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Doing time: The incredible watch collection of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff goes under the hammer
Barely a year ago he was one of Wall Street's most powerful and wealthy figures. Then he was arrested and his massive financial empire was exposed as a fraud.
It is five months since Bernard Madoff was convicted of masterminding the world's biggest investment scam.
He was sentenced to 150 years for the Ponzi scheme, estimated to have run to £30billion, which brought him and his wife Ruth, right, a billionaire lifestyle.
Yesterday, it was payback time as Madoff's belongings were auctioned off in a fire sale in New York.
Clothes, jewellery, trinkets and household objects seized from his Manhattan penthouse, Hamptons beach house and Palm Beach estate went under the hammer, raising more than £600,000 -- about twice what had been expected.
Some lots went for considerably more than their estimates, including a wooden duck decoy. Expected to fetch just £50, it actually sold for an incredible £2,850.
A blue satin baseball jacket from the New York Mets emblazoned with the name Madoff fetched £8,700 in another of the sale's most frenzied bidding battles. It had been expected to fetch just £430.
The goods sold off offered a fascinating insight into Madoff's world. The tycoon had a huge passion for watches, 46 of which were sold yesterday - and all but one of which are pictured here with their estimated price and what they actually fetched.
Rolex was a favoured brand, ironic given that Madoff was said to have lost the Swiss company £600,000.
A flurry of interest meant some of the more 'affordable' watches went for more than three times the best estimate - though the top-end models proved a more difficult sell.
According to renowned watch expert Ken Kessler, who has provided his verdict on each of the items: 'Bernie's selection is nothing if not eclectic with some true masterpieces.'