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Christie’s December 2009 Auctions

Christie’s is set to sell hundreds of exquisite and exotic items worth tens of millions of dollars in a series of auctions this week in New York City.

They range from jewels and sculptures to books and maps. Many are from private collections and have rarely, if ever, been up for bid.

The most valuable piece is a 39 carat diamond estimated to be worth as much as $5.5 million.

Other highlights include a bronze sculpture of an Egyptian lion-headed goddess known as Wadjet and a six-volume atlas in Latin by Dutch cartographers Willem and Jan Blaeu, who mapped the world in the 1600s.

Potential buyers can bid online or in-person.

Click ahead for a detailed look at the eight most unique items on sale at Christie’s beginning today.

Posted 9 Dec 2009