Items from Dutch Queen's estate go under the hammer

11th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A porcelain dinner service thought to be worth up to 60,000 euros ($83,000) is among some 10,000 objects from the estate of the late Dutch Queen Juliana to go under the hammer for charity on Monday, the Sotheby's auction house said.

"It is the first time that so many items from the House of Orange (as the Dutch royal house is known) go under the hammer," Sotheby's spokeswoman Eva van Geldorp told AFP.

To be sold in 1,540 lots, that include a golden vanity case with an engraving of the letter "J" for the queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980, the proceeds of the auction will go to charities including the Red Cross.

The sale is expected to raise about 1.5 million euros.

Lot 86, a dinner service of 266 pieces in white porcelain adorned with Italian landscapes in pink, has the highest estimated price of between 40,000 and 60,000 euros.

"Most of the lots are estimated to be worth between 100 and 1,000 euros", the cheapest being 25 euros, said Van Geldorp. "This mean that anyone can acquire an object that previously belonged to the House of Orange."

The charities were chosen by the heirs of Juliana who died at the age of 94 in 2004: reigning Queen Beatrix and her three sisters, the princesses Irene, Margriet and Christina.

"Juliana always wanted to be a normal person," said historian Han van Bree. "She never wanted to be called "Your Majesty", but "Madam"," he said, adding that Juliana frequently travelled by bicycle.

"People always said that if she hadn't become queen, she would have worked in welfare."

© 2011 AFP

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