A rifle Queen Victoria gave to her alleged lover, John Brown, is to auction.
She presented the .450 double barrelled rifle to Brown as a Christmas gift in 1873.
It will be offered at Bonhams London on May 12 with an estimate in excess of £40,000 ($56,929).
John Brown was Queen Victoria's favourite servant
It was made by royal gun maker Alexander Henry of Edinburgh and bears the inscriptions: "J. Brown Esq. H.M.P. Attendant, Balmoral" and "From VR to J Brown Esq, Christmas 1873".
Patrick Hawes, Bonhams' rifle specialist, told the Daily Mail: "The rifle is unique in many ways and has a direct association with Queen Victoria which makes it a very desirable item.
"There is no doubt that it was the best quality and the best rifle that money could buy at the time.
"We believe this is the first time it is being sold at auction. It is in a very good condition and is usable. It doesn't appear to have had a lot of use."
Brown and Victoria's relationship is the subject of much contention among historians. What we do know is that Brown provided Victoria with much comfort after her husband Albert's death in 1861.
When she died in 1901, she was buried with a photograph of Brown and a lock of his hair.
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