Royal memorabilia sold at auctions in 2012
Highly sought-after among the collectors and investors alike, the unique, stately, majestic and most valuable Royal memorabilia, which rarely come up for grabs at the auction blocks, always manages to fetch handsome prices. Be it the most expensive jewels of royal families, or other personal items including, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s hats, or royal cars.The collectors vie for royal collectibles, which accounts for the phenomenal prices at the auctions. Earlier this year, a Mughal mirror diamond necklace from India’s royal jewel collections sold for a record $20 million, a pair of pearl earrings from Romanian King Carol II’s personal collection too fetched above than the estimated price, and a 1978 Queen Elizabeth’s Land Rover was auctioned for double its top estimate. Check-out the royal auctions held in 2012.
Mughal Mirror Diamond necklace
Price: $20 million
Bearing 5 Mughal dynasty pendant diamonds with gold topped emerald drops, the magnificent Mughal Mirror diamond necklace from India’s royal jewels collection fetched astounding $20 million at the Bonhams’ administered private sale. This necklace that creates history on several accounts, boasts 5 portrait diamonds which have been mined from the ancient Golconda region of the Deccan.
Small Royal snuff box
Sold for: $1.3 million
A magnificent gold-mounted Royal snuff box made for Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, boasting an intricately detailed depiction of a Dresdan landscape on the inside of the cover, painted after an engraving by Bernardo Bellotto, recently got sold for astounding $1.3 million. Notably, the price is a record for a porcelain snuff box at auction.
King Charles I Chess Board
Sold for: $970,600
Selling at over 20% above its pre-sale estimate of $483,690 – $806,210, for $970,600 at Sotheby’s European Sculpture and Works of Art, this remarkable amber chess board belonged to the King Charles I (1600-1649), who supposedly took to his execution. Setting a new auction record for an amber games board, this piece which is also a superb example of fine amber working is believed to have been given to the king by his father King James I or his elder brother Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. The board was sold complete with contemporary draughtsmen.
King Farouk’s 18th Century musical table clock
Sold for: $578,000
An intricately decorated musical clock once owned by the penultimate King of Egypt, King Farouk which was expected to fetch $240,000 – 400,000, has garnered a handsome price of $578,000 at Bonhams Fine Clocks Sale on Dec. 12th at New Bond Street. This rare and ornately decorated 18th century musical clock originally designed by renowned goldsmith and clock designer James Cox, which is still accompanied by original signed and dated key, has been with the same owner’s from the last 50 years.
Duchess of Windsor jewel auction
A total of 20 fabulous brooches, diamond studded panther, and golden evening bags that once belonged to Mrs Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor were auctioned by Sotheby’s on November 30th in London. Historically, after only reigning for 11 months, King Edward VIII gave up his throne on December 10th, 1936, out of his legendary love for Wallis Simpson, which was condemned by the Royal family because of Simpson’s divorcee status.
An onyx and diamond panther bracelet (1952) by Cartier sold for $7.25 million, while a ruby, sapphire, emerald, citrine and diamond flamingo brooch designed by Jeanne Toussaint for Cartier sold for $2.74 million with fees. Notably, the set of jewels fetched nearly $12.5 million at the auction.
Also, the Duchess of Windsor jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels were recently auctioned by Bonhams in Hongkong.
Vintage royal jewels of Romanian King Carol II
Sold for: $258,501
The pair of royal jewels of Romanian King Carol II has had an interesting story. The stunning earrings which were actually a gift from the exiled Romanian emperor King Carol II to his muse Elena Lupescu way back in 1930. And upon her death in the year 1977, Elena reportedly left this piece of jewel to a British friend, who was actually unaware of their true value, and thought it to be ugly. So, she put this gift in the back of a drawer where they literally languished for decades. The marble sized pearls, dangling from a cluster of diamonds, are white with blue and rose overtones fetched $258,501, against its pre-sale estimate of $193,810.
Princess Diana’s Armored Rolls Royce
Sold for: $122,322
The heavily armored 1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow that carried Princess Diana, the most charismatic fashion and philanthropic figure and Prince Charles to the White House to meet the U.S. President Ronald Reagan. This piece of American and British history which was thoroughly documented to be the Britain’s official embassy car, specifically retrofitted for the use of Royal Family and country’s other noted dignitaries recently got sold for $122,322 in an eBay charity auction hosted by the Volo Auto Museum.
Marie Antoinette’s slippers
A pair of green-and-pink slippers which belonged to the 18th Century French queen Marie Antoinette was auctioned for $65,570, to become one of the most expensive shoes. Notably, the pair was sold on the anniversary of the Marie Antoinette’s execution on October 16th 1793, and fetched this much price which was five times higher than the pre-sale estimate of $13,110 expected by Parisian auction house Druot.
A 1978 Land Rover owned by Queen Elizabeth II
An off-road vehicle originally inspired by the US-built Willys Jeep, the green Land Rover Series III which was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth back in 1978, and boasts a number of state-of-the-art modifications perfect for Royals was auctioned on November 24th for $47,470 over and above its top estimate of $28,640.
King William IV Double Mohurs gold coin
Sold for: $26,382
The King William IV’s Double Mohurs gold coin gained the record price of $26,382 at an auction in India, after it was bought by Mr. Arvind Kumar and his son Abhishek. Issued back in year 1835, through the royal mint in the Indian port city of Kolkata, these gold coins, weighing 23.32 gm, were issued as one of the first in their series and went into circulation with the following year.
Royal Sevres ice buckets of King Louis Philippe of France
Sold for: $15,000
At Bonhams’ Fine European Ceramics and Glass auction which was held in London on 12th December 2012, a pair of Sevres ice buckets that once belonged to France’s King Louis Philippe garnered $15,000. The ice buckets, which were actually the most valuable element of the king’s famed ‘Service pittoresque’ were gifted by the king to his daughter, Queen Louise of Belgium, back in 1832. Intended for use at the Tuileries Palace, the ice buckets were decorated by Jean-Baptist Gabriel Langlace, which impressively depicts scenes from the Palais Royal and Chateau de Neuilly.
Queen Victoria’s bloomers
A pair of Queen Victoria’s ample 38in linen bloomers was sold in an auction of royal memorabilia from London’s Old Battersea House which is the London home of the Forbes family, the American publishing dynasty, in Essex for over $14,517, to become one of the most expensive celebrity memorabilia.