In an extraordinary year for London, Christies
celebrated by presenting a one-off themed auction of items synonymous with the capital entitled The London Sale. The pre-sale exhibition welcomed visitors throughout the summer, concluding with the auction on 3 September, offering collectors the chance to acquire pieces of the citys iconic imagery and history from paintings, prints, photographs and posters, through to rock and roll, Royal, Olympic and political memorabilia. The auction realized a total of £1,442,813 / $2,286,859 / 1,817,944 against a pre-sale estimate of £929,400 - 1,315,500.
Nicolas Martineau, Director, Head of Sale and Auctioneer commented: There has been a real buzz in and around London this summer, and it has been a pleasure to join in the excitement by staging such a special auction celebrating the art and icons of the capital. Showcasing Londons rich history through the objects and works of art on offer, Christies The London Sale exhibition ran for six weeks, welcoming over 16,000 visitors including local residents and tourists from around the world. The packed saleroom and the results from the auction are testament to the popularity and fondness felt for the city of London by all who visit.
A selection of seven outfits worn by Baroness Margaret Thatcher during the 1970s whilst Education Minister were offered for sale from a Private Collection and realized a combined total of £73,125 / $115,903 / 92,138 (lots 147-153). Each outfit exceeded the individual estimates of £1,000-1,500, with all but one selling to an online bidder in South Korea. The highest individual price was achieved for a jade green wool suit comprising a dress and jacket by British designer Mansfield which was worn on a number of occasions by Thatcher, most notably on the day she was confirmed as Conservative Party leader in February 1975. It sold for £25,000 / $39,625 / 31,500 to an Anonymous bidder in the room.
An original Routemaster double-decker bus from 1966 exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000 and sold for £67,250 / $106,591 / 84,735 to an online bidder in South Korea, following a battle with two telephone bidders and another on the internet (lot 31)
The Olympic section of the sale was led by a first place Olympic medal from the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. Never awarded due to the cancellation of the boating events as a result of bad weather, the medal sold for £25,000 / $39,625 / 31,500 (lot 44). A British winners solid gold medal from the first London Olympics in 1908 fetched £17,500 / $27,737 / 22,050 (lot 46). An original London 1948 Olympic torch sold for £6,875 / $10,897 / 8,663 (lot 43).
A pair of 1950s fashion photographs by Norman Parkinson, featuring Uma Thurmans model mother, Nena Von Schlebrugge sold for £3,750 / 5,944 / $4,725 (lot 84)
A pair of Elizabeth II limed-oak coronation chairs offered by a descendant of Harold Sissons, Mayor of Umtata, South Africa, who attended the Coronation ceremony in 1953 exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £800-1,200 to sell for £7,500 / $11,888 / 9,450 (lot 110)
Now a popular slogan often adapted, a rare and original Keep Calm and Carry On wartime poster sold for £12,500 / $19,813 / 15,750 against a pre-sale estimate of £800-1,200 (lot 142)