Following yesterday's sale of some particularly difficult-to-collect whisky, Bonhams' Scottish sale in Edinburgh today sold Christmas presents from Queen Victoria to her favourite personal servant, John Brown, for £23,400.
A silver mounted claret jug, engraved V.R. TO J.B/VICTORIA 1872, which had remained in Brown's family until acquired by the current owner in the 1960s, sold for £14,300. It had been for sale estimated at just £4,000-6,000.
A teapot engraved "FROM VICTORIA R/CHRISTMAS 1876" and monogrammed 'J.B.' which was expected to sell for £5,000-7,000 made £9000.
Two very personal tributes to Brown produced after his death in 1883 also sold for well over their estimates. A presentation memorial locket containing an enamelled photographic portrait of John Brown and a lock of his hair inscribed on the front DEAR JOHN/27 MARCH 1883 and on the reverse FROM V.R.I. made £13,200 (£4,000-6,000).
A memorial stickpin with an enamelled photographic portrait and the engraving 'Uncle John/27 March 1883/from/V.R.I. presented by the Queen to one of Brown's nephews fetched £4,560 (it was listed at £1,500-2,000).
A gold memorial stickpin of Brown designed for her Highland servants and cottagers to be worn on the anniversary of his death, made £2,880 against an estimate of £1,500-2,000.
Finally, a painted porcelain plaque of one of Queen Victoria's favourite dogs, Fern, presented to Brown by Her Majesty was sold for £10,560, easily doubling its estimate of £3,000-5,000.
Collectors interested in Royal memorabilia may wish to take a look at this portfolio, including a signed photograph of Victoria herself.
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