Piece of embroidery 'stitched by Mary Queen of Scots' comes up at auction

A fragment of bed curtain said to have been embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots is set to go to auction.

The textile was saved from ruin last year after rainwater poured into a property in Strathnacro in the Highlands where it was being stored.

It is now expected to fetch in excess of £1,000 at Hansons Auctioneers’ in Derbyshire today.

According to an inscription, the rare piece of material was embroidered by ‘Queen Mary of Scotland while in prison’ in the 16th century.

The piece of embroidered bed curtain said to have been stitched by Mary Queen of Scots. PIC: Contributed.

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Mary, who was born at Linlithgow Palace, on December 8, 1542, became Queen of Scots when she was six days old.

After fleeing to England following years of tumultuous power play that ended in her abdication in 1567, she spent almost 19 years as a prisoner before her eventual execution in 1587.

The seller, who bought the piece at an auction in Scotland around five years ago, said: “I’ve always been fascinated by antiques. I was looking round a Scottish auction saleroom one day and found the framed piece of embroidery lying upside down on the floor.

Isabel Murtough of Hansons Auctioneers where the embroidery will be auctioned on Tuesday. PIC: Contributed.

"I lifted it up and couldn’t believe it when I read the inscription.”

The wording, which appears under the framed floral embroidery of a blue flower, reads: “From a bed curtain embroidered by Queen Mary of Scotland while in prison. Presented by the Countess of Elgin, a member of the Stuart family, to Mrs Salena C Lynch, nee Girdler, wife of James C Lynch and mother of Dr Henry C Lynch.”

The frame includes a picture of Queen Mary and a summary of her life.

The seller, who has asked not to be named, said the piece was rescued from their Highland holiday home, which was battered by Storm Jorge in February last year, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

She said: “When we opened the doors, the floors were wet, ceilings had come down and there was black mould growing on the walls.

“Luckily the fragment of material hadn’t been damaged. I’d packed it away in a box and the rain hadn’t got to it. It’s a relief the embroidery has survived.”

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