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Posthumous portrait of Mary Queen of Scots

The chambers at Holyrood are filled with items associated with Mary


Cabinet seventeenth century

Ebony, tortoiseshell, silver and silver gilt | 83.8 x 117.2 x 43.4 cm | RCIN 26305

King's Closet, Palace of Holyroodhouse

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This caninet was bequeathed to Queen Victoria by Lord Belhaven, containing a lock of Mary’s hair and an embroidered purse of her own work. Lord Belhaven requested that the cabinet be kept at either Windsor Castle or Holyroodhouse.

Legend states that this cabinet once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. However, examination of the cabinet shows that this suggested provenance is impossible. Furniture of similar type in ebony veneer, tortoise shell, mother-of-pearl and engraved ivory does not appear until the seventeenth century and Mary, Queen of Scots died in 1587.