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Snatch up a piece of royal history as Christie's auctions off the personal possessions of the late Princess Margaret.

Take a peek inside the life of a princess as the personal possessions of the late Princess Margaret come up for auction.

Rarely, if ever, does the opportunity to acquire a possession personally owned by a senior member of British royalty present itself. Therefore, while months away, energy is feverishly mounting over the auction of a significant part of the estate of HRH the Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

Though the sale itself is immensely exciting from the point of view of provenance, the June auction at Christie's London also offers the chance to acquire some truly historic items of jewelry, furniture and Fabergé. Even more important, however, the sale takes an intimate look into the life of one of the most interesting royals of the 20th century—the unconventional, oft misunderstood, glamorous younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II— revealing a woman whose intimate tastes veered from the extravagant to the endearing.

With the origins of all of the important pieces tirelessly traced by Christies, many items also come with written documentation from the House of Windsor or from the late princess's own hand. The most striking and traditionally opulent offerings are from her enviable jewelry collection. From her personally commissioned pieces by Cartier to whimsical designs by British jewelers Andrew Grima and John Donald, the striking collection sparkles in diamonds and Magaret's much-loved rubies.

Topping the must-have list is the antique diamond rivière from the turn of the 20th century—a gift from her generous grandmother Queen Mary, accompanied by three handwritten notes; a marquise-cut diamond ring; and the Art Deco five-row pearl and diamond necklace that she wore in the famous portrait by Cecil Beaton for her 19th birthday. But the jewel in the crown—literally—is the historic Poltimore Tiara created by royal jeweler Garrards in the 1870s, and given to HRH who wore it at her wedding. Like so many big pieces of the period which were created for regular use, the old-cut diamond tiara can be taken apart to be worn as a necklace or brooches, which Margaret frequently did.

Jewellery, Fabergé, Furniture, Silver & Works of Art from the Private Collection, formerly at Kensington Palace, of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

Tuesday 13 June & Wednesday 14 June 2006
Christie's King Street

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