Thousands of investors are hoping to recover some of the money they lost in an alleged pyramid scheme – when a collection of rare manuscripts goes up for auction in France – starting next month.

The 130,000-piece collection is estimated to be worth an amount that could run into eight or nine figures – and includes the original manuscript for The 120 Days of Sodom, a scandalous novel by the Marquis de Sade – as well as a hand-written testimony by an American survivor of the Titanic.

A court seized the collection and ordered it to be sold off – which could take years. Top lots for the first auction were displayed Tuesday.

Investigators suspect that the items were acquired through a pyramid scheme – where works allegedly purchased by clients – were resold to new investors.