A fragment from a flag which flew on Bosworth Field when Richard III was killed more than 500 years ago is set to sell for thousands of pounds at auction.
The red and gold piece of cloth, measuring 6.5 inches by 5.5 inches, is believed to be from Henry Tudor’s standard on the day of the bloody battle in 1485.
It is part of a flag once hung by the tomb of Henry’s standard bearer Sir Robert Harcourt [d.1490] and was eventually passed down through the Northamptonshire family now selling it.
Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “It is an incredible find from one of the most important battles ever fought on British soil.”
The estimate on the Battle of Bosworth* flag fragment has been set at between £3,000 and 5,000.
But with current interest in the battle fuelled by the discovery of Richard’s remains in a Leicester city centre car park, Mr Hanson believes it could make “considerably more”.
He said the material had been in the keeping of the same family since at least 1847, and had been mounted in a frame for safe-keeping.
“I am just delighted such a fundamental accessory to that 1485 battle has been unearthed only months after finding King Richard III in a Leicester car park,” he said. “As an auctioneer, I thrive on the social relevance such bygone artefacts had on society.
“If only this fragment could talk it could tell us so much.”
He added: “Of course we know now where Richard III was laid to rest and I hope this fragment find will be purchased by a museum or private collector who may place it on public display.”
* Henry Tudor’s standard bearer at the Battle of Bosworth Field, Sir William Brandon, was killed by Richard III.