Here’s a vintage number you won’t find at your corner consignment store anytime soon: Margaret Thatcher’s handbag. The boxy Asprey carryall, a symbol of the former British prime minister’s legendary mettle, sold for £25,000 ($39,800) at a Christie’s auction in London on Monday night. (Fittingly, Combat Stress is one of the charities that will benefit.) The tote, which now belongs to an unnamed Cypriot “fan” of the Iron Lady, accompanied Thatcher for more than 30 years, including on a 1985 trip to America. Pound for pound, her bag falls short of another iconic British purse, however. Jane Birkin’s Hermès Birkin fetched £100,100 ($162,840) on eBay in April.
Update: April 18, 2013
British Vogue reports that sales of Thatcher’s signature handbag styles—the “Bellini” and “Adagio” by Launer London—have surged 53 percent since her death two weeks ago. The biggest sales spike happened on Wednesday, the day of her funeral.