Russell Crowe's 'Divorce' Auction Included Life-Size Prop Horses… and His 'Gladiator' Codpiece

As part of a so-called "divorce auction" - Crowe and Danielle Spencer's divorce is almost a done deal - Crowe auctioned off numerous items of personal memorabilia at a Sotheby's Australia sale Saturday, and People magazine reports the event brought in about $3.7 million.

The Jonah Lomu signed jersey was given a pre-sale estimation price of between $3,000 and $4,000 (£1,635 - £2,180).

The date was carefully chosen - it's Crowe's wedding anniversary, which he once celebrated with his ex-wife, actress and singer Danielle Spencer. He came to global attention for his role as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, for which Crowe won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

"People just went mad".

Crowe told an Australian morning television show that the idea behind the sale was to "turn something that was a little bit bleak into something joyful".

Following the auction, Crowe took to Twitter to express his satisfaction with the results, revealing he sold $3.7 million worth of his stuff, with ongoing discussions to sell another $350,000 worth, quipping, "not a bad hourly rate for a 5-hour shift".

"He had rooms full of items and many items in storage", Singer added.

Museum director Jamie Bell was thrilled two special items would be in New Zealand for all to enjoy.

The pair, seen here in happier times, were married for almost 10 years.

The item that sold for the most money was Charles Blackman's 1960 painting "The Suitor", which earned $360,000.

The highest price for film memorabilia was reserved for a century-old Leandro Bisiach violin used in the 2003 period war drama Master and Commander that sold for $135,000.

One bidder stumped up $7000 for the leather jockstrap Crowe wore in Cinderella Man (2005) and two life-sized prop horses from Gladiator went for $5500.

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. The uniform he wore in the film fetched $A135,000.

A 1986 Grammy Award presented to Johnny Cash and other music artists made $150,000.

While the violin was close to the top of Sotheby's Australia's valuation, the winning bid for character Captain Jack Aubrey's dress uniform exceeded the auctioneer's hopes by 80,000 Australian dollars (£43,572).

  • Jon Douglas