Margaret Thatcher's handbags, jewellery and clothes go under hammer

image copyrightChristie's/PA
image captionThe ring (right) Margaret Thatcher wore in 1979 is expected to fetch up to £1,800

A ring Margaret Thatcher wore the day she became the UK's first female Prime Minister in 1979 is among a haul of personal possessions that will be auctioned next month.

Christie's auction house is holding an online sale of personal items to mark the 40th anniversary of her election.

A bracelet worn while meeting Nelson Mandela, clothes and signature handbags will also be sold.

Christie's estimated the 170 lots could sell from between £100 to £15,000.

It is the third Christie's auction of the belongings of Mrs Thatcher, who was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and died of a stroke in 2013.

The 18-carat gold and amethyst ring that she was photographed wearing when she arrived at 10 Downing Street, on 4 May 1979, is expected to sell for between £1,200 and £1,800.

image copyrightPA
image captionMargaret Thatcher first came to power in 1979

Mrs Thatcher's radical and sometimes confrontational approach defined her 11-year period at No 10 and her rejection of consensus politics made her a divisive figure.

Other items in the sale include a diamond-set gilt Cartier pen in its box and an Asprey handbag, which has a lizard skin exterior.

image copyrightChristie's/PA
image captionThe sale includes one of Mrs Thatcher's signature handbags
image copyrightChristie's/PA
image captionPrevious sales in 2015 saw Mrs Thatcher's items sell for a total of £4.5 million

Adrian Hume-Sayer, of Christie's, said the auction offered collectors, admirers and enthusiasts "one last chance to bid for a memento of 'The Iron Lady'".

The sale is to open for bidding between 2 and 9 May.

Margaret Thatcher timeline

  • Born Margaret Roberts on 13 October 1925
  • First stood for Parliament in the 1950 election
  • Elected as Conservative MP for Finchley in 1959
  • Defeated Heath in Tory leadership contest in 1975
  • Became first female prime minister after Conservative election victory in 1979
  • Wins landslide election victory in 1983
  • Wins third general election victory in 1987
  • Resigns after facing leadership challenge in 1990
  • Stands down as MP in 1992 and awarded a peerage.

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