Thatcher handbag fetches £25,000
A handbag belonging to Margaret Thatcher fetched £25,000 when it went under the hammer, auctioned by Lord Archer.
The black glossy leather bag, owned by the former prime minister for more than 30 years, was famously pictured in a photograph taken as she walked alongside then US president Ronald Reagan during her visit to the United States in 1985.
The lot donated by Lady Thatcher was among a number of highly prized items sold by amateur auctioneer and author Lord Archer for charitable causes.
It was bought by an unnamed Cypriot who is understood to have been a student in Britain during Lady Thatcher's tenure as prime minister.
The unnamed Cypriot, a private buyer, is said to be a "great admirer" of the former Conservative leader.
As the auction at Christie's headquarters in central London concluded, Lord Archer said: "The handbag makes you automatically think of Margaret Thatcher. Someone has captured this and will have, frankly, a historic document for the rest of their lives."
Lady Thatcher's daughter Carol, who joined bidders in the packed sale room, said her mother was "longing to know" how much the bag raised for her "carefully chosen" charities.
"I hope that the highest bidder knows that if he's into handbagging, he's got a weapon with quite a track record. After all, my mother invented the verb 'to handbag'," she said.
Along with funds raised by lot 216, Lord Archer, a former Conservative party chairman, amassed £12,500 for Lawrence Dallaglio's match ball from England's victorious 2003 Rugby World Cup final.
Dallaglio joined applause as the ball - one of five used in the game against Australia - went under the hammer.
Lord Archer donated a treasure of his own - a stopwatch which timed Roger Bannister's sub-four-minute mile.