Bernie Madoff auction set to raise over $500k
Swiss watches, handbags and jewellery are all going under the hammer
Once you're in jail for as long as Bernie Madoff is, keeping time may no longer feel like such as priority.
Madoff and his wife Ruth's belongings are coming up for auction, in a series of sales. On Saturday, one of these auctions is taking place which will offer up to 200 lots to the public, mostly the accessories of the exceptionally wealthy, and an impressive watch collection is included.
A staggering 17 Rolexes have been confiscated from the Madoff estate, including an Oyster chronograph which on some estimates may sell for $63,500 and that's not all - there are also examples from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Franck Muller, Blancpain and seven from Cartier.
You can't fault the taste with which Madoff spent other people's money.
There are also a number of jewellery items including a set of Tiffany cufflinks, bracelets and necklaces.
Ruth Madoff's handbag collection included Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Jil Sander, Judith Leiber, Prada and Louis Vuitton. These will all be available as well.
What's difficult to calculate is the memorabilia value involved. Not just the sports memorabilia value of Madoff's hockey (and other sports) card collections and baseball jerseys, which no doubt counts for something.
The question is the value associated with owning a set of golf clubs with gold lettering of BLM when it stands for Bernie L Madoff, or his graduation ring from Hofstra University. There's no doubt that people want a piece of a financial event like this.
Recently sales at the Lehman Brothers art auction appeared to be buoyed by people wanting a piece of history - and those pieces didn't even belong to a convicted criminal. It may well be that a number of items exceed their estimates.
Goods such as furniture (including Chippendale pieces) and the best artwork will be coming up for auction at a later date.
The auction takes place in Pflugerville, Texas. Until the end of Thursday, bidders can also register online.