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Eric Clapton in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London - May 25, 2006Eric Clapton in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London - May 25, 2006

Clapton Guitar, Thatcher Handbag Bring in Big Bucks for Charity at Auction

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Christie’s auction house in London raised over £402,000 (over $640,000 US) with a celebrity lot auction. The auction featured items donated by Eric Clapton, Margaret Thatcher, Bernie Ecclestone, Lord Jeffrey Archer and Sir Michael Parkinson.

Each celebrity profile donated items to raise money for the charities of their choice. Margaret Thatcher donated a black leather handbag that she has owned for over 30 years and was seen carrying in 1985 when she was photographed alongside then President Ronald Reagan. Carol, Thatcher’s daughter, attended the auction to see how much her mother’s charities would earn from the sale of the handbag.

“I hope that the highest bidder knows that if he’s into handbagging, he’s got a weapon with quite a track record. After all, my mother invented the verb ‘to handbag’,” Carol told the Guardian. Here mother’s handbag earned £25,000 ($39,782.50 USD) for the British Forces Fund, Combat Stress and Debra, an organization which helps those with the genetic skin condition epidermolysis bullosa.

Eric Clapton donated a signed Fender Telecaster guitar and a sketch by Andy Warhol of the late Princess Diana.  Clapton’s guitar sold for £15,000 ($23,869.50 USD). The proceeds from the sale of his guitar will go to Bunbury’s and The Crossroads Center Aniqua, a private drug rehab facility.

Some of the other charities to benefit from the celebrity lot auction include the Oxford Universities Athletic Club, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, and the Dallaglio Foundation which focuses on turning great ideas into meaningful actions.

Overall the Christie’s auction raised £402,100 ($640,143 USD) through 18 celebrity lot donations to benefit charities that treat cancer, mental illness, genetic diseases, and help people overcome addiction through drug rehab.

Lord Jeffrey Archer, who donated items and was the auctioneer for the celebrity lot auction at Christie’s, should consider the auction a terrific success for charity.

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