Royal enthusiasts are sure to get their knickers in a twist as a massive pair of stained pants once worn by Queen Victoria go under the hammer!
Charles Ross Auctioneers, based at The Old Town Hall, Woburn, is putting the unusual item up for sale on Saturday, March 19.
Dating from around 1880 to 1890, and clocking in with an impressive 42inch (107cm) waist measurement, the garment was made exclusively for Her Majesty and bears the stitched ‘VR’ monogram to the top.
This mark also carries the number ‘35’, which the auctioneers understand was given to each item in the particular batch of underwear that this pair comes from.
The sale follows a Charles Ross external valuation day in Hitchin late last year where a woman brought them along for inspection.
The woman bought them herself at auction for £10 – at Christie’s in 1981 – as a novelty Christmas present for her late father, whom she felt had the necessary sense of humour to appreciate them as he opened his gifts after dinner that year!
The knickers will be on sale as lot 170, along with a child’s bonnet from a similar period and the original provenance of the Christie’s catalogue.
Peter Mason, auctioneer and valuer at Charles Ross, said: “We’ve dated them at about 1890. We’re expecting quite a lot of general interest as well as royal collectors.
“There’s a good chance they might go to an overseas bidder, possibly Australia as we get a lot of internet bidders.
“It’s not every day these things come up – there’s only been two to three in the last ten years.”
Mr Mason said in the past similar underwear had sold in the “mid hundreds of pounds”, although in 2013 a sale in Derby saw a pair fetch £10,500.
He added: “Members of the royal household were often given something as a present, whether that be china or a dinner service.
“They produced them [the knickers] in quite a large quantity so Queen Victoria probably only wore them once!
“They are a bit stained and brown around the edges... not through use, but because of their age.”