Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Russell Crowe bids farewell to his old life

Russell Crowe bids farewell to his old life

A leather boxer's protector, worn by Crowe when he played heavyweight champion James J. Braddock in the 2005 movie "Cinderella Man", estimated to bring between AU$500 and AU$600, sold for AU$7,000 after intense bidding.

Still to come were more movie props, Australian and New Zealand sporting memorabilia, jewellery, watches, Crowe's wedding auto (which the auctioneers had jauntily festooned with a white satin wedding ribbon) as well as musical instruments and collection of antique screens.

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

The auction, fittingly, took place on the Oscar-winner's 54th birthday and the anniversary of his wedding to Danielle Spencer, whom he married in 2003 (they separated in 2012).

"G'day folks... Are you having a little bit of fun?" began Crowe, before offering a suggestion to the future owner of the violin.

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"It's been a lot of fun putting it together for you", he told the crowd at the inner-city Carriageworks building.

"This is boring", said one man in the audience as bidders battled over Crowe's crew pass for the movie, a simple yellow card on a nylon lanyard which eventually sold for $2700. The violin sold a minute later for $135,000. While only expected to fetch $500-700 AUD or $380-530 United States dollars, a telephone bidder paid $11,000 AUD or roughly $8,400 USD for the piece.

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

More surprisingly, a costume that Crowe wore in the same 2003 movie wasn't far behind, raking in AU$115,000. "It was made by the patriarch of the company", said Crowe.

Russell Crowe's aluminium prop sword, spare blade and wooden training sword from the film Gladiator. The pair sold for $10,000, while Sotheby's had anticipated between $10,000 and $15,000.

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Other impressive lots? A painting called "The Suitor" by Australian modern artist Charles Blackman for $360,000 AUD or roughly $276,000 United States dollars.

A 1986 Grammy Award that was jointly presented to Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Sam Phillips, Rick Nelson and Chips Moman sold for 150,000 Australian dollars.

Before the auction started, Sotheby's predicted the 227 eclectic lots, covering films, guitars, paintings, jewellery, watches and sporting memorabilia, would bring between A$2.6 million and A$3.7 million.

Auction house Sotheby's conducted the bidding process, taking a 22 percent commission, which the buyers have to pay on top of the bid money.

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