Literary sculptures made from books and produced by an unknown artist are to be sold online by Edinburgh auctioneers, Lyon and Turnbull.

The three-dimensional book sculptures which so fascinated everyone, appearing as they did unexpectedly and in a variety of locations in the city, created quite the buzz in past years.

Now, and with the consent of the artist, the proceeds of sale of the five sculptures originally commissioned by Scottish Book Trust during the first Book Week Scotland in 2012 will help the charity with its ongoing work providing access to books for everyone.

The classics turned into sculptures are; Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns; Whisky Galore, by Compton Mackenzie; Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie; Lanark, by Alasdair Gray; and Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The works will have a starting bid of £800 and a guide price of up to £1,500 and are available to view at Lyon & Turnbull in Broughton Place by appointment.

The auction will take place online from 25 January at 10am until 1 February. Click here.

Paper Book Sculpture PHOTO © Stewart Attwood Photography 2022

The book sculpture artist, who is known to be a woman, said: “I always felt that the sculptures were a poor attempt to communicate the transformative magic that happens when a book is read.
“I couldn’t be more delighted that by auctioning them off, they might be turned into real books.”

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Many children are growing up without access to books or owning their own books at home, and since the pandemic the situation has worsened. Without books, children are missing out and we know the impact of this lasts a lifetime.

 “The works featured in these incredible creations all speak of magic, adventure, daring and Scotland’s vital place in the history of world literature.

 “The auction is part of a major and long term fundraising campaign launched late last year. Over Christmas, this focused on giving books to families in need through food banks, local authorities and other charities.”

 Cathy Marsden, a specialist in rare books at  Lyon & Turnbull, (photographed below with one of the sculptures) who has organised the sale, said: “Books are essential for the development of imagination, self-awareness and giving a sense of escapism, all of which promote good mental health and well-being. 

 “We hope that each sculpture offered for sale can help Scottish Book Trust provide the gifts of reading and literature which can change lives.”