A collection of disgraced businessman Christopher Skase’s goods will be up for grabs this week in a massive auction held in Melbourne.
Pixie Skase, the widow of the famous Australian corporate fugitive, has put forward 197 of the stockbroker’s items, which have been valued at a total of $100,000.
The collection offers a fascinating insight into the couple’s life and includes a wide variety of goods such as jewellery, scarves, a Chesterfield sofa bed and a Hermes library ladder.
The former businessman fled Australia in 1991 after he was charged with improperly using his position to secure management fees. He spent a night in jail but was released and given access to his passport, which he promptly used to flee the country for Majorca, Spain. Not long before, Skase’s business Qintex had collapsed and he was forced to sell his many of his financial holdings, including his shares in the Seven Network for just a fraction of what he bought them for.
When he fled Australia, Skase owed corporate debts of $1.7 billion.
Millions was spent by the Australian government and the Qintex liquidator throughout the 1980s and ’90s as they tried to extradite Skase to Australia to face the court. However, Skase died of cancer in 2001 at the age of 54 with his widow, Pixie, returning to Melbourne in 2009.
Now nine years later, Pixie is saying farewell to much of her deceased husband’s collection, which is said to have travelled the globe with the couple, in an auction at Leonard Joel.
Some of the most sought-after items include the businessman’s Louis Vuitton briefcase stamped with his initials CCS, which is expected to sell for up to $1,500, and a retro-inspired MGM wall clock gifted to the fugitive by the film studio following his unsuccessful $1.2 billion bid for the American company in 1989.
The rare Hermes library ladder is also sure to create some interest, as is an elaborate outdoor table which the family sat at in their Spanish home. Also included in the collection is a Pro Hart painting, which is expected to fetch between $5,000 – $7,000.
Those who have a love for jewellery will have much to choose from, with a beautiful emerald and diamond five-stone ring valued at up to $9,000 up for grabs, along with a pair of antique style miniature portrait earrings with diamond details, which are expected to sell for between $700 and $900.
However, it isn’t all highly expensive with some cheaper items such as Pixie’s Hermes silk and wool tops, which are priced at $200 and gold-plated pens for $100.
The highly anticipated auction has already received a flurry of attention from potential buyers with bids expected to be placed from in the room, online and over the phone.