Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Ebony and tortoiseshell cabinet, two doors, each with central heart and other raised red tortoiseshell shapes; set in gilt metal and silver work above drawer and slip. Opens to eight drawers, a broken pediment and coat of arms above concealed mirrored room with ebony and ivory chequered parquetry.
This elaborate cabinet, veneered in red tortoiseshell with heart-shaped panels and silver and silver-gilt mounts (on a later stand), was thought in the nineteenth century to have belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. It bears an inscription which records that it was brought from France to Scotland by Mary and given to the Regent, Lord Mar. It passed by descent to the Belhaven family and was bequeathed to Queen Victoria by Robert, 8th Baron Belhaven and Stenton (died 1868), with the request that it be preserved either at Windsor Castle or Holyroodhouse. As the cabinet is clearly of seventeenth-century manufacture, the traditional association with Mary, Queen of Scots (who died in 1587) is clearly fictitious.