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Queen Juliana Estate Auction Raises over €5 Million

Sotheby’s Sale of Property from The Estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands Raises More Than €5 Million For Charity

Sotheby’s four-day sale of Property from the Estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands concluded today, raising more than €5 million for charity, well in excess of the pre-sale estimate of €1.5 million*.

Patrick van Maris, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Europe and the Middle East, said: “After four days and over thirty-four hours of auctioneering, all 10,000 items offered in 1,535 lots have found a new home, resulting in a “white-glove” sale. The illustrious provenance of each and every object attracted competitive bidding from fervent admirers of Queen Juliana, not only in the Netherlands, but also from around the world.”

Commenting on the results, Mark Grol, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Amsterdam, and one of the auctioneers, said: “It was an honour to sell all the objects from the property of the estate of Queen Juliana. Many members of the Royal Household have been closely involved in the preparations for this auction and Sotheby’s is grateful for their advice and assistance. This also led to the success of this sale.”

Proceeds achieved will be divided into two portions; the first part will be donated to The Red Cross, chosen by the four heirs because of the long term involvement of Queen Juliana in its work. The remaining portion will be divided into four equal parts; The Princess Beatrix Fund which is the choice of Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene chose The NatureCollege, Princess Margriet chose the Red Cross and the Princess Christina Concours was chosen by Princess Christina.

Jan-Ite de Ruijter, Director of The Princess Beatrix Fund, said “The results of the auction exceeded our wildest expectations! This will allow us to carry out further research into hereditary muscular diseases and bring closer the solution for people with this disease.”

Princess Irene of The Netherlands, Chairman of The NatureCollege, said, “With the proceeds from the auction, that which belonged to the past can now contribute to the future. With this I want to thank all who helped further our work as NatureCollege.”

Cees Breederveld, Secretary-General of the Netherlands Red Cross, said: “As Netherlands Red Cross, we are pleasantly surprised by the spectacular result of Sotheby’s auction. Part of the proceeds will go to the silent disasters in the world. Disasters that get little attention, but where the needs of the people are urgent, like for example the situation of the victims of the continuing clashes on the Ivory Coast. For the other part we will choose a good destination. We are very grateful to the Royal Family for this grand and personal gesture.”

Jochem van Eeghen, Director of The Princess Christina Concours, said, “We are most grateful to the Royal Family for their generosity towards us. On behalf of young musical talent in our country, we would like to express our joy! In challenging times, it is wonderful to know we can do something extra, something really substantial, to invest in young people. Not only will young talent benefit, but also all children who have never yet made music themselves. Plans are already in process, made possible with this great amount of money and they will be made public this autumn.”

More than 10,000 people visited the sale preview, held at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam. This interest continued into the auction, which was attended by a large audience at the RAI Theatre. A total of six auctioneers, led by Mark Grol, conducted the sale.

The top three lots of the entire sale:
• Lot 308, an Extensive Chinese Silver-Gilt Tea Service, Qing Dynasty, 18th/19th Century, sold to a buyer in the saleroom for €204,750 ($284,459) against an estimate of €30,000-50,000.
• Lot 87, a rare and extensive Doccia Ginori Porcelain Dinner Service, circa 1780-1810, with puce decoration of Italianate landscapes, sold for €168,750 ($233,172) against an estimate of €40,000- 60,000. Four bidders competed for five minutes, pushing the price up to four times over the low estimate.
• Lot 988, Bomschuiten in the Breakers by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, watercolour heightened with white on paper, sold for €82,350 ($114,409), over eight times the low estimate (€10,000-15,000).

The property in this remarkable and unique auction was only in part acquired by Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. The larger part had been accumulated over the last one hundred and fifty years, having been passed by inheritance to Queen Juliana from Kings Willem II and III, Queen Emma and Queen Wilhelmina. The inventory marks and labels on many of the pieces show that over the generations they were used in seven Royal Palaces and Royal Residences throughout the Netherlands.