July 9, 2010
New Agatha Christie Mystery
Christie enthusiast Jennifer Grant bid on a canvas trunk during a 2006 sale at Greenway House. Auctioneers Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood presided over the auction in which Grant bid on the trunk. Unbeknownst to them, the trunk, marked with the initials CMM for Clara Margaret Miller who was Agatha Christie's mother, contained a locked stongbox without a key.
The strongbox was a talking point at dinner parties for the intervening years and Grant, obviously not as curious as one might think, finally opened the box in early 2010 and found treasure. In it she found a crocheted bag containing a hoard of gold sovereigns, a diamond ring and a buckle-shaped brooch.
Grant's research revealed that Christie's mother's jewelery did indeed consist of a "diamond buckle, diamond crescent, and diamond engagement ring."
Grant contacted the Antiques Road Show to help her with valuation and authentication John Benjamin from the BBC's Antiques Road Show valued the coins at ₤5,500, the ring between ₤2,500 and ₤3,000 and the brooch at ₤5,500 to ₤7,000. But he said the items could be worth much more if these treasures were proved to be the Christie diamonds. My little grey cells don't have strain too much to come to the conclusion that these are Christie family jewels.
Photos Jeff Gilbert at telegraph.co.uk.