updated 12/11/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/11/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST
By the mid-'70s, Nureyev, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1961, was being paid the then-remarkable fee of up to $10,000 a performance, enabling him to live as dazzlingly as he danced. In addition to his Paris apartment, he had homes in Italy, Monaco, the Caribbean, Virginia and New York City. (The contents of his Manhattan apartment were sold at a hugely successful auction last January.) His estate was said to be worth up to $40 million. But it was the things he collected—costumes, textiles, fine art, antique furniture and silver jewelry—that most revealed him. "You had a sense of this enormous person who had put this together," says Christie's director David
Llewellyn. "Of all the places I have ever had to do an evaluation after death, this one gave me the strongest feeling that its owner would be walking in at any moment."