RARE treasures linked to Mary Queen of Scots are to be brought together for the first time for the biggest ever celebration of her life and legacy.
The National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh, will be showcasing rarely seen jewellery, portraits, documents and other personal possessions in a one-off exhibition which will only be staged in the capital, in the summer of 2013.
Curators are also promising it will shed new light on one of the most enigmatic figures in Scottish history.
George Dalgleish, keeper of Scottish history and archaeology at the museum, said: “I know that this will prove a hugely popular exhibition as there is a continuing fascination with her life story which has over decades been the subject of many books, plays and films.
“Drawing together surviving relics intimately connected with Mary Stewart and wider Renaissance material from public and private collections, the exhibition will tell the incredible story of the sovereign and the woman.”
A spokeswoman for the museum added: “Mary brought many splendid pieces of jewellery from France when she returned to Scotland in 1561.
“She continued to patronise Scottish goldsmiths and jewellers throughout her reign in Scotland.
“However, few examples survive, but the remarkable pieces which will be displayed include the Penicuik jewels incorporating two portrait lockets believed to be of herself and her son James, a heart jewel and a cameo ring.
“An intriguing item is the 30 shillings coin which commemorated the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry, Lord Darnley. This was struck in Scotland in 1565 and then quickly withdrawn from circulation. It was then redesigned in 1566 with Mary’s image and name appearing before that of her husband.”
The £47m revamp of the national museum is one of three Scottish contenders for the UK-wide Art Fund Prize, along with the new Riverside Museum in Glasgow and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Glasgow.