Wednesday 7 December 2016

Queen Victoria's knickers on sale

Published 01/07/2015 | 10:16

Tora Edmonds holds a pair of Queen Victoria's cotton knickers with a 45 inch waistline
Tora Edmonds holds a pair of Queen Victoria's cotton knickers with a 45 inch waistline
Queen Victoria

A pair of Queen Victoria's cotton knickers with a 45 inch waistline could fetch thousands of pounds when they go under the hammer next week.

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The pants will be sold alongside nightdresses, stockings and hats worn by Queen Victoria and her third child, Princess Alice.

All items of clothing, from the Yesterday's World museum in Sussex, bear the stamp VR - short for Victoria Regina.

Auctioneer Richard Edmonds said the royal clothing is in "excellent" condition, having been preserved in tissue paper in a temperature controlled storeroom.

Mr Edmonds, the principal auctioneer at Chippenham Auction Rooms in Wiltshire, dated the pants by measuring the waistline - 45.5 inches.

"This is a particularly eclectic sale with a strong royal theme," he said.

"Victorian royal clothing comes up for sale occasionally but rarely in this excellent condition.

"Items of Queen Victoria's clothing were often given to members of the royal household, particularly after her death in 1901.

"There's a lot more interest from abroad in this type of royal clothing than from UK collectors.

"The market in America and Russia is very strong so we could see lots of buying online or over the phone, or possibly in person at the auction rooms.

"We've been able to date the pants by measuring the waistband.

"As there's such a good photographic record of Queen Victoria, it's possible to calculate her waist measurement over time, so we know roughly when she would have worn items of this size."

Other royal items included on the sale, on July 11, are a set of replicas of the Crown Jewels and royal memorabilia from the Victorian era to the death of Princess Diana.

Victorian silverware, antique furniture and the propeller from a 1935 Gypsy 3 biplane will also go under the hammer.

In 2014, a pair of Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at an auction house in Kent for £6,200.

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