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Oak chest is 500-year-old royal marriage gift

AN OAK chest bought by an amateur furniture collector has been identified as a 500-year-old wedding gift commissioned for one of the most significant moments in Anglo-Scottish history.

The small coffer is believed to be the marriage chest of King James IV and Margaret Tudor, the daughter of the English King Henry VII.

The union brought ­temporary peace between Scotland and England, with the marriage of the "Thistle and the Rose" taking place at Holyrood on August 8, 1503.

Amateur collector Aidan Harrison conducted some research on the chest after buying it and consulted leading art historian Professor Jane Geddes, from Aberdeen University.

Professor Geddes said: "He came to me and said 'I think I've got something rather exciting here' and he most certainly did.

"The carving and woodwork strongly point towards its creation for the wedding of King James IV and Margaret. The marriage was hugely significant, joining the ruling families of Scotland and England - the Stewarts and the Tudors.

"As part of the celebration, an exquisite Book of Hours was commissioned from a Flemish workshop and we hold a facsimile copy of this at Aberdeen.

"The similarities between the carvings on the chest and the illuminations in the Book of Hours are striking."

The marriage chest will soon go on display at Aberdeen University, together with the facsimile of the Book of Hours.

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