Unique Robert Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter book sculpture fetches £10,000 at auction

A book sculpture crafted out of the pages of a copy of Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter has fetched £10,000 at an auction.

The intricate paper artwork was one of five unique sculptures sold at a fundraising auction in Edinburgh, by fine art auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull, raising over £50,000 for Scottish Book Trust.

The highly detailed paper and wire art piece, created by an anonymous artist, depicts the famous scene in the Tam o’ Shanter poem where Tam and his horse Meg flee across the Brig o’ Doon bridge as a witch, named Nannie, follows in pursuit.

In the sculpture Nannie can be seen hovering mid air, while a figure of Tam- complete with a tiny flat cap and adrenaline-fuelled facial expression- clutches the reigns of horse Meg as the pair cross the paper bricked bridge.

Alloway Auld Kirk, trees and a cut out winding River Doon feature in the sculpture.

Tam, complete with flat cap and scarf, and Meg flee over the detailed bricked Brig o' Doon away from Nannie the witch
Tam, complete with flat cap and scarf, and Meg flee over the detailed bricked Brig o’ Doon away from Nannie the witch

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Bids for the sculptures were accepted online over the course of a week, with the virtual hammer falling on Tuesday night following a flurry of last minute offers from across the UK.

All proceeds from the sale will go to Scottish Book Trust, which promotes the enjoyment of reading and the importance of literacy.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Scottish Book Trust is thrilled that our rare book sculptures have raised so much for our major fundraising campaign.

“Thanks to the generous bids, we will be able to provide even more books to those who need them most, through food banks, local authorities and other partners, and deliver more of our life-changing work.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the artist for allowing us to auction her beautiful sculptures, and to Lyon & Turnbull for their support. We hope the successful bidders enjoy these rare works of art, and we thank them for supporting the work of our charity.”

Cathy Marsden, a specialist in rare books at Lyon & Turnbull, who organised the auction, said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in the sale of these stunning paper sculptures.

“Media across the UK really got behind the sale, covering it extensively, which has helped to raise a tremendous amount of money.

“The funds will help Scottish Book Trust in its vital work to bring books to all.”

The book sculptures were originally commissioned in 2012 by Scottish Book Trust to mark the first ever Book Week Scotland.

The mysterious artist, who is known to be a woman, first came to the public’s attention when she secretly deposited her book sculptures around cultural venues in Edinburgh throughout 2011.

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