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Deputy chairman of Christie’s Americas Jonathan Rendell told ATG that handling such an impressive cross-category collection of paintings, ceramics, decorative arts, furniture and Asian works of art had been an extraordinary pleasure. “I’m very lucky… I have a really good job,” he quipped.

While stand-out works by the likes of Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin may grab the headlines, the auction will also include no fewer than 67 dinner services including a spectacular ‘Rockefeller’ pattern export porcelain service.

Among the rarest and unusual pieces of English porcelain in the collection is a pair of Chelsea tureens formed as plaice with fish-tail handled ladles, estimated at $80,000-120,000.

The sale will offer 1500 works overall which will be split across auctions taking place in New York during the week of May 7. The final total is expected to surpass Christie’s current record for a single-owner collection which was set by the Yves Saint Laurent sale in Paris in 2009 which posted $443m.