The Great Seal and signature of Good Queen Bess brings $22,500 in California

Clars' eclectic auction concluded over the weekend whilst much of America was watching the Superbowl. An impressive mix of fine art, documents and antiques went under the hammer.

The key lots included:

An ornamental Edward H. Bohlin ''The Ranchero'' sterling silver parade saddle, mounted with round floral decorated conchos, on the corners and around the perimeters, with sterling silver front binding, horn cap, swell caps and sterling silver Cheyenne binding.

From a Bay Area collector, the 1940s piece is effectively armour, and was described in the catalogue as being ''as fine an outfit as anyone would want and one of which anyone would be justly proud''. It sold as expected for $18,960.

More impressive for a collector of English history was a rare Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) signed 1563 framed indenture which is actually accompanied by the royal Great Seal, (the first great seal 1558-1586, prior to the seal engraved by Nicholas Hilliard).

Elizabeth I great seal
Elizabeth I signature with Great Seal
(Click to enlarge)

The indenture states the terms of a loan Elizabeth I is taking out through her financier Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579),  and is signed on the reverse by the Privy Council, including:

 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).

In 1563 Elizabeth I moved the Royal court to Windsor castle to avoid the bubonic plague. The exceptional piece sold for $22,515. Collectors looking to invest in historical Royal documents may wish to take a look at this selection, especially this extraordinary letter by Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII.


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