Among the higher-estimated lots in the Salander sale is this Imaginary Self-Portrait of Titian by Pietro Della Vecchia (1602/3-1678). It is expected to fetch $100,000-150,000.

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As collateral in the largest art fraud of recent times, the inventory will be sold pursuant to a Chapter 11 plan approved by the US Bankruptcy Court in January.

The agreement ensures that all of the 130 works will be sold free and clear of all liens, claims and encumbrances while - for extra measure - the trust overseeing the auction has secured title insurance protection from specialist provider ARIS for all works.

Accordingly buyers can bid confident they will not, unknowingly, become embroiled in the web of legal activity surrounding a $120m art fraud.

In March, a year after his arrest on more than 100 criminal counts, New York dealer Lawrence Salander, 61, appeared in a Manhattan courtroom to issue a guilty plea on 29 counts of grand larceny, securities fraud, forgery, falsifying business records and other charges.

Prosecutors had accused Salander of a raft of charges including: selling paintings that neither he nor the gallery owned, selling three half-shares of a single artwork, failing to notify investors when their artwork was sold, selling consigned works against the owner's wishes or below the authorised price and lying on a $2m loan application.

Salander is likely to receive a sentence of six to 18 years in state prison although his ability to repay more than 400 claimants who have stated that they are owed money or art following the collapse of the dealership, remains in doubt.

With its pre-sale estimate of $2.5m-3.5m Christie's sale will represent a drop in the ocean. As one might expect given the context of the dispersal, the majority of works in Christie's sale fall into the "studio of" or "follower of" categories although estimates have been set accordingly and 20 lots will be sold without reserves.