An auction of items owned by the late philanthropist Brooke Astor has managed to bring in a whopping $8.7 million according to auctioneers Sotheby's who reported that the items sold came from two of her homes. Astor died in 2007 aged an impressive 105 years old after a life that had seen her become one of the pre-eminent philanthropists and socialites in 20th century America. She married three times; first to J. Dryden Kuser, grandson of US Senator John F. Dryden, then Charles H. Marshall, senior partner of investment firm Butler, Herrick & Marshall, and finally Vincent Astor, chairmen of the board at Newsweek Magazine and the last surviving member of a hugely successful American family dynasty.

The auction occurs after a five year battle with her only son Anthony Marshall who was accused of taking his advantage of his mother's dementia to gain more of her fortune when she died. That has now been settled, though Marshall has appealed, and as such $100 million has been freed for charities, with items of hers being sold to institutions and charities including the New York Library and the Metropolitans Museum of Art.

901 items in total will be up for sale, according to NBC, with the second part of the auction taking place today (September 25th).