When Pablo Picasso died in 1973, he left a chunk of his estate to his granddaughter Marina Picasso. Included in her inheritance was La Californie, a colossal white villa in the south of France, with millions of dollars’ worth of art. She has started to sell some of that art, most notably in the auction Picasso in Private, which garnered £12m at Sotheby’s in London in February 2016. On May 18, Picasso is putting an additional 111 of her grandfather’s artworks up for auction at Sotheby’s in New York, in a sale that is expected to yield $3.3m-$4.7m. The auction comprises 64 works on paper and 47 ceramic objects, which all depict people or animals. For anyone even glancingly familiar with the multibillion-dollar Picasso market — one of his paintings recently sold for $179m — those estimates might appear almost absurdly low, especially considering they are coming straight from the artist’s own studio. The auction house has its reasons. Many of these artworks are studies or experiments an...

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