A piece of the coffin of St Cuthbert which was removed from his shrine at Durham Cathedral is to be sold at auction
The fragments of coffin and robe from St Cuthbert’s shrine are mounted in a display box thought to date from the 19th Century.
On what is the feast day today of St Cuthbert, it has emerged that the item will be sold on March 27 by auctioneers Anderson & Garland in Newcastle, with an estimate of £200 to £300.
The item has come from the collection of the late Ian Curry, who was Durham Cathedral architect from 1976-1997, and who died in 2012.
He served as president of Sunderland Antiquarian Society and was a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The shrine of St Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral was opened in 1827 by Canon James Raine, and several pieces of the coffin and cloth were removed.
In 1899, the shrine was opened again by antiquarian Canon William Greenwell.
The pieces of the coffin were removed and the casket was partially restored in 1946 and again in 1978.
Cathedral head of marketing and events Ruth Robson said: “Canon Raine gave several pieces as gifts to friends and they do sometimes turn up.
“Perhaps Mr Curry bought this item in an antique shop.”
She said that the cathedral was considering bidding for the item. Mr Curry was born in Newcastle and lived in Sunderland.
The coffin will be among items which, it is planned, will be on display next year as part of the cathedral’s major Open Treasure project.