zaterdag 18 oktober 2014

Poirot fan vindt schat in een koffer van Agatha Christie's moeder

Vorige week kwam ik onderstaand bericht tegen. Stel je voor!

Je bent fan van Poirot en koopt op een veiling in Greenway House (het huis waar Agatha Christie gewoond heeft) een oude reiskist die ooit toebehoorde aan de moeder van Agatha Christie. Je betaalt 100 Engelse ponden. Het veilinghuis komt de kist bij je thuis afleveren en dan zie je dat er een geldkist in zit. Op slot en de sleutel zit er niet bij. Dat was in 2006 en al die tijd ga je niet op zoek naar een manier om 'm open te maken, maar ga je liever fantaseren over wat er in zit. Het zou tenslotte eens een teleurstelling kunnen worden. 
Maar wanneer je in 2010 werklui over de vloer hebt die bezig zijn om je huis te renoveren, dan vraag je toch eens of ze met een koevoet het kistje open willen wrikken. 
En dan sla je steil achterover!
Je hebt als echte fan de biografie van Christie gelezen en je herkent de sieraden die in de geldkist zitten meteen aan de beschrijving uit de boeken. 

De fan is Jennifer Grant en koos er voor om de sieraden te laten veilen. Op 8 oktober van dit jaar zijn ze verkocht voor 49.275 Engelse pond. 

Ik weet niet wie de sieraden heeft gekocht (het zou gekocht kunnen zijn door de Christie Trust), maar het voelt wel een beetje als heiligschennis dat je als Christie fan er voor kiest om ze te laten veilen voor het geld en de sieraden niet terugbrengt naar de bron. Ik ben er dan meer een voorstander van ons de geschiedenis compleet te houden. Maar ja, de Christie Trust doet blijkbaar ook wel eens wat spullen van de hand, door de koffer te verkopen. 

Jennifer in ieder geval is dik tevreden met de opbrengst. Zij betaalt er haar badkamerverbouwing van en wil een boot kopen. Mmmm....wat een teleurstelling. 
Misschien had ze beter het mysterie kunnen laten bestaan en de geldkist dicht laten. 

bericht van

Agatha Christie delivers another mystery beyond the grave 

Jewels belonging to the murder mystery author Agatha Christie have been discovered in a battered trunk bought for £100.

jewellery found in the antiques box formerly owned by Agatha Christie's mother.: Agatha Christie delivers another mystery beyond the grave
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Jewellery found in the antiques box formerly owned by Agatha Christie's mother. Photo: JEFF GILBERT
It is a tale worthy of one of Agatha Christie's most intriguing mysteries. 
A seemingly innocuous trunk bought for £100 appears to have produced some of Christie's family jewels worth thousands of pounds, including her mother's engagement ring.
When Jennifer Grant, an Agatha Christie enthusiast, bought the battered canvas trunk at a sale of the contents of Greenway House, the author's former home in Devon, she had no idea of its hidden treasures.
The trunk, which bears the initials 'C.M.M.' – those of Christie's mother, Clara Margaret Miller – was sold by the auctioneers Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in September 2006, two years after the death of Rosalind Hicks, Christie's only daughter, who lived at Greenway until she died.
But when the trunk was delivered, Ms Grant discovered that it also contained a locked box.

"When I received it, I realised it contained a locked strongbox and the auctioneer had no knowledge of a key," she said. "It was a talking point at dinner parties for years but I never thought there might be anything in it."
Curiosity recently got the better of Ms Grant while she was having building work done in her house, and she asked a builder to prise open the box with a crowbar. She was amazed at what she discovered inside.
"There was a hoard of sovereigns – 35 gold sovereigns and 17 half-sovereigns – in a small crocheted bag, a diamond ring and a beautiful buckle-shaped brooch wrapped in crumpled tissue paper in a cardboard box," she said. 
In her autobiography published in 1977, a year after her death, Christie, the best-selling author of all time, described some of her mother's jewellery that she and her sister, Madge, admired and hoped to inherit. 
She wrote: "My mother's valuable jewellery consisted of 'my diamond buckle, my diamond crescent and my diamond engagement ring' ... 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."
It is not known whether Christie inherited the items and chose to store them in the trunk, or whether she kept the trunk without ever realising that the jewellery was inside.
"I was thrilled that I had something that touched Agatha Christie's life," said Ms Grant, who contacted Homes & Antiques magazine, which features the jewels in its April issue, published on March 3. 
The magazine arranged for a valuation of the jewels by John Benjamin, a jewellery specialist and contributor to the BBC's Antiques Roadshowprogramme. 
Mr Benjamin valued the coins at £5,500; the ring, which is set with three brilliant-cut diamonds, at £2,500 to £3,000; and the brooch at £5,500 to £7,000. 
However, he said the items could be worth much more if evidence emerged of the story behind them.
He said: "If we can prove these are indeed the Christie family diamonds, who knows what someone will be willing to pay?" 
Mathew (corr sp) Prichard, Christie's grandson, who runs the Agatha Christie estate, said that the new owner of the trunk "has been lucky - and good luck to them". 
He added: "I suppose if those particular jewels came on the market I would be interested in buying."
Laura Thompson, Christie's official biographer and the author of Agatha Christie: An English Mystery, described the discovery of the jewels as "absolutely thrilling".
She said: "I wrote much of my book at Greenway, and it was glorious chaos, with things being turned up all the time that the family didn't know about.
"The whole family were hoarders who kept everything and there was a huge amount of material at Greenway that simply never got sorted, so it is highly possible that these are indeed Agatha's mother's jewels. In fact, it seems a bit rich if they are not.
"It is a poignant discovery, as Agatha's mother was the most important person in her life." 
Andrew Thomas, a senior consultant at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, who oversaw the Greenway sale, said: "This is a surprise to me, and if it's true, I'm not pleased. 
"As an auctioneer representing a client, one always does one's best to extract the last bit of value out of everything you handle.
"I am perplexed, but if we have made a mistake, I will be my first to put my hand up, though I still find it almost unbelievable." 

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