NEW YORK (AP) _ A photo by artist Man Ray of a pair of brushes floating above a lighted candle was sold at auction for $126,500, a record price for a single photograph, Christie's auction house announced.

''It is a striking photograph and is also quite fresh to the market, having been in private hands for many years,'' said Claudia Gropper, Christie's specialist in 19th century and 20th century photography.

The gelatin silver print entitled ''Rayograph'' was purchased by a man whose identity was not disclosed. He made his winning bid from the rear of the standing-room only gallery.

The Wednesday night sale broke the previous world record of $121,000, set in November 1989 for ''Primacy of Matter,'' also by Ray.

The Philadelphia-born Ray, who was known for his surrealist photos, paintings and films, died in 1976 at age 86.

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