A set of suits worn by Margaret Thatcher in her position as minister of education have sold at Christie's London Sale today (September 3).
The colourful outfits are the first items of the Iron Lady's clothing ever to appear at auction and have received strong media attention. Her personal items have a history of seeing excellent results in the UK, after one of her handbags sold for £103,000 ($163,865) in 2000.
As Paul Fraser Collectibles suggested, the estimates given in the present auction were conservative compared with auction precedents, at £1,000-1,500. Five of the suits sold 266.6% above estimate at £5,500 ($8,750), while two of her most important ensembles sold with outstanding success.
Perhaps the most important outfit in the sale was the one she wore on the day she was confirmed as leader of the Conservative party, and therefore, the first female leader of a major political party in the United Kingdom. The jade green wool outfit made by Mansfield in England, sold for an impressive £20,000 ($31,779), a 1,233.3% increase on estimate.
Following this was an unlabelled outfit, which was presumed to have also been made by Mansfield. Capturing the former prime minister's famously sharp dress sense in dark blue wool, it sold for £11,000 ($17,500), up 633.3%.
Meanwhile, a lithographic print of the iconic and hugely popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign, issued by the Ministry of Information in 1939 sold for £10,000 ($15,905) - a 733.3% increase on its £1,200 estimate.
Christie's auction also featured an iconic red London Routemaster bus, which more than doubled its estimate with a £67,250 ($106,800) valuation.