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Sir Bernard Ingham
"She 'handbagged' people she respected too"
 real 28k

Thursday, 13 July, 2000, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Thatcher's handbag worth 100,000
Baroness Thatcher
Baroness Thatcher: Gave the bag in aid of a "good cause"
Bidding has closed on internet bids for Baroness Thatcher's handbag, which earlier soared past the 100,000 mark for the second time in just over a week.

The former prime minister's Black Farragamo fashion accessory has been valued at 100,100 by a mystery buyer who made the bid on Wednesday.

The final bid for the handbag - which was on sale for around 300 in the 1980s - is being verified for authenticity and an announcement is expected on Thursday.

Baroness Thatcher with handbag
The handbag accompanied Baroness Thatcher everywhere

The proceeds of the auction - organised by the women's interest website - of a collection of handbags donated by celebrities are going to Breast Cancer Care.

A spokeswoman for confirmed: "The bidding closed with a figure of around six figures. We hope it's a UK bidder."

A note from Baroness Thatcher has been left inside the item for the highest bidder and reads: "This Ferragamo bag was used for many special occasions. I would only let it go for a good cause."

A US nightclub owner had offered to pay 101,000 for the Thatcher bag but he withdrew and the bag's potential value plummeted to 82,100.

Other celebrities who allowed their handbags to be auctioned include model and actress Jerry Hall, GMTV presenter Lorraine Kelly, Cheri Blair and tennis player Annabel Croft.

Hallmark of Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher's handbag became her trademark while in government - she was rarely seen without it and "have you been handbagged?" became a euphemism for "have you been sacked?".

Her former press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham said she would not mind being remembered as the politician with the handbag.

You can't really have a prime minister wielding a rolling pin, can you?

Sir Bernard Ingham

He said: "The handbag has become a symbol of political authority. I think Mrs Thatcher played up to this.

"You can't really have a prime minister wielding a rolling pin, can you?

"I think her handbag - which she carried with her all the time - became a symbol of modern government and authority by keeping all kinds of tactically useful documents and facts in it."

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