Portrait of Margaret Thatcher sells for £43,750 – more than 50 times its expected £800 price

Portrait of Margaret Thatcher sells for £43,750 - more than 50 times its expected £800 price 2
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Now that’s economic growth! Portrait of Margaret Thatcher sells for £43,750 – more than 50 times its expected £800 price

  • Painting was among items owned by late Conservative donor Stuart Wheeler 
  • Lived at Chilham Castle in Kent and other possessions were also sold 
  • Painting was sold with a photograph of Mr Wheeler and Baroness Thatcher 
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A portrait of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bought at a fundraising event for the Conservative Party 18 years ago has sold for a whopping £43,750.

The oil painting had been expected to fetch just £800 at an auction of the contents of Chilham Castle in Kent, which was owned by the late financier and Tory donor Staurt Wheeler.

But it ended up selling for more than 50 times that amount when it went under the hammer at auctioneers Dreweatts. 

It was sold with a photograph of Mr Wheeler and Baroness Thatcher in front of the portrait.

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The 23.5ins by 19.5ins painting of Britain’s first female Prime Minister was produced by Royal portrait artist Richard Stone.

A portrait of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bought at a fundraising event for the Conservative Party 18 years ago has sold for a whopping £43,750

A portrait of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher bought at a fundraising event for the Conservative Party 18 years ago has sold for a whopping £43,750

The painting was sold with a photograph of late financier and Tory donor Staurt Wheeler standing in front of it with Baroness Thatcher

The painting was sold with a photograph of late financier and Tory donor Staurt Wheeler standing in front of it with Baroness Thatcher

This was an earlier version of the work painted for the collection at 10 Downing Street and he painted six portraits of Thatcher in total.

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Mr Stone also painted portraits of the late Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother. 

Mr Wheeler died in July 2020, aged 85 and in his will he put his £15m home on the market with the profits going to charity.

His family sold the contents of the impressive country house this week.

Joe Robinson, head of house sales and private collections at Dreweatts, said: ‘Margaret Thatcher remains one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century with comparatively very few portraits of her completed and still with a large following.

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‘Richard Stone was a prolific portraitist known as being the youngest artist ever to gain a royal commission. It is likely that the BBC’s use of her late Majesty’s portrait, by Stone, for their coverage for the days following her death will not have been lost on the market.’

Mr Wheeler died in July 2020, aged 85 and in his will he put his £15m home on the market with the profits going to charity. His family sold the contents of the impressive country house this week

Mr Wheeler died in July 2020, aged 85 and in his will he put his £15m home on the market with the profits going to charity. His family sold the contents of the impressive country house this week

Will Richards, deputy chairman of Dreweatts, added: ‘We are very proud to have had two exceptional country house sales over the last two days.

‘Regarding Chilham Castle, we have worked very closely with the Wheeler family and are delighted with such a good result.’

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Baroness Thatcher served as Britain’s first woman Prime Minister from 1979 until 1990.

She was forced to resign by her own MPs after they became disgruntled with her decision to impose the hated Community Charge, which was dubbed the poll tax.

After leaving office, Baroness Thatcher made speeches and attended functions before health problems forced her to stop making significant public appearances.

She died aged 87 in 2013 following a stroke. 

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