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Bonhams to Auction a Recent Find of Agatha Christie's Jewels

Aug 11, 2014 12:14 PM   By Bonhams
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Press Release:  Hidden treasure from the home of the U.K.'s  much-loved author, Agatha Christie, comes to light at the Bonhams, Knightsbridge Jewellery auction on October 8.
Among the trees that line the banks of the sparkling Dart estuary, stands Greenway, the handsome Devon home of Christie. Even after the murder-mystery writer has long departed, her house continues to reveal secrets of its own:
When a die-hard Christie fan took part in the 2006 house contents sale of the Greenway estate, she paid $168 (GBP 100) for an old traveling trunk that had belonged to Christie’s mother. She had no idea that locked inside lay $17,000 (GBP 10,000) worth of the Christie family jewels.
Inside the traveling trunk was a locked strongbox but the key was long lost. Years passed and the box remained sealed. It wasn’t until four years later that the owner of the suitcase was having building work done and saw the opportunity to wrench open the box with a crowbar. To her delight, inside she discovered a purse of gold coins, a diamond brooch and a three-stone diamond ring.
The jewels are mentioned in Christie’s biography as pieces that were earmarked for Agatha and her sister Madge to inherit from their mother’s collection. Christie writes: “My mother’s valuable jewelry consisted of ‘my diamond buckle,’ ‘my diamond crescent,’ and ‘my diamond engagement ring’…Madge was to have the diamond crescent, I was to have the diamond buckle…my mother sorted amongst an array of odds and ends…all these required hours of sorting before they were packed in the trays in the various trunks.”

The 19th century diamond brooch is offered at $10,000 to $13,500 (GBP 6,000 to GBP 8,000) and the diamond three-stone ring is offered with estimate of $5,000 to $8,300 (GBP 3,000 to GBP 5,000).

The Greenway estate:
Agatha Christie described Greenway as, “the most beautiful place in the world” and it was there that she and her husband lived for the rest of their lives. The house then passed to Agatha’s daughter Rosalind who, in turn, lived there until her death in 2004. Greenway features in several of Christie’s novels with its secretive walled gardens, tennis court and boat house on the winding river that wraps itself around the property.


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Tags: Agatha Christie, bonhams, diamonds, Jewelry, jewels, london
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