Russell Crowe's Gladiator props, other belongings sold at 'divorce auction'

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Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe has sold off a range of artwork, jewellery, musical instruments and film and sports memorabilia from his private collection in an auction expected to bring between $2.6 million and $3.7 million.

The violin, used by Crowe when he played Captain Jack Aubrey in the 2003 film Master and Commander, was the most expensive sale in the early part of the night and was likely to bring the highest price of the auction. Titled "The Art of Divorce", it pictures a smiling, tuxedo-clad Crowe brandishing a whiskey tumbler on the catalog cover and came about, he explained in an interview with a Sydney morning TV show, because he decided "to turn something that was a little bit bleak into something joyful".

"This item is dear to my heart". Although his divorce from Danielle Spencer was previous year, today would have been the couple's 15th wedding anniversary. "It was made by the patriarch of the company", said Crowe, before the bidders were to hear a recital of a piece from the film by two young musicians.

The event was a year in the making by Crowe as a way to deal with the end of his marriage, after he and Spencer separated in 2012. An unknown online bidder bought it for $125,000.

A replica Roman chariot was sold for $65,000, while two life-sized prop horses used in the film were also up for grabs. Also on the auction block: the black leather wrist cuffs he wore as he shouted "Are you not entertained?"

Sotheby's was closer to the mark in valuing the maroon Dr Martens boots Crowe wore as the skinhead Hando in the 1992 movie Romper Stomper.

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More surprisingly, a costume that Crowe wore in the same 2003 film was not far behind, raking in 115,000 Australian dollars (£62,635).

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

Also among the 227 lots of "stuff" at the auction, which Crowe referred to as a "watershed moment", were a scarf and a pair of old shoes from State of Play, numerous guitars he's collected during his time with his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, and chain mail and other clothing from Robin Hood.

Items on sale at the auction include his leather jockstrap and midnight blue satin boxers, along with art, watches, diamond rings and a Mercedes Benz.

Auction house Sotheby's conducted the bidding process.