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Sotheby's, eBay Pair Off

Making good on a deal signed last January, online auction giant eBay and upscale auction house Sotheby's launched a new, joint Web site for the Internet sale of the kind of fine art, antiques and collectibles for which Sotheby's is famous.

The new Sotheby's site, built and hosted by San Jose, Calif.-based eBay , features the same categories of fine and decorative art, antiques, rare books, jewelry and collectibles that were previously offered on Sotheby's own site. Clicking on Sothebys.com now takes one to "Sotheby's.com online auctions presented by eBay."

The Monet alone, featured at the site on Tuesday, was well worth clicking in, but it's not for the Coke and a pizza crowd -- estimated price is $10 million to $15 million and the auction itself is off-line, in London on June 24.

Sotheby's said that all items offered online will continue to be guaranteed for authenticity and condition, however.

At launch the site is featuring Hollywood and rock & roll memorabilia, Rolex watches, Americana, and furniture and decorative works of art from several private collections and estates.

The new site replaces online auctions on Sothebys.com as well as eBay Premier, eBay's former high-end arts, antiques and collectibles auction area.

Sotheby's is also adopting eBay's Live Auctions technology to enable real-time online bidding for some of its traditional auctions held in New York and London. The first of such sales will be a 1933 Double Eagle 20 dollar gold coin on July 30.

But, sigh, the Monet isn't included in the online offerings.