Last year Christie's announced it had been asked to sell the contents of all the dancer's homes but his sister, Rosa, and niece, Gousell Nureyeva, went to court in France demanding that the contents of his houses be retained in their entirety to form a Nureyev museum.
Nureyev's principal home, before his death from Aids in January last year, was in Paris and the apartment is still sealed by the courts while the dispute between his family and his executors continues.
He also had a flat in Monte Carlo, a house in La Turbie, in the South of France, a farm in Virginia, a pied-a-terre in London and a villa on an island off the Amalfi coast.
He left their contents to two foundations, one in Europe and one in the United States, charged with various charitable activities including the promotion of dance and medical research, and the formation of a Nureyev museum in Paris. His executors planned to fill the museum with costumes, furnishings and works of art from the Paris home.
The American foundation became tired of waiting for the French dispute to be resolved and so decided to go ahead with the auction alone.
Nureyev's apartment was in the Dakota building and comprised a series of huge, high-ceilinged rooms. He filled them with a theatrical miscellany of treasures - antique Russian, Oriental and European furniture, textiles and paintings.
In the centre of his vast salon was a first-century marble torso after Polykleitos, with a big Reynolds Portrait of George Nugent Grenville at one end and two large sofas that had belonged to Maria Callas.Reuse content