Bonhams in London to sell writer’s hidden diamond-set treasures.
Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London, is set to auction off crime author Agatha Christie’s family jewels, with the collection of diamond pieces revealing a story of their very own.
The jewellery going under the hammer at Bonham on October 8 includes a diamond engagement ring and diamond buckle. The items were discovered in a trunk purchased for £100 in 2006 by a die-hard Agatha Christies fan, who attended a house contents sale at Christie’s family estate, Greenway, in Devon.
The travelling trunk belonged to Christie’s mother and, locked away inside, the new owner found a strongbox without a key. Many years passed and the box remained unopened, however some years later the owner of the trunk was having building work done and managed to prise open the stronbox with a crowbar.
Inside she discovered a purse of gold coins and a stash Christie family jewels worth £10,000, including a diamond brooch and a three-stone diamond ring.
The 19th century diamond brooch will be offered at the October 8 jewellery auction for £6,000 to £8,000 and the diamond three-stone ring is offered at auction with estimate of £3,000 to £5,000.
The jewels are mentioned in Christie’s biography as pieces that were earmarked for Agatha herself and her sister Madge to inherit from their mother’s collection. Christie wrote: “My mother’s valuable jewellery 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.”
Christie’s Greenway estate was inherited by her 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.