In the spring Sothebys
Amsterdam will offer 1500 lots from the Estate of Queen Juliana on the instructions of the Executors on behalf of her four heirs, Her Majesty the Queen and Their Royal Highnesses Princess Irene, Princess Margriet and Princess Christina. The total sum realized by the 1500 lots to be sold will go to charity and the sale will be at Sothebys Amsterdam on the 14, 15, 16 and 17 March 2011.
The realized amount will be divided into two portions; the first part will be donated to The Red Cross, chosen by the four heirs because of the long term involvement of Queen Juliana in its work. The remaining portion will be divided into four equal parts; The Princess Beatrix Fund which is the choice of Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene chose The Natuurcollege, Princess Margriet chose the Red Cross and the Princess Christina Concours was chosen by Princess Christina.
While most of the items in the sale, which includes furniture, porcelain, glass, silver, paintings and some drawings, come from the Palace Soestdijk (illustrated left) where Queen Juliana lived for all of her married life, some of the furniture was in the stores or attics at other Royal Palaces, and many of the drawings and prints were held in the Royal Archive.
Following the death of Queen Juliana an exhaustive process of consultation followed. Official Gifts from the estate were transferred to the Foundation of Official Gifts of the House of Orange-Nassau and the Foundation of Royal Gifts of the House of Orange-Nassau. Objects associated with the history of the Royal Family were transferred to the House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust. Moreover, parts of the estate were transferred to The National Museum Paleis Het Loo and The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage. After this exhaustive process, which has taken over six years, it became clear that there was a considerable volume of furniture, paintings, porcelain and silver which was beyond any requirements. The heirs decided that this residual property should be sold for charity and will be included in the sale at Sothebys Amsterdam.
This auction will be a remarkable and certainly unique event. The property to be sold was only in part acquired by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, while the larger part had been accumulated over the last one hundred and fifty years, having been passed by inheritance to Queen Juliana from Kings Willem I, II & III, Queen Emma and Queen Wilhelmina. The inventory marks and labels on many of the pieces show that over the generations they were used in fourteen different palaces and Royal Residences throughout the Netherlands.
All the 1500 lots which will be included in the auction to be held at Sothebys Amsterdam in March 2011 have a Royal Provenance. Nonetheless, the sale is likely to appeal a very wide audience as a high proportion of the lots will have estimates of 100 to 1000. At the same time, there will be some higher priced lots with estimates of up to 50,000. It is anticipated that the sale will fetch more then 1.5 million.
Mark Grol, Managing Director of Sothebys Amsterdam, said: This sale is for everybody and is a unique opportunity to acquire a memento directly from the Estate of our beloved Queen Juliana and at the same time to support four charities. A perfect combination!
Sothebys will donate the profits from the sale of the catalogue to the same four Charities that have been chosen by the Heirs. The catalogue, which will be a permanent record of this memorable Royal event, is now being prepared and be available in February. It will be very detailed with all the 1500 lots illustrated in color. Also, wherever it is possible, links will be made between the individual lots, the Monarchs who owned them and the many Royal Palaces and residences where they were used over the generations.
The sale is scheduled for 14, 15, 16 and 17 March 2011 at Sothebys Amsterdam. The exhibition will run from 8 13 March, 10am to 5pm. The catalogue will be available from February 2011.