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The so-called Bastille manuscript of the Marquis de Sade’s '120 Days of Sodom', estimate €4m-6m.

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Auction house Aguttes will hold the first of what may be as many as 300 sales dispersing an estimated 135,000 historic documents on December 20.

The first sale, involving 190 lots with a pre-sale estimate of €12-16m, includes both the original 39ft-long manuscript of the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom (estimate €4m- 6m) and Andre Breton’s handwritten Manifeste du

Surrealisme (€4.5m-5.5m). A total of 54 different collections were formed, with nearly 18,000 investors and contracts totalling €700m, before Aristophil and its subsidiaries were declared bankrupt in 2015. An investigation into a ‘pyramid’ scheme continues.

Aguttes was appointed in October 2016 by the High Court to begin the resale process with the proceeds distributed to creditors.

Auctions will take place over the next six years to allow time for cataloguing and to avoid saturating the market.