Lucky Blanche d’Alpuget. For most people, losing a partner involves dealing with all of their stuff, deciding what to discard. But when you’ve been married to Australia’s most popular prime minister, there’s another option. You can sell everything you don’t want at auction.

Bob Hawke's items were on display at his former matrimonial home in Northbridge over the weekend, where Blanche, making tea in the kitchen, was happy to tell visitors that she was “glad to get rid” of the stuff.

And so it was that one of Australia’s biggest garage sales took place in the Paddington RSL in Sydney’s east last night. Hundreds of people turned up to bid on almost 250 items of “mementos, curiousities, art and design”, most of which went wildly over estimate. The lots included several hideous objects given to Hawke by overseas governments, bits of furniture from the house (since sold for $15 million), many truly terrible Icelandic paintings and things closely associated with the popular politician, such as cigars.