Spread the love

Lady Anne Spencer, daughter of the Earl and Countess Spencer, and her husband Lt Wake-Walker leave Westminster Abbey, London, after their wedding ceremony, 1944

PNA Rota / Getty Images

The personal belongings of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, often attract huge figures at auction, whether it’s her bicycle or a jumper gifted to her by friend Sir Richard Branson which she wore to the gym. Yet it is a piece that was once owned by her late aunt, Lady Anne Wake-Walker, which is set to be a star lot in Christie’s latest Collectors auction, with estimates of between £40,000-£80,000 for a tureen she once owned.


Christie’s Images Ltd 2021

The Chelsea porcelain ‘hens and chicks’ tureen hails from the Georgian period and was made by the fashionable ceramic artist of the time, Nicholas Sprimont, whose pieces were on the tables of high society hostesses up and down the country. It is believed to have been originally purchased by Sybil Jessie Milbank, who passed it on to her niece, Muriel Elsie, Lady Wake-Walker, and through the generations to Diana’s aunt, Lady Anne Wake-Walker, née Spencer. It is said to be of very rare provenance, hence its high price.

Born in 1920, Lady Anne was the only daughter of the 7th Earl Spencer, Albert Spencer, and his wife Cynthia Hamilton. She grew up at Althorp House, and enjoyed a close relationship with the Royal Family, thanks to her four aunts being Ladies-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother, while her own mother was a Lady-to-the-Bedchamber.

Left to right: Richard Wake-Walker, Lady Anne Wake-Walker, Elizabeth Wake-Walker, Christopher Wake-Walker, Earl Spencer, Countess Spencer, Lady Sarah Spencer, Viscount Althrop and Lady Jane Spencer. Lady Diana Spencer and Charles Spencer stand in the front

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

As her nephew, the current Earl Spencer said in an Instagram post announcing her death last February, aged 99 and half: ‘A wonderful lady, she was an officer in the WRENS in the Second World War, and was a much loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – as well as sister and aunt, of course.’

The Collectors auction goes live on the Christie’s website on 29 April.

Subscribe now for a trial offer of 3 issues for £1 plus free digital editions and home delivery.

More from Tatler

In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. Open my cookie preferences.