Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Queen Victoria stockings for sale

Queen Victoria's silk stockings
The stocking style is thought to have been Queen Victoria"s favourite

A pair of Queen Victoria's silk stockings are to go under the hammer at an auction next month.

They are thought to date from 1874, when she was in her mid-50s, and are believed to have been the monarch's favourite design during the 1870s.

The black and white hand-stitched garments with crests are valued at £400.

The stockings will be auctioned as part of a fine antiques sale at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on 24 March.

Lee Young, a specialist at the auction house, said: "When I was shown the stockings by the current owner, I was immediately reminded of a scene in the film The Young Victoria, where Prince Albert knelt at Queen Victoria's feet and rolled her silk stockings up her legs.

"It contradicts the image we usually have of the Queen as a rather large elderly lady dressed in black."

Queen Victoria recorded the moment in her diary and told her Prime Minister of the time, Lord Melbourne, about it.

'Excellent prices'

Mr Young added: "Examples of the Queen's undergarments have long been considered the crowning glory for Victorian collectors around the world.

"In the past few years several items have come up for auction and made excellent prices, with interest from around the world."

In July 2008 a pair of bloomers said to have belonged to Queen Victoria sold for £4,500 at auction in Derby.

The stockings are being sold by a private collector. It is not known how the items came into the hands of the current owner's family.

On Queen Victoria's death, her undergarments and much of her wardrobe were distributed to members of the royal household.

The sale next month will feature about 500 lots, with items such as furniture, ceramics and sculpture and the contents of two country houses.

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