Royal jewels fetch regal price at auction

Christie’s said the collection of jewels and other items owned by the Princess Margaret had fetched $17.3 million Tuesday, during the first day of the two-day sale. In some cases bidders paid 100 times more than the estimate, The Associated Press reports. The auction house had originally estimated that the sell-off, which continues Wednesday, would bring in about $15 million.

Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was known for her glamour and sense of style. She died of a stroke at the age of 71 in February, 2002.

A cultured pearl pin in the shape of a butterfly sold for $10,800, 100 times the presale estimate. A watch made by Mathey-Tissot, estimated to sell from $90 to $180, went for $8,640.

A total of 192 pieces of jewelry up for sale Tuesday. On Wednesday, auctioneers will offer 600 items of furniture, china, monogrammed silver boxes, and decorative items, the AP reports.

The items are being sold by Margaret’s children, Viscount David Linley, 44, and Lady Sarah Chatto, 42.

The tiara Margaret wore at her 1960 wedding to Lord Snowdon, originally designed in 1870 for Lady Poltimare, fetched $1.7 million, far more than its $360,000, presale estimate, but short of the $1.8 million mark some had predicted, the AP reports.

An antique riviere diamond necklace that Queen Mary wore at her 1937 coronation sold for $1.6 million, exceeding its $540,000 estimate.

A Faberge clock made in 1900 and given to Margaret by her grandmother, Queen Mary, fetched $2.2.

A five-string pearl necklace went for $498,600, and a three-ruby ring Margaret designed with jewels given to her by her mother, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, sold for $528,560. Christie’s had estimated that each would fetch about $36,000.

The princess’ family plans to use the proceeds to pay estate tax estimated at $5.5 million, and to donate the rest of the proceeds to charity, including the Stroke Association, the AP reports.

Before the sale, the items were featured on a world tour, visiting Hong Kong, Moscow, Geneva, Switzerland, and New York.