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.

YSL auction

See more from inside Yves Saint Laurent's Paris apartment

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.