NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Fettercairn Jewel bought by National Museums Scotland

The Fettercairn Jewel, Image copyright Sotheby's
Image caption The front (left) and back of the locket

A 16th Century Scottish jewel has been bought at auction by National Museums Scotland for more than £200,000.

The Fettercairn Jewel - an enamelled gold pendant locket set - dates from 1570-80.

It was from the private collection of the Forbes family whose ancestral home is Fettercairn House in Aberdeenshire.

The pre-sale estimate at Sotheby's was £30,000-50,000, however the final price was driven by a bidding battle to £236,750.

The Fettercairn Jewel would have been worn as a pendant on a chain.

'Outstanding piece'

The image on the reverse centres on the figure of Mercury.

David Forsyth, principal curator of the Scottish history and archaeology department at National Museums Scotland said: "The Fettercairn Jewel is a rare and outstanding piece of Scottish Renaissance jewellery.

"The purchase of this piece will significantly enhance the national collections and present new insights into the magnificence of the Renaissance in Scotland."

David Macdonald, Sotheby's specialist in charge of the sale, said it was "lovely to think" the Fettercairn Jewel had been found a Scottish home.

Art Fund, National Lottery and National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust funding was said to have made the purchase possible.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites