NEW YORK CITY: A mass of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s personal items will be auctioned in New York next month in what is billed as the biggest collection of the French Impressionist artist’s memorabilia.

The Renoir Estate Collection of 143 lots is set to be sold on September 19, for an estimated $3 million.

The sale includes 20 original sculptural plaster maquettes created during Renoir’s final years with the help of a young assistant, Richard Guino, at the painter’s Les Collettes home in the southeastern French city of Cagnes-sur-Mer.

The maquettes were produced after arthritis nearly crippled Renoir’s hands, forcing him to have assistants tie a paintbrush to his right hand.

Renoir’s signature polka-dot scarf, his marriage certificate and letters written to him from friends and contemporaries such as Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Auguste Rodin will also be put under the hammer. The artist died in 1919 and the collection was purchased from his grandson in 2005.

“This museum-level collection is superb in its completeness and reveals volumes about the man and his art,” said Brian Roughton, managing director of fine art at Heritage Auctions.–AFP