A 16th century Bible cover believed to have belonged to Mary Queen of Scots will be the chief lot when Mitchells saleroom reopens with a major antiques and fine art sale next week.
The stumpwork cover has an estimate of £10,000-£15,000 and is among contents from Greystoke Castle which will feature in the three-day sale at Cockermouth of 1,500 items from Wednesday to Friday.
It depicts the crucifixion with finely worked-in coloured threads and measures 30cm x 27cm, contained within a stained wood glazed case.
An accompanying plaque reads: “Bible cover owned by Mary Queen of Scots and given by her mother to Lady Elizabeth Stuart, later Countess of Arundel and Surrey who gave it to her son Charles Howard of Greystoke,” with similar words inked to the reverse.
The Bible cover is being sold together with a facsimile warrant for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in a glazed oak double sided frame.
Other contents from Greystoke Castle are a selection of family portraits with estimates ranging from £200 to £3,000, the most valuable being a pair of portraits of “Edward Howard – 9th Duke of Norfolk – Last Lord Greystoke – 1686-1777” and his wife Mary.
There are also three 19th century paintings of racehorses including Brayton by President valued at £800-£1,000.
Other Greystoke lots include a fine and large American silver punch bowl by Reed & Barton with New York Stock Exchange provenance which is expected to make £1,500- £2,000.
The most valuable lot in the sale is likely to be a large painting by Aspatria-born artist and Lowry protégé Sheila Fell (1931-1979).
The oil on canvas painting, Appletreewick, is framed and signed and expected to sell for £15,000-£20,000.
Other valuable artworks include six illustrated letters and two other artworks by Workington-born artist Percy Kelly (1918-1993).
The most valuable is likely to be a watercolour illustrated letter of a coastal scene which should make £2,000-£3,000.
Another illustrated letter, titled Sullart Street, Cockermouth, Cumberland 19/2/1977, together with an envelope addressed to Mary Burkett with a harbour scene is valued at £1,200-£1,800.
Two paintings by Julian Heaton Cooper should also do well, with estimates of up to £3,000.
The sale also includes an archive of around 300 photographs of British Formula 1 driver Jim Clark (1936-1968) which could make £2,000-£3,000.
The sale had been scheduled for March but was moved back to take advantage of the re-opening of retail businesses from the April 12.
An illustrated catalogue can be viewed online at www.the-saleroom.com/Mitchells
Subject to retail restrictions being lifted as planned, lots can also be viewed at the saleroom from Monday, including during the sale.