Margaret Thatcher auction nets unexpected $6.8 million

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2015 1:08 PM
Margaret Thatcher auction nets unexpected $6.8 million

LONDON (AP) — The lady's certainly for earning.

An auction of artifacts belonging to late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — including her wedding dress and signature handbags — has raised 4.5 million pounds ($6.8 million), many times its pre-sale estimate.

Christie's sold more than 400 items through a live and online auction. It said Thursday that the sales attracted bids from 44 countries, and every single lot was sold.

A model of a bald eagle presented to Thatcher by Cold War ally President Ronald Reagan was expected to fetch 8,000 pounds ($12,000) but sold for 266,500 pounds ($404,014), while her red ministerial dispatch box fetched 242,500 pounds ($367,630).

The blue velvet dress she wore to her 1951 wedding sold for 25,000 pounds ($38,000), and an Art Deco emerald and diamond necklace for 158,500 pounds ($240,286).

Another top lot was a silver bowl engraved with one of Thatcher's most famous phrases: "The lady's not for turning," which sold for 47,500 pounds ($72,010).

Branded the "Iron Lady" for her steely determination, Thatcher governed Britain between 1979 and 1990. She died in April 2013 aged 87, and the collection was sold by her family.