Tomorrow morning, at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in Midtown Manhattan (and online at, the US Marshals are selling off the assets of Bernie and Ruth Madoff. There's a preview today (until 7 p.m.) at a warehouse in theBrooklyn Navy Yard; some items are for ‘visual inspection’ only, but the feds will let you try on the jewellery. Madoff seems to have liked gold Patek Philippe watches, though I preferred a Rolexwith a moonphase and a perpetual calendar in less gaudy stainless steel (lot 182, est.$60-70,000). The clothes wouldn’t fit me, though there are handsome ties fromCharvet, and if you wear a size 8½ shoe you should pounce on lot 331: 16 pairs of John Lobb loafers with alow estimate of $1500, the price of a single new pair. There are lots of shoes. I counted more than 200 men’s pairs, including dozens unworn, to say nothing of slippers, running shoes and boots.

The Madoffs also had a library that is being sold en bloc, although a few books with inscriptionsor the Madoffs’ names on the flyleaves have been singled out. Among thebiographies and self-help books (Eat More Weigh Less) are many books on golf and a large collection of fiction. There are legal thrillers and mysteries (John Grisham, Sue Grafton, NelsonDemille) but also Alice Munro, PaulAuster and quite a bit of Philip Roth: Goodbye, Columbus, The Professor of Desire,American Pastoral and The Dying Animal, all in hardback. Perhaps Madoff saw something of himself in David Kepesh, the philandering son-of-a-bitch who features in two of thosenovels. One mistress called Madoff 'that monster' and said he was 'not well-endowed'– which may not be true, but would perhaps explain 200 pairs of size 8½ shoes.