Victoria’s secret! Monarch’s royal wardrobe items expected to fetch more than £15,000 at auction

Queen Victoria’s antique bloomers, skirt, stockings, bodice and leather boots unearthed from a wardrobe after more than 100 years are expected to fetch more than £15,000 at auction.

The almost complete royal outfit, treasured for generations by the same family, belongs to electrical engineer Roderick Williams from Coltishall, near Norwich.

The 63-year-old has now decided to sell the collection when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers, Etwall, Derbyshire, next Tuesday.

Emma Carberry, who works for Hansons, pictured wearing the Monarch's bloomers

The almost complete royal outfit (left) that is coming up for auction next Tuesday, January 21. Emma Carberry, who works for Hansons Auctioneers, wearing the Monarch’s bloomers (right)

Roderick Williams (pictured), 63, holding up Queen Victoria's stockings. He unearthed the items, treasured for generations, from a wardrobe after more than 100 years

Roderick Williams (pictured), 63, holding up Queen Victoria’s stockings. He unearthed the items, treasured for generations, from a wardrobe after more than 100 years  

In 2008 Hansons sold a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers for £4,500, a chemise for £3,800 and a nightdress for £5,200.

They sparked an international bidding war with offers coming in from Brazil, Russia, Hong Kong and New York, such is the fascination with the British monarch who reigned for 63 years.

Mr Williams said: ‘Queen Victoria’s clothing and boots are family heirlooms which were originally given to my great-great grandfather, Alexander Lamont Henderson.

‘He worked as a royal photographer for Queen Victoria up to her death in 1901 and we think the clothes were probably given to him by servants in the royal household, perhaps in return for taking photographs of them.’

The items include cream and red stockings, a chemise, black skirt, bodice, bloomers and two pairs of handmade leather ankle boots by J Sparks-Hall of London – a shoemaker credited with the design of the Chelsea boot. 

They have guide prices ranging from £800 for the red stockings to £1,500-£2,000 for the pair of boots.

Queen Victoria on enamel, hand coloured by Alexander Lamont Henderson

Alexander Lamont Henderson, Mr William's great-great grandfather, pictured in 1901

Alexander Lamont Henderson (right), the great-great grandfather of Mr Williams, pictured in 1901. He hand coloured enamel pictures (left) and took photos of Queen Victoria 

Mr Williams added: ‘We think Alexander caught Queen Victoria’s attention thanks to his experimental colour work with glass plate lantern slides and enamels.

‘She commissioned several coloured enamel pictures. These included portraits of her husband Prince Albert and her Scottish attendant John Brown plus views of the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore. It’s also thought some tiny miniatures were donated for display in Queen Mary’s dolls house at Windsor.

‘In 1884 Alexander received a Royal Warrant and moved to London. The warrant allowed him to capture everyday royal life and he was also responsible for processing royal portraits on to enamel for use in jewellery.

‘He took photos of Queen Victoria and also worked with glass plate negatives taken by other photographers but, sadly, much of his work has been lost or destroyed.

‘When my great-great grandfather died in 1907, the clothing was passed down through the generations. It’s been kept in a wardrobe. I’m selling it now as I need to make some space. 

‘However, I’m not parting with Alexander’s glass plate negatives and enamel pictures which are of a very high quality. He was an extremely talented photographer.’

Notty Hornblower, a UK expert on vintage clothing, holding the antique leather boots

Golden butterflies can be seen on the toe of the boots, with 'Regent Street' written on the inside

Notty Hornblower, a textile consultant and UK expert on vintage clothing, holding the antique leather boots (left) and a close-up of the shoes (right), showing butterflies on the front 

Ms Carberry next to the royal skirt and bodice, holding up the leather boots. The royal items are expected to fetch more than £15,000 at auction in Etwall, Derbyshire

Ms Carberry next to the royal skirt and bodice, holding up the leather boots. The royal items are expected to fetch more than £15,000 at auction in Etwall, Derbyshire

The glass plate image of Queen Victoria's apartment in Greece. Mr Williams said he will 'not part' with the 'high quality' glass plate negatives and enamel pictures

The glass plate image of Queen Victoria’s apartment in Greece. Mr Williams said he will ‘not part’ with the ‘high quality’ glass plate negatives and enamel pictures 

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: ‘As an auctioneer it’s always wonderful to handle living history. In a turbulent world, we can look back at one of our greatest monarchs. Victoria was Queen from 1837 to 1901 and had a deep impact on her country.

‘Famously, after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861, she wore black for the rest of her life and the bodice and skirt we’re selling are black.

‘Her leather ankle boots show how dainty and narrow her feet were. They are around a size four and the design paved the way to the Chelsea boot.

‘Though she was only 4ft 11ins and petite when she became Queen at 18, she liked her food and her waist expanded to 50 inches over the decades – a fact demonstrated by the ample size of the bloomers.

‘Throughout her life she was a leader in every sense and swift to pick up on new ideas, so we shouldn’t be surprised that she spotted the talents of a ground-breaking photographer.’

The makers, J Sparks-Hall of London, claimed Queen Victoria wore their boots daily. 

Edinburgh-born Alexander Lamont Henderson, who lived from 1837-1907, created a stir thanks to his experimental photography, enamel and colour work. 

His aim was to produce a photographic equivalent to the hand-painted miniatures commonly used in jewellery.

His skills led to him being awarded medals for his photographic work, which is still winning plaudits today. In 2019, ground-breaking images he took in Greece in 1904 were exhibited in Athens. Instead of the usual shots of ancient monuments, he recorded everyday life.

After his death, his photographic work was donated to the London Guildhall Museum, which unfortunately was destroyed during the Second World War.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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