Quite whether or not she had ever used the late Victorian oak ‘country house’ pillar box is unclear but it had a more robust provenance to Carisbrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight, that for many years was the summer home of Victoria’s youngest daughter Princess Beatrice.
She was appointed governor of the island in 1896 and continued to use the castle, restored and modified for HRH by the architect Percy Stone, until 1938.
Her death in 1944 was followed in September 1945 by a sale conducted by local auction house Marvin & Son and it was here that the 15in (37cm) high post box, catalogued as lot 92 along with an umbrella stand, was purchased by the vendor’s grandfather.
These are always popular items, selling in the £3000- 5000 range depending on condition, but Hansons thought this one with some condition issues but a blue blood story attached might bring more.
They were right: estimated at £4000-6000, it sold instead in south-west London to an online bidder at £14,500.