Mrs Thatcher was famous for being Great Britain's first female prime minister but was also known the world over for her handbags - and now, one is up for auction at Halls in Shrewsbury on March 22.
Vogue magazine deemed the Right Honourable Margaret Thatcher’s handbags her ‘most important piece of weaponry’ during her estimable 11-year premiership of the United Kingdom. Along with her pearls, the boxy-looking bags became something of a signature trope for the former British Prime Minister.
Now you have a chance to own a very fine Chaumet grey shagreen handbag once belonging to the Iron Lady herself!
The bag, which has an 18ct gold and sapphire clasp, and fancy gold shoulder strap, will go under the hammer at the upcoming Halls Fine Arts, Antiques and Jewellery Auction on March 22 at 10am.
Of envelope design in simulated ray skin with dark grey leather trim and interior, the clasp with 18ct gold fitting set with a cabochon sapphire, with 18ct gold fancy chain shoulder strap and original maker's azure leather-bound case, bearing lettering in Baroness Thatcher's hand 'Grey dress bag', French assay marks to clasp and chain, 22cm wide x 16cm high.
Estimate: £4,000 - £6,000
Provenance: Christie's: Mrs Thatcher - Property From The Collection Of The Right Honourable The Baroness Thatcher Of Kesteven, 15 December 2015, lot 38. Purchased by the Daily Mail Newspaper, thence by competition entry to the present vendor.
Footnote: In December 2015, the Daily Mail newspaper purchased eight lots from Christie's auction Mrs Thatcher - Property From The Collection Of The Right Honourable The Baroness Thatcher Of Kesteven, including five handbags and three head scarves, totalling some £50,000.
Each item then became a prize in reader competitions held in the following months. The present lot was one of the five handbags and was won by the vendor in March 2016.
The inscription in black ink on the side of the maker's box which reads 'Grey "dress" bag', compares with handwriting on record, indicating that it was written by Margaret Thatcher herself and suggesting the bag was reserved for a formal evening occasion.
According to Christie's lot essay, this bag was examined by a specialist at the Natural History Museum, London, who confirmed that it is made of simulated ray skin.
Follow the link for more information on the upcoming antique auctions at Halls sales rooms in Shrewsbury