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132470 132470_1 132470_2 132470_3
(THATCHER, Margaret.)

Bespoke personal despatch box.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Asprey, after 1990

Stock Code: 132470

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Finely made despatch-box commissioned by Margaret Thatcher from her favourite luxury brand Asprey. Finished in an entirely fitting Conservative dark blue, and almost certainly made by the government box makers Barrow, Hepburn & Gale Ltd., the box was, according to her family, one of three that the ex-PM ordered, no doubt so that she could continue her rigorous practice, inculcated by decades of high office, of working from the boxes. It is well known that Thatcher regarded the papers in her ministerial boxes as of such intrinsic import that she was willing to work through the night if necessary, whatever the circumstances, in order fully to deal with their contents. At the sale of her estate at Christie's in 2015, one of Lady Thatcher's prime-ministerial despatch boxes sold for 242,500, against an unimaginative 3000-5000 estimate.
This box has seen some fairly amateurish repair with tape, out of keeping with the box's status as a luxury item and almost certainly undertaken by Thatcher herself, in an action indicative of her character: she could have easily commissioned another box or solicited professional restoration, yet instead opted for an economical personal repair, a solid example of the make-do-and-mend spirit which was drummed into her during her traditionalist childhood and the austere wartime years.
Provenance: by descent; purchased from the family.

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Dark blue straight-grain morocco-covered box with chamfered lid for Asprey - gilt stamp to lining - lid lettered in gilt "Margaret Thatcher, O.M. F.R.S" - Order of Merit, Fellow of the Royal Society, Thatcher was made OM by the Queen immediately after her resignation in 1990, providing a terminus post quem for the production of the box; numbered "1" in gilt on the lid and one end, lined with black leather-grained paper, rear-mounted handle with leather grip on brass fittings, working lock with key by Bramah.


Scuffed from use, lid with two patches of wear covered with tape (as found in Thatcher's estate); in good condition.


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