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However, it is Koerner’s own story that makes his works the more interesting. His art was shaped by the events surrounding the Second World War. Having left Vienna for Pennsylvania in the 1930s, he designed war posters and served in the US Army, later to become court artist for the Nuremberg trials.

Post-war he produced regular cover illustrations for Time Magazine and received a solo exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 1984.

There were eight Koerners in this sale, from a local consignor. An overseas bidder bought 'Playing Pretend' (estimate $35,000-40,000) for $32,500 (£21,667) plus 12 per cent premium – a price that the auctioneers considered “substantial” and one that puts it towards the top end of the price scale for the artist at auction.