June 13, 2006
First Day of Christie's Royal Jewels Sale Fetches $17 Million
The jewels of Princess Margaret, the late sister of England's Queen Elizabeth II, brought $17.3 million during the first day of a two-day sale at Christie's in London, outpacing the auction house's original estimate of $15 million total.
One particularly popular lot was the tiara the princess wore for her wedding, which sold for $1.7 million, after a pre-sale estimate of $360,000. The antique riviere diamond necklace worn by Queen Mary at her coronation sold for $1.6 million, while a Faberge clock made in 1900 brought $2.2 million. A cultured pearl, butterfly-shaped pin sold for 100 times its pre-sale estimate at $10,800.
Christie's spokesperson Rhainnon Bevan-John said that the auction was the most important royal auction Christie's had ever had, and will most likely see for a long time.
The items were being auctioned by the princess's children, who will use the proceeds to pay an estate tax and donate the rest to charity, according to the Associated Press.
The second day of the sale will focus on furniture and silver.