|via British Monarchy Flickr|
Christie's - Dresses from the Collection of Diana, Princess of Wales - 1997
|Via Ronald Reagan library|
Christie's - Property from the Collection of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon - 2006
One of the most glamorous women of her generation, Princess Margaret was renowned for her beauty and for her good taste. In 2006 her children controversially auctioned off her belongings to cover the death taxes for her estate. The 780-lot auction included the Politmore tiara worn at her 1960 wedding. Also included, an extensive collection of jewels, Faberge, silver, paintings, furniture as well as this famous Pietro Annigoni portrait. The proceeds from this sale were £13.7 million.
Sotheby's - The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor - 1987
Christie's - Property from the Collection of HRH The Prince George, Duke of Kent and HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent and their families - 2009
This auction was not the first time Prince George, Duke of Kent's belongings had been sold at Christie's. After his death in 1942, to raise funds, his widow Princess Marina sold items in a 3-day auction in 1947. The sale included English furniture, objects of art and porcelain and raised £92,300.
In 2009, 200 lots were sold, including linen, photographs, clocks, silver, tapestries, rugs, works of art monogrammed and inscribed jewellery as well as a collection of trowels. Highlights of the auction included a portrait of 3-year old Princess Louise by her mother Queen Victoria. As well as a chair and stool from the 1937 Coronation of his brother King George VI. A similar chair was sold at Princess Margaret's auction in 2006. The Duke of Kent's auction raised £2.1 million.
Sotheby's - Duke and Duchess of Windsor auction - 1998
The auction for the contents of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Paris home was originally set for September 11-19, 1997. But due to the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed, the son of Mohammed Al Fayed, owner of the Windsor's villa in Paris, the auction was postponed to February 1998. 40,000 personal effects belonging to the late Duke and Duchess were auctioned off. A wide range of items formed the auction, including the desk which the Duke, as King Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication in 1936, a piece of their wedding cake, photographs, clothing, furniture, luggage, jewellery and all the way down to their monogrammed bathmats. The nine-day auction raised $23 million, three times the estimated value.
Christie's - Property from the Estate of His Royal Highness The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester - 2006
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was the third son of King George V. Unlike his brothers, he did not possess magnetic charm nor a fine eye for antiques. Despite their royal provenance, the items in this auction are practical rather than of greater historical significance. The 787 lots include christening gifts, tableware, menu holders, ink stands, furniture, fishing rods, oar blades, backgammon sets, fire irons, fans, parasols, illuminated manuscripts and a dog bed. This auction raised £5.1 million. Proceeds from some items went towards estate taxes as well as the charities Clubs for Young People and the Army Benevolent Fund.
© Marilyn Braun 2011
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