Rare Mary, Queen of Scots items bring joy at auction

Two items linked to Mary, Queen of Scots have wowed auction houses in both London and Scotland.

Mary Queen of Scots' prayer book

A beautifully illustrated prayer book signed by Mary has been sold by Christie’s to a private buyer for £250,000,

The manuscript was given to Mary by her great aunt, Louise de Bourbon, Abbess of Fontevraud, sometime between 1558 and 1561. In a highly personal touch, Mary left a signed token of their mutual affection on one of the endleaves, along with her monogram and motto.

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Christie’s described the sale as a “fleetingly” rare opportunity to acquire a book inscribed by “one of the most intriguing figures” in Scottish and European history.

A page from Mary Queen of Scots' prayer book

It is understood the prayer book was bought by a private collector.

Meanwhile, a charter chest said to have belonged to Mary has been uncovered during the clearance of Bardmony House near Alyth, which has been sold for the first time in 400 years.

The box, which was used to store documents, contains a typed letter claiming it was left by Mary at Cadzow Castle near Hamilton before she left for the Battle of Langside in 1568.

It is due to go under the hammer at Lindsay Burns and Co in Perth next week. Director Nick Burns said: “We were delighted with the discovery.”

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