Photographer Robert Frank's Hoboken (Parade) was the star lot of a dedicated auction of prints from his landmark book The Americans.
It made $237,500, beating an estimate of $180,000 by 31.9% at Sotheby's New York.
Robert Frank spent two years travelling across America
The photograph was taken during a centennial celebration in the New York district of Hoboken in 1955.
Frank commented on it: "This is a picture of two people who were standing behind one of the flags�Ǫ They're sort of hiding. . . [it is] a threatening picture."
The work is one of the most recognisable images from the book.
Sotheby's comments: "Frank structured The Americans in four parts, each beginning with the symbolically-charged American flag.
"Hoboken (Parade) is the first photograph in the book and, as such, becomes emblematic of the whole."
Frank was awarded a Guggenheim grant in 1955 and used the money to travel across America. The photographs he took on this journey are widely credited with capturing the spirit of the era.
The Americans, remains a classic photo essay and has proven hugely influential.
New Orleans (Trolley) also sold well, realising an identical sum of $237,500.
Sotheby's explains: "As a commentary on race relations in 1950s America, it stands as one of the most culturally resonant photographs in Frank's oeuvre.
"In terms of Frank's masterful composition, it is perhaps his most aesthetically accomplished work."
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