Crowe nets €2.3m in auction to mark his divorce
A 128-year-old Italian violin owned by Russell Crowe stole the show among movie memorabilia in a €2.3m "divorce auction" by the Oscar-winning actor.
The rare instrument by Leandro Bislach, which Crowe learned to play for his role in 2003 film 'Master and Commander', sold for €84,000, the highest price for movie-related offerings among 227 lots up for sale in Sydney to mark the Australia-based New Zealander's divorce.
The price of the violin (inset) was exceeded only by two paintings from Crowe's extensive collection.
The auction, titled 'The Art of Divorce', took place on the actor's 54th birthday and the anniversary of his wedding to singer Danielle Spencer in 2003.
A cheerful Crowe made an appearance after Sydney actress-singer Alisa Nasteski sang 'Happy Birthday'.
"G'day, folks, how're you doing?" Crowe said to the crowd. "Are you having a little bit of fun? It's exciting? So it's been a lot of fun putting it together."
Before the auction, Sotheby's accurately predicted the eclectic offerings, covering movies, guitars, art, watches, sporting memorabilia and Crowe's jewellery gifts to Spencer, would bring up to €2.3m.
"A bunch of stuff I didn't really want to sell coming home... not a bad hourly rate for a 5 hour shift," he tweeted.