Margaret Thatcher auction items raise more than £4.5m
An auction selling items belonging to Margaret Thatcher has smashed expectations raising more than £4.5m.
The total raised at a six-hour live sale at Christie's auctioneers on Tuesday was boosted by an online auction which ended on Wednesday.
The top selling lot was a model of an American bald eagle awarded to the late PM by Ronald Reagan for £266,500.
Baroness Thatcher died on 8 April 2013 at the age of 87 having held office from 1979 to 1990.
Her collection attracted buyers from more than 40 countries with auction bids "far exceeding pre-sale expectations", Christie's said.
A red Morocco dispatch box embossed with the cipher of HM Queen Elizabeth II, the words "Prime Minister" and numbered I, was sold for £242,500 while the top lot in the online sale was a pearl necklace - Baroness Thatcher's signature item of jewellery - which sold for £62,500 after a maximum estimated price of £800.
A Raflo handbag that she used on her last visit to 10 Downing Street was bought for £47,500 while a signed typescript of her famous speech reciting the words of St Francis of Assisi, "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony," sold for £37,500.
The sale took place 25 years after Baroness Thatcher left office and in the year when she would have celebrated her 90th birthday.
As well as many of her clothes, a collection of writings from Winston Churchill also proved popular with bidders - smashing their estimates - as did personal letters from President Reagan, including one to congratulate her on 11 years in power, and one wishing a belated happy birthday to her husband.
Head of sale, Adrian Hume-Sayer, said: "The market's response to these historic sales, both the online-only sale and the traditional auction, was remarkable, with the overall result for the Mrs Thatcher collection far exceeding pre-sale expectations.
"Clients from all over the world seized this once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire items which gave insights into both the public and private life of Britain's first female prime minister, who was a political giant on the world stage."