Prince of Wales auctions off the Queens personal possessions.


We would be astounded if today this were to be the headlines in media around the world.

On Friday May 7th 1819 at the Auction houses of Christies London the personal possessions of Queen Charlotte the Queen of Great Britain & Ireland were sent to auction.

Our research with the invaluable help of the archive department of Christies London identified;


‘The Queen Charlotte sales took place in May and June 1819. The first one of ‘oriental curiosities and porcelain’ commenced on 7 May 1819, followed by a sale of ‘jewellery and [silver] plate’ on 17 May, with a third sale held on 24 May 1819 of ‘curiosities, porcelain, furniture and paintings’. There were 3 sales held over 10 days, with 1,276 lots, which fetched £39,915-7s-15 ½ d.’

End Quote

Sold on the first day of the auction to Lord Wemys {lot 117} the exquisite pieces in the Royal Collection have been in private hands for the last 200 years. These were commissioned for the Queen by King George III and were hand engraved into exceptional quality mother of pearl in Canton China in 1780 {according to information gained from the Royal Collection Trust}

How such intricate detail could have been achieved with only rudimentary hand tools available to these incredible artists defies understanding. One master jeweler commented to me “We couldn’t even achieve such craftsmanship today!”

The Queens pieces in the Ching Dynasty Collection are most likely the largest collection of these incredible works of art outside of those now reacquired by the Royal Family and on display in the Royal Collection Trusts exhibition at St James Palace London.

Each time I hold one of these pieces I find myself overcome with wonder. The knowledge that the Queen held the same piece in her hands over 230 years ago in her candlelit private chambers at the Queen’s House leaves me speechless.

Recorded in the Royal Collection {diaries, essays, and notes of Queen Charlotte} ‘Dinner appears to have taken place around 4pm with the Queen staying downstairs often with the King until around 6pm before returning upstairs and often practicing the harpsichord. Evening activities began around 8pm and typically include the playing of music, drinking tea, playing card games before supper and retiring to bed. Queen Charlotte typically records who is present in the evenings and who plays with whom at cards.’

Why did the Prince Regent – Prince of Wales to become George IV send her personal effects to auction?

Could it have been necessary after the Napoleonic Wars and the defeat of the French in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815? Or even the draining of funds resulting from the battles being fought by the British in the American War of Independence?

We will most likely never know the answer to this question.

Ching Dynasty Collection

We are the custodians of some of the Queens possessions available for you to look at and purchase here: