Eagle gift from Reagan fetches top price in Thatcher sale

Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:06am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - A gift from former U.S. President Ronald Reagan fetched top price in a sale of ex British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's personal possessions which raised more than 3 million pounds ($4.5 million) overall, auctioneer Christie's said.

Its London showroom sale on Tuesday attracted attention from 41 countries.

The auction, which featured 185 items, raised over 3.28 million pounds. A separate online sale with another 233 items, which began on Dec. 3 runs run until later on Wednesday.

Reagan's gift to Thatcher of an American bald eagle figure fetched the highest sum, 266,500 pounds, and was sold to an online buyer.

It had been valued at around 5,000 to 8,000 pounds.

Known as the "Iron Lady", Thatcher was Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century. Her red prime ministerial dispatch bag brought the second-highest price in the auction and was sold to a telephone bidder for 242,500 pounds.

A blue woolen suit she wore when she delivered the famous "no, no, no" speech in parliament against greater central control in Europe 25 years ago sold for 27,500 pounds.

Thatcher's jewelry also attracted a lot of attention in the auction, including an emerald and diamond necklace and a diamond flower brooch which she often wore on official outings.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Stephen Addison)

 
The Prime Ministerial Dispatch Box, part of the collection of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher during an auction preview at Christie's in London, Britain, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls