Bidders scramble for royal underwear

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A pair of ample bloomers once owned by Britain's Queen Victoria sold for more than £9,000 ($14,330, 10,500 euros) at an Edinburgh auction on Tuesday, more than three times the original estimate.

An anonymous buyer paid £9,375 for the white silk undergarments during an auction of items from London's Old Battersea House -- the London home of the Forbes family, the American publishing dynasty.

An oil painting of the long-serving monarch with servant John Brown also smashed pre-auction expectations.

It went under the hammer for £145,250 at the sale, held in the Scottish capital's Lyon & Turnbull auction house.

Simon Edsor, art adviser to the Forbes family, called the sale "a great result" which demonstrated the worldwide appeal of royal memorabilia.

Nick Curnow, managing director of Lyon & Turnbull, said the painting by Charles Burton Barber "is particularly valuable because it was a personal gift from the queen to Brown and shows the pair on August 26, 1876, the year Brown celebrated his 50th birthday."

John Brown was portrayed in the 1997 film "Mrs Brown" by Scottish actor Billy Connolly.

© 2011 AFP

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