Handbags at lawn... Lady Thatcher's White House handbag sells for $39,900



"Someone has captured this and will have, frankly, a historic document for the rest of their lives" - Lord Jeffrey Archer


So said former British Conservative party Chairman Lord Jeffrey Archer following his sale of Margaret Thatcher's handbag for £25,000 ($39,892) at Christie's.

Thatcher owned the bag for more than 30 years, including during her time as British Prime Minister.

In fact, the bag became so synonymous with Thatcher that the late MP Nicholas Ridley is reported to have said prior to a discussion: "Why don't we start? The handbag is here." 

The bag can be spotted in photographs of Lady Thatcher alongside President Ronald Reagan, the political special relationship that defined the 1980s, during the former's visit to the United States in 1985.

Today, the black glossy leather Asprey handbag can be classed as an iconic piece of political history - as reflected in its final price.

According to reports, the collector who placed the winning bid is a Cypriot understood to have been a student in the UK during Lady Thatcher's time as Prime Minister.

Spot the handbag... Lady Thatcher and US President Reagan photographed in the 1980s

The sale offers yet another example of how Western collectibles are being bought up by wealthy so-called "Medici buyers". In this case, the winning bidder was reported to be a great admirer of the Iron Lady.

All of 18 the lots were sold by amateur auctioneer Lord Archer and raised a total £402,100 for various charities, said Christie's.

All in all, it was an unusual sale. Sold alongside the "Iron Lady's" handbag was a Fender Telecaster guitar donated by rock guitarist Eric Clapton. It brought £15,000.

Also among the varied offerings was an Andy Warhol sketch of the late Princess Diana, and a stopwatch used to time Roger Bannister's landmark four-minute mile run in 1954. The stopwatch was donated by Archer himself, and fetched £97,250.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Dallaglio's match ball from England's victorious 2003 Rugby World Cup final sold for £12,500.

In June 2007, Thatcher's Spitting Image puppet sold for £5,400. It was among the British satirical TV series' most popular characters.


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