothebys.com) on October 16 in

Paris.

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