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Royal Box of Bonnets Up for Auction

on March 23, 2010 – 2:00 am

A mahogany bonnet box believed to have belonged to Queen Victoria’s children was discovered at a home in Staffordshire England and is expected to create worldwide interest when it is auctioned this week at Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers. The auction is scheduled to take place at The Mackworth Hotel, Ashbourne Road, near Derby Thurs 25th & Fri 26th March starting at 10am on both days.  The Antique and Country House two day auction shall include approximately 1300 lots.

The mahogany bonnet box (c1850) is lined in silk with two ribbon corner bows. It contains two lawn bonnets with drawn thread and lace decoration. The lot includes two old exhibition notes and a copy of a letter of provenance stating, “The Victorian relics were the property of Miss Lydia Greatorex who was in Queen Victoria’s service until 1857 when she married Mr G A Waltzis, who was also in the Royal Household. Miss Greatorex was employed in the Royal Nurseries and was afterwards a personal attendant upon Her Majesty.”

Other Royal highlights of the auction include a pair of Queen Victoria’s black and ivory silk stockings with the royal crest and initials VR. The stockings are numbered and feature embroidered clocks at the ankles. Additionally there will be one of Queen Victoria’s nightdresses of French linen embellished with Belgian lace. The nightdress also features an embroidered crest and the initials VR.

At Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, there was a distribution of her huge wardrobe, including her underwear, to members of the Royal Household. These personal garments are now dispersed in both private and public collections and always create worldwide interest from museums and collectors when brought to auction. In 2008, Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers auctioned a rare pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers which sold for £5,000 and a pair of Queen Victoria’s stockings which sold for £8,000.

Related Article: “Queen’s Unmentionables Up for Sale”