Queen Juliana's Precious Possessions Up For Auction
The estate of a queen goes up for auction next month. On March 14-17, Sotheby's Amsterdam will offer 1540 lots from the property from the Estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands with all proceeds going to charity. The total amount will be divided into two parts. One part will be donated to The Red Cross because of Queen Juliana's involvement in its work. The other section will be divided into four equal parts chosen by her heirs: The Princess Beatrix Fund chosen by Queen Beatrix, the Natuurcollege chosen by Princess Irene, the Red Cross chosen by Princess Margriet and the Princess Christina Concours was chosen by Princess Christina.
The works in this sale encompass the long and varied history of the Dutch Royal Family with many pieces coming from the Palace Soestdijk where Queen Juliana lived throughout her married life. Other pieces came from the attics of other royal palaces. Many drawings and prints were previously held in the Royal Archive for safe keeping. Only a small number of the pieces were acquired by Queen Juliana and her spouse Prince Bernhard, most were accumulated over the last 150 years from Kings Willem II and III, Queen Emma and Queen Wilhelmina. Many of the works still bear inventory marks and labels to show their origins in the seven Royal Palaces and Royal Residences throughout the Netherlands. All lots being auctioned off in this sale have a royal provenance. Thre are sets of mahogany chairs, fine antique silver, sculptures, table clocks and more.
Because there is such a wide variety of pieces up for auction there is also a wide swing in prices. Some have estimates as small as the 100 to 1,000 euro range. Other lots are far more expensive. The Doccia Ginori porcelain dinner service shown above dates to circa 1780-1810 and is originally from the Palace Noordeinde. The massive set is fit for royal entertaining with tureens, sauceboats, cruets, bowls, liners and 142 plates in four sizes. This lot is estimated at 40,000 to 60,000 euros. It is anticipated that the sale will fetch more then €1.5 million.
Queen Juliana died in 2004. She was the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands between 1948 and 1980, becoming Queen of the Netherlands with her mother's abdication in 1948 and succeeded by her daughter Beatrix after her own abdication in 1980. At her death at the age of 94, she was the longest-lived former ruling monarch in the world. Queen Beatrix recently turned 73, tying King Willem III's record as the oldest head of state of the Netherlands.