A saddlecloth reputedly used by Queen Elizabeth I during her state visit to Bristol in 1574 is to be offered at auction.
Owned for many generations by the Kington
family, the elaborately decorated emerald green quilted saddlecloth
will go under the hammer at Dreweatts' sale of militaria in Donnington
Priory near Newbury on September 26.
Malcolm Claridge, militaria specialist at
the auction house, said: "It is an absolutely unique Royal artefact
from the Elizabethan era and is in extremely good condition
considering it is 438 years old."
According to the family, the piece has never
been offered at auction before.
Until recently it was in the possession of
the late writer Miles Kington, who joked that it was cursed in a
lengthy fax to his wife Caroline shortly before his death, a copy
of which is included in the lot.
In it he says: "But it's just a silly old
priceless family heirloom sitting in an old glass case, I hear you
laugh. There's nothing secret about it at all.... Ah, would that it
Mounted for display in a 4ft 1in (1.25m) square glazed case with
a plaque, the piece is estimated at £8000-10,000.
Tel: 01635 553553.