Blooming marvellous! Queen Victoria’s antique bodice, boots and drawers sell for £16,000 in auction – more than a century after they were gifted to a royal photographer
- A skirt, bodice and bloomers owned by Queen Victoria have fetched more than £16,000 at auction
- The clothing was passed down after being presented to royal warrant-holder Alexander Lamont Henderson
- This week the outfit was sold by his great-great grandson Roderick Williams at aucition house Hansons
A skirt, bodice and bloomers owned by Queen Victoria have fetched more than £16,000 at auction – over a century after they were handed to a royal photographer.
The clothing, including a pair of boots thought to have belonged to the monarch, was passed down the generations after being presented to royal warrant-holder Alexander Lamont Henderson, and was sold by his great-great grandson Roderick Williams.
Derbyshire-based auction house Hansons sold off the ‘almost complete’ outfit on Tuesday with the boots and a black taffeta skirt smashing their guide prices to go for £4,000 each.
Another pair of boots sold for £2,000, two Victorian bodices worn by the monarch went for £4,000 and a pair of silk and wool cream stockings sold for £1,400.
A pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers fetched £650, while a cream silk parasol completed the set by selling for £520 – bringing the total sale up to £16,570 – over than £1,000 more than expected.
Of the items, two pairs of leather boots by J Sparks-Hall of London, a black taffeta skirt and two bodices were secured for a total of £14,000 by Historic Royal Palaces, to go at display at their exhibitions.
A skirt, bodice and bloomers owned by Queen Victoria have fetched more than £16,000 at Derbyshire-based auction house Hansons today – more than a century after they were handed to a royal photographer
Claudia Williams, Collections Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said: ‘These acquisitions are an incredibly exciting addition to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, an internationally significant collection of over 10,000 items of royal and court dress cared for by Historic Royal Palaces.
‘As the definitive collection of clothing relating to Queen Victoria’s long widowhood, these objects will make an important contribution to our understanding of both the public image and private life of one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable monarchs.
‘As well as being included in future displays, these items reveal that, contrary to popular belief, Queen Victoria did not abandon all interest in her appearance after the death of her beloved Prince Albert, and highlight how – in an era of black and white photography – she exploited clothing’s capacity to communicate, using it as a potent visual symbol of her undying love for her husband.’
The whole set sold for a similar price to a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers, a chemise, and a nightdress sold by Hansons a decade ago.
A pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers fetched £650, seen, bringing the total sale up to £16,570 – over than £1,000 more than expected
Charles Hanson, owner of the auctioneers, said: ‘As an auctioneer it’s always wonderful to handle living history. In a turbulent world, we can look back at one of our greatest monarchs.
‘Victoria was queen from 1837 to 1901 and had a deep impact on her country. Her leather ankle boots show how dainty and narrow her feet were.
‘They are around a size four and the design paved the way to the Chelsea boot. The makers, J Sparks-Hall of London, claimed she wore their boots daily.’
Speaking about the items before they went on sale, Mr Williams, an electrical engineer from Coltishall, near Norwich, said: ‘Queen Victoria’s clothing and boots are family heirlooms which were originally given to my great-great grandfather, Alexander Lamont Henderson.
The clothing, including a pair of boots thought to have belonged to the monarch, was passed down the generations after being presented to royal warrant-holder Alexander Lamont Henderson. Victoria, seen, was queen from 1837 to 1901
‘He worked as a royal photographer for Queen Victoria up to her death in 1901 and we think the clothes were probably given to him by servants in the royal household, perhaps in return for taking photographs of them.’
Mr Williams, 63, added: ‘We think Alexander caught Queen Victoria’s attention thanks to his experimental colour work with glass plate lantern slides and enamels.
‘She commissioned several coloured enamel pictures. These included portraits of her husband Prince Albert and her Scottish attendant John Brown plus views of the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore.
‘When my great-great grandfather died in 1907, the clothing was passed down through the generations. It’s been kept in a wardrobe. I’m selling it now as I need to make some space.
‘However, I’m not parting with Alexander’s glass plate negatives and enamel pictures which are of a very high quality. He was an extremely talented photographer.’
Alexander Lamont Henderson’s great-great grandson Roderick Williams (seen) decided to sell the clothing after clearing out his wardrobe
The boots (pictured) and a black taffeta skirt smashed their guide prices to go for £4,000 each. The shoes are around a size four and very narrow
Source: Read Full Article