Russell Crowe's Gladiator armour exceeds expectations at auction

Russell Crowe

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - a Roman-style chariot, golden Rolex watch, leather jockstrap and a 128-year-old violin that all belonged to Australian actor Russell Crowe were sold in an auction that totaled in significantly more than £2.8 million bucks.

The auction titled "The Art of Divorce" was held in Sydney on Saturday and attracted dozens of buyers and spectators.

It included a surprise visit from the man himself.

"G'day folks, how're you doing?" Crowe asked the crowd.

"It's cathartic having a bit of a clean out", Mr Singer told AAP.

"It's been a lot of fun putting it together for you".

Among items he admitted he struggled to part with, Crowe pointed to the concert violin, made in Milan in 1890, he used in duets with his friend, ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, in Master and Commander.

Immediately afterward, the violin— which Crowe described as "a lot very dear to my heart" — became the 31st item to go under the hammer.

The date - April 7 - is significant to the actor as it is both his birthday and wedding anniversary.

After a nine-year marriage and a subsequent six-year separation, the Oscar victor and the singer/songwriter are making it official by signing the divorce papers.

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There is also, however disconcerting, a range of women's jewellery, which Crowe presumably kept after the divorce.

Costumes from the 2012's Les Miserables, in which Crowe played Javert, fetched up to $16,000.

Sotheby's Australia had estimated the stunt cuirass worn in the 2000 blockbuster would fetch between AU$20,000 and AU$30,000.

The torso armor Russell Crowe wore for his Oscar-winning role in "Gladiator" eclipsed expectations at a Sydney auction on Saturday, selling for 125,000 Australian dollars ($96,000).

Meanwhile a wooden training sword was won for $20,000 and an aluminium prop sword went for $70,000.

A leather pair of Dr. Martens boots from an earlier movie, "Romper Stomper", was purchased for $10,000.

Costume for the character Captain Jack Aubrey from Master and Commander (2003) - $115,000.

The most expensive item sold in the auction was 1960 painting The Suitor, by Charles Blackman, which was bought for $360,000.

Music lovers in attendance were catered for with the collection of high-end guitars on offer, and also the 1986 Grammy Award which was jointly presented to Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Sam Phillips, Rick Nelson and Chips Mosman which sold for $150,000.

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