Jennifer Grant is an Agatha Christie fan who got a battered canvas trunk that belonged to the author’s former home for only £100 ($168) at an auction in 2006. To her great surprise, she found a hidden locked strongbox in the trunk when she opened it. The contents of the locked box stayed a mystery until one day she asked a builder doing a repair job at her home to break the lock. What was locked in there for so many years? A diamond ring and a buckle brooch that belonged to Agatha Christie’s mother Clara Margaret Miller! In Christie’s own autobiography published a year after her death in 1977, the mystery author says:
“My mother’s valuable jewelry consisted of ‘my diamond buckle’, ‘my diamond crescent’ and ‘my diamond engagement ring’… Madge was to have the diamond crescent, I was to have the diamond buckle…”
And here they were, in the hands of a devoted fan, unnoticed by the auctioneers at 2006 sale. The box also contained 35 gold coins and 17 half-coins in a crocheted bag. The sentimental pieces, the diamond ring and the brooch will be auctioned on October 8th, with an estimated total value of £9,000-£13,000 ($15,000-$22,000).
Miss Grant says: “As an Agatha Christie fan, it’s wonderful to think that these items actually touched her life. I’ve enjoyed the jewelry greatly over the last four years but I don’t wear it as much as it deserves. I thought, ‘Why not let someone else enjoy them?'”
We certainly hope these wonderful little treasures will be cherished by another Christie fan for years to come.