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Cricket memorabilia sells for thousands at auction

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Piers Morgan secretly bids on two major items from Russell Crowe's 'Art of Divorce' auction -spending $14500 on a

The "Gladiator" star marked his 54th birthday on Saturday (07.04.18) by staging a huge auction of his belongings, including artwork, 28 watches, and movie memorabilia and was thrilled by the result - especially as he was able to keep hold of some of the items he "didn't really want to sell".

More than 85 per cent of the 226 items on offer at the event were sold.

The auction, titled "The Art of Divorce" to mark Crowe's finalisation of his is real-life divorce from Danielle Spencer, brought in a total of just over $3.7 million. The Gladiator replica chariot went for A$65,000, almost seven times above estimate, but the neo-Nazi boots from Romper Stomper went on estimate at A$10,000.

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".

Sotheby's Australia chief executive Gary Singer said items linked to the film were the most popular.

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

The pair sold for 10,000 Australian dollars, while Sotheby's had anticipated between 10,000 and 15,000 Australian dollars.

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The 54-year-old movie star had made a decision to auction off some of his most prized possessions, including iconic memorabilia, costumes and props from his Hollywood career, as a way of marking his split from Danielle Spencer in 2012.

A breastplate worn by Crowe in his Oscar-winning efficiency bought for AU$125,000 (£68,246) at Sotheby's Australia, having been predicted to fetch between $20,000 (£10,919) and $30,000 (£16,379).

A range of Australian artwork also attracted high price tags, with various paintings selling for between $70,000 and $360,000.

He said it was put in as a joke, "It was my jock strap when I won the heavyweight championship of the world as the character James J. Braddock in the film Cinderella Man".

More surprisingly, a costume that Crowe wore in the same 2003 movie wasn't far behind, raking in AU$115,000.

A second bat used by Martin Crowe to score 142 test runs a century against England at Lords Cricket ground in 1994 also sold for $21,000. It would receive a 22 percent commission, which the buyers have to fork out on top of the bid money.

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