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Nearly all signed and described as being in “extremely good order”, these designs, which were bought by their vendor in Canada in 1984, are thought to date from the 1930s onwards.

Most of the costumes can be traced to named shows such as Beauty and the Beast, These Foolish Kings, and Showgirls, which presumably indicates they were executed by Erté while he was working in North America.

The gouaches are estimated at £800-1000 apiece, which is towards the lower end of the price range at which Erté designs have been recently selling at auction.

However, as Romain de Tertoff (as he was christened) was born in St. Petersburg, Erté might well be an artist who is due to catch the eye of new Russian buyers, in which case anything could happen.