Fake prince’s goods go under the hammer

One of the most extraordinary auctions in Queensland’s history has taken place with the luxury possessions of a fake prince going under the hammer.

Joel BarlowThe Public Trustee on Sunday sold items owned by Joel Barlow, the former public servant who embezzled more than $16 million from Queensland Health while posing as Tahitian royalty.

There was a huge turnout for the auction, with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate among the bidders.

He said he was hoping to purchase a Hermes saddle for an upcoming polo match against an Indian maharaja.

A Chanel necklace was among the items to be sold off early, fetching about $2,000 – almost double the retail price.

There were 1,500 items to be sold, including kitchenware, a Brett Whiteley screen print, two apartments, watches and even Barlow’s half-used soap.

Some items still had police evidence stickers.

Auctioneer John D’Agata said it was hoped the goods could fetch as much as $300,000.

“It is an extraordinary collection.  He bought very well.  He bought signed pieces.  It’s a really interesting auction,” he said.

Barlow is due be sentenced later this month.


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