Christie's Prepares for Sale of Margaret Thatcher's Clothing and Property

Margaret Thatcher
Britain's former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher attends a service to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentine occupation by British forces, June 14, 2007. Christie's will sell clothing and property formerly owned by Thatcher. Reuters/Cathal McNaughton/Pool

Items belonging to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are to be sold by international auction house Christie's in December after the Victoria & Albert Museum in London declined the opportunity to add the pieces to its collection.

Christie's, which is the world's largest auction house, announced on Tuesday that more than 300 items from the late Baroness Thatcher's political and personal life are to be sold individually at auction in London at Christie's headquarters and online to international buyers.

The sale is to be carried out on behalf Thatcher's children, Mark and Carol, and will include the auction of her clothing, jewelry and handbags. Notable items include her 1951 wedding outfit, estimated to sell between 10,000 to 15,000 pounds ($15,000 to $23,000), and red embossed dispatch box used during her time as Prime Minister.

Thatcher was the first woman prime minister of the U.K. and served 11 years in Downing Street, from 1979 to 1990. She was the leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 until she resigned as Prime Minister and was replaced by John Major. She died in 2013.

The items had originally been offered to the V&A but the Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that the museum had rejected the chance to exhibit them. A statement from the museum said that "that these records of Britain's political history were best suited to another collection which would focus on their intrinsic social historical value."

The statement continued: "The museum is responsible for chronicling fashionable dress and its collecting policy tends to focus on acquiring examples of outstanding aesthetic or technical quality."

The collection will be sold at a live auction in London at Christie's headquarters on Tuesday 15 December, as well as an online only sale comprising of 200 lots from 3 December to 16 December.

Margaret Thatcher's Wedding Outfit
Margaret Thatcher's Wedding outfit comprising Mrs Thatcher's midnight blue velvet wedding dress, with a sweetheart neckline and long sleeves, labelled Constance Gowns and Suits, Old Bexley; a blue velvet soft brimmed cap with a curled pink ostrich feather and a blue velvet muff, with an Art Deco double clip silver and marcasite brooch. Estimate: 10,000-15,000. Christie's/Property from the Collection of Mrs Thatcher