'Golden Age' of England comes to auction with $60,000 Elizabethan document
Amongst the lots of the next Clars sale is a rare document signed by Elizabeth I herself...
The Clars Auction Gallery December sale will give collectors the chance to acquire a small piece of history from England's "Golden Age".
The auction on December 5 will include an incredibly rare document signed by Queen Elizabeth I, also featuring the signatures of significant members of her court and her first Great Royal Seal.
The important document, dated 1563, is an indenture relating to the terms of a loan Elizabeth I took out through her financier Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579).
Along with her signature it is signed on the reverse by several prominent men of the time: the Privy Council Robert Dudley (1532-1588), Lord keeper of the Great Seal Sir William Cecil (1520-1598), Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510-1579), William Howard of Effingham (1510-1573), and Sir Francis Knollys (1514-1596).
The date of 1563 is significant as it was the same year Queen Elizabeth I moved her court to Windsor Castle, in order to avoid the Bubonic Plague. The 'Black Death' broke out in London in 1563, and Elizabeth erected gallows at Windsor, ordering anyone coming from London was to be hanged.
Any surviving documents bearing Elizabeth's signature are rare, and those bearing her first Great Seal are rarer still as a new seal was created in 1586 by the engraver and celebrated miniatures painter Nicholas Hilliard.
A document from Elizabeth to Sir John Spencer discussing the first public lottery dated 1566 was recently sold for $117,000, so the indenture's estimated value of $40,000 - $60,000 could be an excellent opportunity for collectors and investors alike. And as with all documents of such historical significance, it's certain to appreciate in value as time goes by.
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Images: Clars Auction Gallery