1. ITV Report

Rockefeller family's art collection on sale at blockbuster charity auction

One of the world's leading private art collections to be sold in a charity auction that could set new records.

Christie's is preparing for a blockbuster auction of the Rockefeller art collection - and they gave ITV News an exclusive first look.

The trove had been owned by David Rockefeller and his wife Peggy, who built up a near peerless collection of masterpieces.

David was the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who became the world's first billionaire in the US oil trade.

The family were known for their power, wealth, and philanthropy - and their enormous means is reflected in the artworks they bought.

David and Peggy Rockefeller collected a huge treasure trove of masterpieces. Credit: ITV News

The family's many homes were adorned with artworks worth millions apiece.

A visitor could chance upon a Monet artwork on the staircase and a Picasso in the library, plus paintings by Renoir and Matisse in the sitting room.

After David's death at age 101 last year, the family decided to auction his collection to benefit good causes.

Now, the masterpieces are on display in London ahead of a New York sale in May that may set a new record for the most valuable collection ever.

It is expected to bring in more than half a billion pounds in total.

A Monet painting hung in David Rockefeller's stairway. Credit: Christie's

Their friend and family historian Peter Johnson said that David was buying new pieces right up to his final years, but had always intended that his art collection should be sold after his death.

He said: "Occasionally, a member of his family or one of the people who worked for him would say, 'David you already have 18 of those of whatever it might be, maybe you don't want to acquire something else'.

"If he saw something that was really very, very high quality, it's almost as if he couldn't resist."