Thatcher’s handbag for sale

By Hannah Brenton

Margaret Thatcher’s black Asprey handbag is expected to be auctioned off for £100,000 in June.

The Iron Lady famously wielded the accessory both as a practical place to store state papers and as a symbol of her authority.

Reportedly used at Cabinet meetings to silence dissent, the former prime minister would produce the bag as a sign she meant business.

The term “handbagging” entered the Oxford English Dictionary as a result of her tenure at the nation’s helm, in reference to the abrupt way she quashed any disagreements.

The leather bag up for auction has particular significance as it was attached to Ms Thatcher’s arm during Cold War negotiations with US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The bag will be up for grabs at a charity sale of celebrity artefacts at Christie’s on June 27th, organised by former Tory party chair Jeffrey Archer.

Another bag owned by the former prime minister – a black Salvatore Ferragamo purse – fetched £82,110 for charity in 2000.

Organisers will be hoping the Asprey attracts comparable interest and international bidders given its historical significance.