Scottish Book Sculptures Auctioned for Charity

Posted on January 24, 2022

Several unique book sculptures created by a mystery artist are auctioned to raise funds for The Scottish Book Trust.

In March 2011, a librarian found a delicately crafted paper sculpture of a tree, “growing” from an old book, on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. The artist left no name but made it clear that this was a gift to the library, writing in a message: “It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree. We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books. A book is so much more than pages full of words. This is for you, in support of libraries, books, words, ideas.” Across the year, ten works created from books were found around the city prompting speculation as to the identity of the artist.

The following year, the Scottish Book Trust commissioned the artist to make five new works for their first ever Scottish book week in 2012 – with these each representing a classic of Scottish literature, 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. Each was hidden in a different place around Scotland, with the first person to decipher clues and find each receiving a paper sculpture trophy.

Now those five books are being auctioned by the Scottish Book Trust, who insisted on paying the artist for her work (she agreed, but only on the proviso that she use the money to buy time to make the thirty bird cages which appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival the following year). With a starting bid of £800 and guide price of £1,000-£1,500, they will be available to view by appointment at Lyon & Turnbull’s Edinburgh sale room in Broughton Place, Edinburgh, in the lead-up to the online auction between 25 January and 1 February.







[Photo Credit: Stewart Atwood/Lyon & Turnbull/Cover Images/]

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