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Mystery Artist's Literary Sculptures

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

A set of delicately carved sculptures cut by hand from the pages of famous Scottish literary works have been sold at auction for more than £50,000, to fund a reading charity.

Edinburgh Castle perched atop its rock mount
Edinburgh Castle

The five delicate creations were made by an Edinburgh-based artist who began placing her first book sculptures in public places in 2011, captivating the city’s literary world. She insisted on remaining anonymous, adding to the mystique.

She made the five sculptures sold in the auction – which include an elaborate multimedia work cut from JM Barrie’s Peter Pan and another from Whisky Galore, Compton Mackenzie’s tale about whisky-starved Hebridean islanders – for the Scottish Books Trust the following year.

The trust then placed them around the country, releasing a daily clue to lead searchers to each item’s location. Now, almost a decade later, the trust will be using the sale proceeds to fund its free book banks and reading initiatives for children in less well-off areas of Scotland.

In a week-long online auction hosted by the Edinburgh-based auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull, the five works raised £50,500 after a spate of last-minute bids.

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