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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 06:08 GMT 07:08 UK
Royal auction raises over 13.5m
Hedgehog
A gilt hedgehog brooch valued at just 50 sold for 5,760.
Precious items owned by Princess Margaret have sold for more than 13.5 million at auction in London.

The jewellery, silverware, furniture and photographs generated intense interest from royal fans and collectors during the two-day sale at Christie's.

A Peitro Annigoni painting of Margaret, who died in 2002, sold for a world record 680,000 on Wednesday.

A Christie's spokeswoman said the buyer wished to remain anonymous but that the painting would remain in England.

The romantic portrait was the highest price paid at auction for a work by Annigoni.

It is thought either one or both of the Princess's children - Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto - joined bidders in trying to win the artwork.

During Wednesday's sale, artefacts like a Disney breakfast set, fine porcelain and wedding gifts went under the hammer, making just over 4m.

On Tuesday, Princess Margaret's jewellery was sold off, raising more than 9.5m. A Faberge clock was sold for double its estimate at 1.1m, while her wedding tiara went for 926,400.

The money raised at Christie's in London will be used to help pay off inheritance taxes on her estate.

Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, was married to Lord Snowdon until 1978. Some reports have said he was unhappy with the auction.

But, according to Christie's, differences among the family were resolved and all 800 items went up for auction.

The Faberge clock was given to Princess Margaret by her grandmother Queen Mary and had been expected to sell for between 600,000 and 800,000 instead of the 1.1m it raised.

This could be a world record for a hedgehog
Hugh Edmeades, chairman of Christie's

The Poltimore Tiara, which was originally created by Garrards in 1870, had been valued at between 200,000 and 300,000.

An art deco pearl and diamond necklace, worn by Princess Margaret when photographed by Cecil Beaton for her 19th and 21st birthday portraits, sold for 276,800.

The auction had been expected to raise 3m but almost all the items sold for many times their estimated value. Some of the proceeds will go to charity.

'Enduring appeal

Another surprise was a gilt hedgehog brooch valued at just 50 which sold for 5,760.

Auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, chairman of Christie's, said: "This could be a world record for a hedgehog."

A spokesman for the auction house said: "This goes to show the continuing and enduring appeal for the royal family."

Christopher Warwick, the Princess's biographer, said: "I think she would have been very surprised, she would have been amused.

"There is a view that this is sale of Princess Margaret's life and I know that a handful of her intimate friends have been unhappy about this."

The Princess's children have defended the sale, saying it was necessary to cover their mother's death duties.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See some of the jewellery up for auction at Christie's



SEE ALSO
Snowdon offered Margaret preview
04 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Royals say farewell to Margaret
17 Feb 02 |  UK News

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