A woman who paid £100 for a locked trunk belonging to Agatha Christie has uncovered some of the author’s most personal possessions, worth £100,000.
Lucky Jennifer Grant bought the battered brown leather case at an auction held at Greenway House, Christie’s former home near Kingswear, Devon, and found another box inside.
The Agatha Christie’s fan, who is a keen follower of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, paid just £100 for the memento and kept it at her home in London as a ‘dinner party talking point’.
But when she asked her builder to force the two brass locks on the case, she was stunned to find a metal strong-box inside
Jennifer contacted the original auctioneers who had no knowledge of the strong-box or a key so Jennifer wrenched it open – and found a lost hoard of the Christie’s family jewels.
The box held more than 50 gold coins, a buckle-shaped brooch and what is thought to be Agatha’s mother’s diamond engagement ring.
In her autobiography, published in 1977 a year after her death, Christie described some jewellery of her mother’s that she and her sister Madge hoped to inherit.
She wrote of ‘my mother’s valuable jewellery’ and ‘my diamond buckle, my diamond crescent and my diamond engagement ring’.
Christie wrote: ‘They were all earmarked for the future on my mother’s demise. Madge was to have the diamond crescent, I was to have the diamond buckle.’
The larger trunk bought by Jennifer bears the initials ‘C.M.M.’ – the same as Christie’s mother, Clara Margaret Miller.