The sale of the collection of the adored writer and civil rights activist included a story quilt from Angelou's Harlem home which was commissioned by Oprah Winfrey for the writer's 61st birthday. The winning bid for the quilt was a staggering $461 000 against a $150 000-250 000 pre-sale estimate.

Other impressive sales included Kumasi Market by John Biggers which sold for $389 000 against an estimate of $100 000-150 000, setting a new record for Biggers at auction.

The Obeah's Choice by Romare Bearden sold for $87 500, another great sale for the artist when compared with the $20 000-30 000 estimate.

The other pieces in the sale were consigned from Angelou's estate. Angelou died in 2014 aged 86.

The writer's son wrote in the catalogue a heartfelt introduction to the sale which read: "her family hopes that the art which added colour and character to her daily life does the same for others."

"Just as Dr. Angelou continues to serve as a source of inspiration for countless artists, writers and performers, she also found inspiration in the works of others."

The collection was consigned to Swann Auction Galleries' African-American Fine Art Department and included artists Elizabeth Catlett and Phoebe Beasley, reflecting Angelou's adoration for female artists and African arts.