The claim could turn to dust hallowed traditions about the Ashes, the trophy fought over for the last 115 years by Australia and England, the first two cricketing nations.
The trophy is an urn inside which, generations of fans have been brought up to believe, are the charred remains of a wooden bail used in an international match in Australia in 1883.
But the Countess of Darnley, daughter-in-law of the English captain in that match, Ivo Bligh, has claimed that her mother, Bligh's then sweetheart Florence Murphy, supplied the Ashes.
"My mother in law told me the Ashes were a burnt veil she wore while Ivo was playing," the Guardian newspaper reported her as saying.
Whether the countess is right or whether the Ashes are the remains of a bail -- a piece of wood perched atop the stumps at which a bowler aims in a cricket game -- will be difficult to establish.
Although Australia have frequently beaten England in a series of cricket internationals, or Tests, it is tradition that the Ashes remain at the game's international headquarters, Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
The urn is sealed and is never physically presented to the winning team.