YSL / Pierre Bergé auction preview

One of the most anticipated events on the 2009 auction calendar is undoubtedly the Yves Saint Laurent / Pierre Bergé sale, slated for Christie's in February. The private collection, amassed by the legendary fashion designer and his partner over the last fifty years, is exceptional as much for its quality and sheer size – more than 700 eclectic works in total, estimated at well over €200 million – as for its veiled exclusivity, unseen for decades by anyone outside the pair's private circle.

Until now that is. Housed in Saint Laurent's sumptuous Paris apartment above the rue de Babylone, we've been allowed a peek inside to preview the works in their original setting and get a rare glimpse inside the late designer's home.

Several pieces that were originally housed at at Bergé's apartment on the rue Bonaparte, have also been added to the collection.

Highlights include paintings by Picasso, Goya, Léger, Matisse and an iconic geometric composition by Mondrian (estimated at €7 - 9m), inspiration behind the eponymous YSL dress; rare art deco objects (including a pair of stools by Miklos estimated at €2 - 3m), sculptures, 18th and 19th century European furniture, and antiquities.

It's enough to rival many public collections, and offers a fascinating insight into the private life of this most celebrated and influential man.

His extensive collection of art, furniture, sculpture and antiquities amassed with his partner Pierre Bergé - over 700 items in total - will be auctioned by Christie's in February

A white marble Roman torso (estimate: €200-300k), in the entrance hall of the Paris apartment of French fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent on the rue de Babylone

Inside the music room, the walls of which are covered by fifteen bronze mirrors by Claude Lalanne (estimate: €700k-1m for the set)

A view of the main drawing room

The library, displaying iconic work by Mondrian (estimate: €7-10m), inspiration behind YSL's eponymous dress

The collection includes an eclectic mix of art and rare objects not seen publicly for years

The dining room
Objects from the collection. The total inventory is expected to fetch in excess of €200 million

An Egyptian sarcophagus cover from the Ptolemaic era, standing over two metres high, near the entrance to the so-called 'Curiosity Cabinet'

A sculptural ornament depicting the face of Jesus Christ

A white marble Roman torso and other sculptural objects displayed in front of a large tapestry by Edward Burne-Jones, in the library

One of the apartment's bedrooms

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