BRITAIN’S former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s red prime ministerial dispatch box has sold at an auction in London for a whopping £242,500.
Embossed with the Royal cypher and the title “Prime Minister”, the dispatch box was delivered to Thatcher on a daily basis, containing cabinet, foreign and Commonwealth documents for her attention.
It vastly exceeded its estimate of £3,000-5,000, attracting a round of applause in the auction room when it was sold on Tuesday (December 15).
It was among 150 items belonging to the late Conservative party leader known as the “Iron Lady” being auctioned by Christie’s auction house with bids pouring in from as far away as the US, Australia and South Korea.
A blue velvet wedding dress she wore in 1951 sold for £25,000 and her handbags, speech notes, gifts from world leaders and a raincoat she famously wore to drive a tank in 1986 are also set to go under the hammer.
Thatcher, who died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87, was Britain’s only woman prime minister and held office from 1979 to 1990.
A signed typescript of her famous speech reciting the words of St Francis of Assisi, “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony,” was sold for £37,500. She gave that speech outside No 10, Downing Street shortly after becoming prime minister in 1979.
Baroness Thatcher’s collection of writings from Winston Churchill sold for £32,500 - 10 times its estimate.
An online auction of another 200 items belonging to Thatcher closes on Wednesday.