Having been rejected by the Victoria & Albert museum, Baroness Thatcher’s personal collection of clothes and jewellery is to be sold off.
More than 300 items from Lady Thatcher’s political and personal life are to be sold one-by-one at auction next month, from her red dispatch box to her wedding dress – which is expected to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000.
The items will be offered across two sales: at Christie’s headquarters on Tuesday 15 December; and a two-week online only sale running until December 16.
The V&A declined an offer to own an archive of Baroness Thatcher’s clothing because its policy is to only collect items of ‘outstanding aesthetic or technical quality’.
The sales are taking place 25 years after Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) left Office, at the end of her 11-year high profile tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979-1990).
As well as clothing, the sales will include signed copies of key speeches and an award presented to her from President Ronald Reagan, alongside jewellery, and handbags.
The most valuable lot is an Art Deco emerald and diamond necklace by Chaumet (estimated at £120,000-180,000). Her iconic ‘tank’ raincoat by Aquascutum worn during a visit to British Forces at a NATO training ground near Fallingbostel, Germany in September 1986 has an estimate of £10,000-20,000; while several of her handbags are expected to make up to £3,000 each.
The sale will also feature Baroness Thatcher’s collection of 18th, 19th and 20th-century English porcelain, glass, gold boxes and silver. Her personal penchant for collecting early porcelain is highlighted by a charming Chelsea plate, c. 1760, which is hand painted with exotic birds, within shell and scalloped pink panelled and gilt-edged borders (estimated at £800-1,200).