Beautiful Finds

Inside Russell Crowe’s Bizarre Divorce Auction

The New Zealand-born film star is finalizing his divorce, and disposing of a range of idiosyncratic chattels in very public fashion.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

What better way to put a failed relationship behind you than to dispose of all the junk and objets d’art you bought with your ex?

Such seems to be the thinking of Russell Crowe, who is selling 200 personal items as he completes his split from Danielle Spencer—and he has cheekily entitled the Sotheby’s auction catalogue for the show “The Art of Divorce.”

Its front cover is emblazoned with a picture of Crowe in black tie, apparently offering the camera a celebratory toast of a potent-looking drink.

Literary sleuths may be forgiven for wondering if Crowe was inspired by Leanne Shapton’s 2009 book Important Artifacts, a narrative of a broken romance presented as a fictional auction catalogue, with the sale triggered by the protagonists’ divorce.

The Crowe sale will take place at Sotheby’s Australia on April 7, which, the auction catalogue says, is “a date of particular significance as it is both the actor’s birthday and wedding anniversary.”

The catalogue states that the sale “represents the dispersal of a highly personal collection that was assembled by Crowe over many years, including those shared with his former wife, Danielle Spencer.”

Among the items going under the hammer are the Doc Martens boots Crowe wore as a neo-Nazi in Romper Stomper, Maximus’s armor from Gladiator, and a fully functioning Roman chariot and prop horse from the same film.

The sale appears to be amicable and mutually agreed upon.

“We’ve been separated over five years now, our divorce should be finalized around the time of the auction,” Crowe told Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “Just as we collaborate on the upbringing of our kids, it’s easy for us to work together on something like this. I think she feels the same way I do in regards to just moving on things that help create space for the future.”

The couple split in October 2012 after a nine-year marriage, and have two children.

The most expensive piece in the collection is an 1890 violin that was used in Master and Commander and might go for as much as $140,000. The total value of the collection could be as much as $2.8 million.

“On the practical side, this collection probably equates to three rooms full of things I’ll no longer have to care for, document, clean, tune, and insure,” Crowe told the Australian Telegraph.