Mata Hari's possessions auctioned for €45,000

Mata Hari
Mata Hari. Photo: Axel SCHNEIDER / Wikimedia Commons

About a century after her execution by firing squad in 1917, some of Dutch spy Mata Hari's possessions went up for auction at Amsterdam auction house De Zwaan. The auction included photos, objects, furniture and toys that belonged to her two children. All in all it raised 45 thousand euros on Monday, NOS reports.

According to Julia de Jong of De Zwaan, the items that were auctioned paints a very good picture of the infamous Dutch woman, who was born Margaretha Zelle in Leeuwarden in 1876. She was a wife, a mother and a divorcee before she went off to be an exotic dancer, and believed spy, in France. "It was mostly a tragic life", she said to NOS.

De Jong believes the most striking possession that was auctioned on Monday, was a baby book. Margaret and her husband Rudolph MacLeod carefully documented the lives of their children. About their son they wrote: "Norman is a cheerful child and his laughs add a lot of sunshine to our house." The book was never filled. Norman died when he was three years old.

There is also a photo of their daughter Non, who died when she was 19. In the photo she is a young child wearing a fur hat and cloak. "Presumably the photo was taken on the Museumplein [in Amsterdam], which also held a skating ring at that time."

The item that raised the most money was a painting of Mata Hari by a French painter. It sold for 6 thousand euros.