After a Perthshire manor house changed owners, an antique chest that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots was discovered.
The 15th century Barmondy House, near Alyth in Perthshire, was sold during the coronavirus lockdown. Nick Burns, the director of an auction house, was asked to sell some valuable items among the home’s contents.
Burns found many interesting antiques, including an antique chest thought to have been left by Mary Stewart at Cadzow Castle in 1568 before she went to the Battle of Langside. It is not clear how the chest ended up at Barmondy House, where it had been used to store documents.
Inside the chest was a letter of provenance that proved it was genuinely owned by the Scottish queen. Around the sides of the chest are figures of saints in cloisters.
The auction house has found it difficult to estimate the value of the antique. A 16th-century chest usually goes for a high price, but the association with Mary, Queen of Scots adds further value. On top of the winning bid amount, the purchasers will have to pay fees and commission.
There has been considerable interest in the chest, which suggests it may fetch a very hefty sum, and there is currently a high demand for antiques that are associated with historical figures and royalty.
You can find fine examples of antique chests at Lancashire dealers, but you are perhaps unlikely to find one that was owned by royalty.
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