Christopher Skase's Wife To Auction Off Nearly 200 Luxury Mementos
Christopher Skase once sat atop the property ladder and, apparently, it was Hermes.
At least, that's what one could conclude from the collection of opulent items Skase's wife is auctioning off this week, estimated to have a cumulative value of $100,000.
An antique Hermes library ladder, slated to go for between $2,000 and $3,000, is one of the pieces gaining the most attention.
"There was a limited edition of them," John Albrecht, Managing director of Leonard Joel Auction House, told Ten News.
"But it's a retractable ladder by the house of Hermes, and extraordinarily rare. In fact, not even in a decade have I seen one come into public auction."
A billionaire business tycoon, Skase became synonymous with the decadence of the 80's before becoming a corporate fugitive after the collapse of his company Qintex.
His wife, Pixie Skase, fled to Spain alongside her husband, who at the time had personal debts of $170 million and corporate debts of $1.7 billion.
Now, almost a decade after returning to Australia following her husband's death in 2001, Pixie is offering up an impressive collection of the pair's luxury items, from designer clothes to pieces of art.
Among the 197 items of the Pixie Skase Collection auction, to be held at Leonard Joel on Thursday, the Hermes ladder is far from the sole representative of the brand.
Thirteen blouses, 21 scarves and even a tie rack also join the list of the pieces from the French designer.
Also going under the hammer is a Louis Vuitton brief case inlaid with Skase's initials (CCS), which is expected to go for up to $1,500.
"This was the brief case that he [Skase] would have held documents in and used on a regular basis and it has been well worn," Albrecht said.
In 1989, Skase made an ambitious $1.2 billion bid to purchase the film company MGM. Before the deal fell through when he failed to provide a $50 million letter of credit, the company gifted him a wall clock which is also up for sale.
Those wishing to have a sticky beak are encouraged to stop by for a closer look at a public viewing at the Leonard Joel Auction House on Wednesday from 9am till 8pm.