Here’s your chance to walk in Bernard Madoff’s shoes, sleep in his bed and work out on his dusty treadmill.
The U.S. Marshals Service on Saturday is auctioning almost 500 lots of clothing, furniture, jewelry and knickknacks recovered from Madoff’s former Manhattan penthouse and Montauk, New York, beach house. It has a total presale estimate of $1.5 million to $2 million.
A Madoff auction a year ago was notable for the 50 watches amassed by the man behind the $65 billion Ponzi scheme. At Saturday’s all-day bazaar at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, the shoe collection recalls that of the former First Lady of the Philippines. Although thousands were attributed to Imelda Marcos, the Madoff collection on offer amounts to about 200 pairs.
There are 44 men’s sport coats, size 42. Two dozen worsted double-breasted suits are estimated at a total of $480 to $690. And there are hundreds of sweaters, polo shirts, and custom-made monogrammed Charvet dress shirts, as well as clothing owned by his wife, Ruth.
“On the clothing, I don’t know if I would say compulsive,” said Bob Sheehan, owner of the auctioneer Gaston & Sheehan, which is handling the sale. “But once they had a style of sweater, they bought one in every color.”
For whom the shoe fits (Bernie wore size 9 wide, Ruth wore 7, 7 1/2 and 8 U.S. and 37 to 38.5 European), the auction offers potential bargains. About 100 pairs of his “Mr. Casual” models hail from the Manhattan shoe store Belgian Shoes. They retail for $350 and up, according to the store’s website. Many are loafers.
In one lot, the auction offers 18 new pairs -- which Madoff bought and apparently didn’t wear -- for a low estimate of $900, which comes to $50 a pair.
A woman who answered the phone at Belgian Shoes said the store didn’t wish to be associated with the sale and declined to comment.
The auction offers mementos of Madoff’s life before he was turned in by his sons, pleaded guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history and began a 150-year federal prison term in North Carolina.
There’s the platinum custom ring set with an emerald cut diamond that Bernie gave Ruth for their engagement, according to the Marshals Service (estimate: $300,000 to $350,000). The Madoffs slept in an early-19th-century George III mahogany and satinwood tester bed ($8,000 to $11,400, mattress not included). They ate on a Regency mahogany dining table with two leaves, seating at least 10 ($3,000 to $4,000).
Included in a lot of women’s ski clothes and hats is a baseball cap adorned with “Atlantic Golf Club,” the Bridgehampton, New York, country club ($180 to $260). A leather foot stool fashioned as a bull is estimated at $250 to $360.
All items are sold without commission. They’re on view tomorrow at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For more information, see http://www.usmarshals.gov/madoff/. Proceeds go to Madoff victims, according to the Marshals Service. The sale is at 811 7th Ave. and starts at 10 a.m.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at email@example.com.