One-of-a-kind book sculpture Tam o’ Shanter by Robert Burns fetches £10,000 at auction


A book sculpture made from the pages of a copy of Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter has sold for £10,000 at auction.

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

The highly detailed paper and wire artwork, created by an anonymous artist, depicts the famous scene from the poem Tam o’ Shanter 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 soaring through the air, while a figure of Tam – with a small flat cap and an adrenaline-filled facial expression – clings to the reins of horse Meg as the pair cross the bridge in paper bricks.

Alloway Auld Kirk, trees and a meandering river Doon cut out feature in the sculpture.

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

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Bids for the sculptures have been accepted online over the course of a week, with the virtual hammer falling on Tuesday evening following a flurry of last-minute bids from across the UK.

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

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

“Thanks to the generous offers, we will be able to get 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 are extremely grateful to the artist for allowing us to auction his beautiful sculptures, and to Lyon & Turnbull for their support. We hope that successful bidders enjoy these rare works of art and we thank them for supporting the work of our charity.

Cathy Marsden, rare book specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, who organized the auction, said: “It was a pleasure to participate in the sale of these superb paper sculptures.

“The media across the UK were really supportive of the sale, covering it extensively which raised a huge amount of money.

“The funds will help Scottish Book Trust in its vital work of bringing books to everyone.”

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

The mystery artist, who is known to be female, first came to public attention when she secretly dropped her book sculptures around cultural venues in Edinburgh throughout 2011.

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