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The previously unseen Crowe then surfaced from backstage, briefly taking the microphone to greet the audience and introduce the sale of the violin he played in 2003's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, an item he called "very dear to my heart".

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.

Still to come were more movie props, Australian and New Zealand sporting memorabilia, jewellery, watches, Crowe's wedding auto (which the auctioneers had jauntily festooned with a white satin wedding ribbon) as well as musical instruments and collection of antique screens.

The New Zealand-born actor appeared at the sale, hearing a rendition of Happy Birthday and three cheers, and saying: "G'day folks, how're you doing?"

"This is boring", said one man in the audience as bidders battled over Crowe's crew pass for the movie, a simple yellow card on a nylon lanyard which eventually sold for $2700.

Stunt armor worn by Crowe when his character Maximus died in the film was expected to fetch up to $30,000. "So it's been a lot of fun putting it together for you".

Earlier in the evening, costume pieces and props from his film "Gladiator" fetched tens of thousands of dollars.

The Gladiator replica chariot went for A$65,000 (€40,595), almost seven times above estimate, but the neo-Nazi boots from Romper Stomper went on estimate at A$10,000 (€6,245).

Russell Crowe's aluminium prop sword, spare blade and wooden training sword from the film Gladiator. The pair sold for AU$10,000, while Sotheby's anticipated between AU$10,000 and AU$15,000.

Bidding was brief and punchy for a sturdy leather jockstrap worn by Crowe as the boxer Jim Braddock in the movie The Cinderella Man.

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

Other impressive lots? A painting called "The Suitor" by Australian modern artist Charles Blackman for $360,000 AUD or roughly $276,000 Dollars.

There was another musical memento, too: The 1986 Grammy Award won by Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Sam Phillips, Rick Nelson and Chips Moman, for interviews from the "Class of '55 Recording Session".

Open to the public and attended by Crowe, the Saturday evening event held at Carriageworks arts center featured 226 lots of the Oscar winner's belongings, including movie memorabilia, diamond jewelry, artwork, sports collectibles, and a dinosaur skull he purchased from Leonardo DiCaprio after having "way too much vodka".