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The works, mainly prints and sketches, were reportedly given by Picasso to his late chauffeur Maurice Bresnu, and due to go on sale at Blanchet & Associés on December 9.

The sale was cancelled because Bresnu's late wife was a cousin of Pierre Le Guennec, the electrician who installed burglar alarms for Picasso near the end of his life, and whose recent claim to have received over 250 previously unknown Picasso works, worth an estimated €60m, has provoked a furore, with Picasso's heirs insisting such extensive 'gifts' were impossible.

Le Guennec's claim is under police investigation and the works in question have been impounded.

Le Guennec was one of six heirs to the Bresnus who stood to benefit from the Blanchet sale. It has not been announced whether the sale of the Bresnu collection will go ahead at a later date.