The Blairs Jewel (Mary Queen of Scots Miniature Reliquary)

Image credit: Blairs Museum

How you can use this image


This image is available to be shared and re-used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND).

You can reproduce this image for non-commercial purposes and you are not able to change or modify it in any way.

Wherever you reproduce the image you must attribute the original creators (acknowledge the original artist(s) and the person/organisation that took the photograph of the work) and any other rights holders.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find more images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.



Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

This small miniature portrait of Mary Queen of Scots celebrates Mary as Martyr and has been remounted as a reliquary, probably in the early 17th century. The portrait is surrounded by relics of female saints, their names inscribed in gold lettering around the outer edge.

The original miniature is believed to have been painted from life during Mary’s imprisonment in England and may, like the Blairs Memorial Portrait, be associated with Elizabeth Curle.

The reverse of the miniature features Mary Queen of Scots’ monogram. An inscription on the back lists the names of eighteen Catholic saints and martyrs popularised during the Counter-Reformation.

Blairs Museum



The Blairs Jewel (Mary Queen of Scots Miniature Reliquary)




watercolour, wood & bone


H 8 x W 6 cm

Accession number


Work type

Mixed media & collage

Inscription description

Inscription around the portrait: 'Maria Stuart Scotiae Regina Martyrio affecta 1586 20 Septembris in Anglia'


See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Blairs Museum

South Deeside Road, Blairs, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB12 5YQ Scotland

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue