Royal Auction: Belongings of the Queen’s Aunt Princess Mary and Uncle Prince Henry Up for Auction

Royal fans will be given the opportunity to own a piece of regal history later this week when items belonging to the Queen’s aunt and uncle go up for auction.

The 317-strong collection is made up of furniture, personal trinkets and works of art once in the possession of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and his sister Princess Mary – with some lots expected to reach up to £100,000.

Prince Henry was the third son of King George V and Queen Mary and the younger brother of the Duke of Windsor, who famously abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, and King George IV – father of Queen Elizabeth II.

Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood was their only daughter and married Viscount Lascelles, the Earl of Harewood.

Both Henry and Mary were the paternal uncle and aunt of the Queen, and as such carried out royal duties on her behalf throughout their lifetimes.

Now a number of their personal effects are going up for auction at Christie’s in London on December 13, with items expected to reach from £300 to £100,000.

The lot features 237 pieces from the Duke of Gloucteser’s collection, and 80 from the Earl of Harewood estate.

Harewood House in Yorkshire, built by Edwin Lascelles, is the seat of the Lascelles family and one of Britain’s most opulent stately homes.

It includes a set of 19 dining chairs, expected to reach between £60,000 and £100,000, and a bejewelled George V coronation snuff, with an estimated sale value of between £30,000 and £50,000.

The snuff box, made by the Royal Jeweller Garrard and Company, commemorates the coronation of Prince Henry’s father King George V in 1911 and was possibly a gift from his parents.

There’s also a set of six royal standards belonging to Princess Mary, a Hanoverian wooden carving of a coat of arms – believed to have been created for King George III and possibly later acquired by Queen Mary and given to her only daughter, Princess Mary – and a taxidermy cassowary from southern Australia dating back to the late 19th century (worth up to £10,000) from the Harewood collection.


The carving, expected to reach up to £5,000, is attributed to Thomas and George Seddon, who had held the royal warrant as Cabinet Makers and Upholsterers since 1832.

The Harewood lot was enriched in 1916 when Hubert de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde, left Viscount Lascelles – his great-nephew – his fortune and own collection.

Hubert de Burgh-Canning was the grandson of George Canning, a Tory politician who twice served as British Foreign Secretary and briefly as British Prime Minister for the final four months of his life in the early 19th century.

A portrait of Mr Canning by Thomas Lawrence, expected to reach up to £40,000, and a group of five Prime Minister’s dispatch boxes used by the politician, valued at up to £3,000, are within the collection.

The snuff box, made by the Royal Jeweller Garrard and Company, commemorates the coronation of Prince Henry’s father King George V in 1911 and was possibly a gift from his parents.

The lot is also comprised of the Duke of Gloucester’s cartridge case, with a hinged lid embossed with his monogram, expected to reach up to £2,500, and a pair of George III mahogany armchairs from a set of eight given as a wedding present from the City of Glasgow to Prince Henry and his bride, Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, in 1935.

The floral needlework on the embroidered seats was done by The Duchess of Gloucester herself, with one signed and dated ‘Alice 1937’. They’re expected to sell for between £5,000 and 8,000.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester had two children – Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Richard – and a dolls house belonging to the latter’s daughters, Lady Davinia and Lady Rose, is among the lot, with an estimated value of between £400 and £600.

A painting – John Wotton, Portrait of a Gentleman – is tipped to be one of the more expensive items, expected to reach up to £30,000.


Written by How Africa

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