A gala auction held this week at Christie’s in aid of good causes, featured some unique must have items. Among the lots was a Asprey Handbag donated by the Iron Lady herself. Margaret Thatcher’s famous handbag, which she frequently used on important occasions, such as summits with then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during her 1979-1990 premiership, sold at a charity auction for just £25,000 ($40,350).
The boxy Asprey carryall, a symbol of the former British prime minister’s legendary mettle, had been expected to attract up to £100,000 during sales at Christie’s organised by ex-Conservative Party deputy chairman Jeffrey Archer. The Asprey was sold to an unnamed Cypriot understood to have been a student in Britain during the Iron Lady’s tenure. Her was said to be a ‘great admirer’ of the former Conservative leader. The proceeds from the sale of Lady Thatcher’s handbag will go to the British Forces Foundation, mental health charity Combat Stress, and Debra, an organisation dedicated to helping those with the genetic skin blistering condition epidermolysis bullosa.
Best-selling author and former Conservative politician Jeffrey Archer was wielding the gavel at the auctioneer’s London showrooms at a sale where proceeds went to the charity chosen by each contributing sportsman, politician or musician. Archer started collecting paintings and sculpture when he was a student, and some of his better acquisitions are up for grabs.
The highest value item of the auction went for £97,250, to the delight of the auctioneer and former Conservative party deputy chairman. Among the other lots on sale were a Fender Telecaster guitar given by Eric Clapton which fetched £15,000 and an Andy Warhol sketch of the late Princess Diana.
Among those who donated were Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone, whose VIP guest passes to the Monaco Grand Prix went for £34,850, and Sir Michael Parkinson, whose cricket bat signed by the victorious 2005 Ashes squad raised £6,250.
The sale of 18 lots raised £402,100 for various charities, Christie’s said.