From ballet slippers to blue suede shoes ...

... memories of legends go for sale
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The Independent Online
After a two-year legal battle, the lush furnishings of Rudolf Nureyev's Parisian apartment will finally be sold in November. The collection amassed by the dancer is to be sold by Christie's in London on November 20 and 21 for an estimated pounds 2m, with the proceeds to go to the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.

The items to be sold from Nureyev's principal residence include ballet shoes, kilim rugs, antique costumes, Russian furniture, textiles, jewellery and paintings. The sale might never have happened. The dancer died after contracting Aids in January 1993, leaving his American estate to the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation in Chicago and the contents of his French flat to its sister organisation in Liechtenstein.

With the reading of the will, the battles began. Nureyev's sister, Rosa, and her daughter Gouzel opposed the foundation's plans to sell his possessions, arguing that the dancer had requested in his will that they be displayed in a museum.

But others pointed out that the vast amount of possessions - held in houses in New York, Paris, London, Nice, Monte Carlo, a Caribbean island, an island off Tuscany and a farm in Virginia - would be impossible to fit into one building.

The American foundation managed to come to an agreement with Rosa and Gouzel, and early this year the sale of the contents of the New York apartment went ahead, raising more than pounds 5m.

But the French flat overlooking the Seine was the subject of a more ferocious dispute which resulted in its doors being sealed in July 1993 pending a court battle between the Liechtenstein foundation and the two relatives. It was not until March this year that the Liechtenstein foundation won the day and the seals were removed from 23, Quai Voltaire.

Highlights of the sale include a collection of 19th century French male studies, estimated at up to pounds 60,000. Others are a Dutch 18th century rococo chamber organ (up to pounds 35,000) and a Karelian-birch bed (up to pounds 8,000).But bidders should beware: such was the interest at the New York sale that a pair of Nureyev's old ballet slippers sold for pounds 5,912. They had been estimated at pounds 39.

From ballet slippers to blue suede shoes, as more than 1,000 items of memorabilia come under the hammer next month in the largest-ever Elvis Presley auction. The sale, which includes a white 1966 Rolls Royce estimated at up to pounds 215,000, a white grand piano from Graceland and jewellery, stage suits and guns, is estimated to raise some pounds 2m in total.

A highlight will be a previously unreleased Elvis recording provisionally entitled "Make Believe Awhile", estimated at pounds 40,000. Some of the memorabilia comes from members of Elvis's inner circle and the auction is at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas on October 6 and 7.

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