A 500-year-old lock of hair believed to have belonged to the sixth wife of Henry VIII sold yesterday for more than £2,000 - to a man who lives in her old home in the Midlands.
The blonde hair was bought by Charles Hudson who lives on the Wyke Manor estate, Worcestershire, which he said was given to Catherine Parr by her husband.
Mr Hudson, aged 56, who was involved in a competitive bidding war, said: "I'm pleased to be able to bring it home.
"It's quite amazing really that I'm walking around London with Henry VIII's wife's hair in my pocket."
The lock of hair sold for almost 15 times the estimated price of £150.
Mr Hudson paid £2,160 for the hair, which is mounted in an oval frame on ink-inscribed paper which states "Hair of Queen Catherine Parr, Last Consort of Henry, the night she died September 5th 1548 was in the Chapel of Sudeley Castle". The price included the buyer's premium of 20 per cent.
Mr Hudson said that after Catherine died, the estate passed to Anthony Babington, who was later executed for treason after plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth I.
The property then passed to Sir Walter Raleigh, who was also executed.
Mr Hudson's family have lived on the estate since the mid-18th century. "It was rather touching to be able to buy the hair and bring some part of her back to a place where she had happier times," he said.
"It's nearly 500 years old, which is really quite terrific."
Bonhams spokeswoman Charlotte Wood said: "The provenance of the item has been checked and we believe this is the hair of Catherine Parr. It has not had a DNA test, though.
"It's such a happy ending to the story that the lock of hair will return to her old estate, which is obviously seeped in history."
* Parr married Henry VIII in 1543, at the age of 31, and remained with him until his death in 1547.
* As Queen, Catherine took pains to reconcile Henry with his two daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and developed a good relationship with his son Edward.
* Married a total of four times, she became the wife of Thomas Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, after Henry died, and gave birth to a daughter, Mary, on August 30, 1548.
* She died six days later on September 5, at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.