Margaret Thatcher auction marks 40th anniversary of election win

Margaret Thatcher wearing the amethyst ring outside 10 Downing Street in 1979 Image copyright PA
Image caption Margaret Thatcher wearing the amethyst ring outside 10 Downing Street in 1979

A ring worn by Margaret Thatcher on the day she became the UK's first female prime minister has sold for £27,500 at auction.

The 18-carat gold and amethyst ring was part of a sale of personal items to mark the 40th anniversary of her election.

The Christie's auction also included a bracelet Baroness Thatcher wore when she met Nelson Mandela in 1990.

The bracelet, which had an estimate of £2,500, sold for £40,000.

Other notable lots included a Henry Moore print, which Baroness Thatcher displayed in her private drawing room at Downing Street. It sold for £9,375.

Image copyright Gerry Penny/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A bracelet worn by Baroness Thatcher when she met Nelson Mandela on 4 July 1990 sold for £40,000
Image copyright Christie's/PA
Image caption The bracelet and ring sold for £40,000 and £27,500, respectively

A typed note, detailing the itinerary for her last day in office, sold for more than £10,000, while a navy blue lizard skin handbag with goldstone hardware sold for £5,000.

Baroness Thatcher, who was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, died on 8 April 2013 at the age of 87 having been in office from 1979 to 1990.

The auctions began in 2015 and have attracted bidders from all over the world, raising more than £4.5m.

Adrian Hume-Sayer, from Christie's, said the response had been remarkable.

He said the items offered an insight into the life of Britain's first female prime minister and gave collectors "one last chance to bid for a memento of 'The Iron Lady'".

Image copyright PA
Image caption One of Margaret Thatcher's trademark handbags sold for £5,000

Margaret Thatcher timeline

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Born Margaret Roberts on 13 October 1925
  • First stood for Parliament in the 1950 election
  • Elected as Conservative MP for Finchley in 1959
  • Defeated Edward Heath in Tory leadership contest in 1975
  • Became first female prime minister after Conservative election victory in 1979
  • Won landslide election victory in 1983
  • Won third general election victory in 1987
  • Resigned after facing leadership challenge in 1990
  • Stood down as MP in 1992 and awarded a peerage

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