Madoff's New York Mets jacket sells for 20 times estimate

The auction of Bernie and Ruth Madoff's personal effects clawed back $900,000 for victims of his schemes - well clear of the rough $500,000 estimate.

Surprisingly, the sale was not dominated by Madoff's extensive watch collection, with some of these being sold for relative bargains. One piece did excite a great deal of interest however: an 18K gold Rolex Monoblocco which sold for $65,000.

Generally, the memorabilia aspect of the sale dominated, as we predicted it might, with personalised items cruising past their retail price.

Madoff's Mets jacket obviously had a double claim here: it is a piece of sports memorabilia relating to the famous baseball team, but more importantly it is highly personalised, with 'MADOFF' printed across it in deep orange.

Ignoring the ill-judged estimate of $720, several bidders sparred furiously over the blue satin jacket. "What size is it?!" yelled one. The jacket was eventually grabbed by a telephone bidder for $14,500.

Readers keen on personalised sports memorabilia may be interested in a baseball cap signed by Tiger Woods.

The top sale was unexpected: a set of Ruth Madoff's 14ct diamonds earrings which sold for $70,000, to an anonymous Russian dressed in black, at more than treble their estimate of around $21,000.

With handbags, golf clubs, rings and even stationery selling like hot cakes, it might seem a little mysterious that the watches were not snapped up with the same enthusiasm.  Perhaps the fact that so many were made in Switzerland which suffered badly due to Madoff's machinations put some bidders off.

There's a good reason why the Monoblocco might have been in particular demand, however. It is nicknamed because it is of a similar design to ones sold to British PoWs in WW2.

Who wouldn't want to own the Bernie Madoff 'prisoner' watch?


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