Burns and Scott chairs up for sale 210


By Karrie Gillett

CHAIRS owned by two of Scotland’s greatest writers are going under the hammer for £10,000.

The two pieces of antique furniture belonged to Sir Walter Scott and National Bard Robert Burns and are expected to attract bidders from across the world.

Now auctioneers at Edinburgh’s Lyon & Turnbull are betting on which chair will fetch the highest price at the sale.

Burns’ chair, known as ‘The Bletherin’ Bitch’ features in the Burns poem “Epitaph on a noisy Polemic”  and is valued at £5,000.

Victoria Crake, specialist at the auction house, said the unique chair dating from the late eighteenth century would appeal to collectors and literature fans.

She said: “We would expect bidders to be people who are interested in Scottish literature.

“It’s more interesting as a historical piece than a piece of furniture in itself.

“We quite often have historical items related to literary figures but this is the first time we have had a Burns piece.”

And Scott’s armchair – also valued at £5,000 – originates from his home on Edinburgh’s Castle Street.

The Regency chair comes with a plaque stating “Sir  Walter Scott’s Parlour Writing Chair, 39 Castle  Street, Edinburgh” and dates from between 1820 and 1830.

Miss Crake said: “We know that Walter Scott wrote a lot of his literature there and he was forced by bankruptcy to sell his house in Castle Street so it might be that the chair passed out of his hands.

“I think it is very exciting that we have things with historical importance coming up for sale which are more interesting than just your standard pieces of furniture.”

Sir Walter Scott – born in Edinburgh’s Old Town in 1771 – is believed to have met The Bard once in his lifetime when he was just a teenager.

Scott went on to pen classics such as Ivanhoe and The Heart of Midlothian  until his death at the age of 61 in 1832 – 36 years after Burns’ death.

The Burns chair – made from ash and elm – is being sold on behalf of the Ours Club of Glasgow after they received it as a gift from the Glasgow antiques dealer Muirhead Moffat in 1921.

Campbell  Armour, director  of  Lyon & Turnbull said he had no idea which chair would gain the highest bid at the auction on September 24.

He said: “It  is  very  exciting  to  think  that  both these two chairs  have  such  great  literary  histories.

“It  will  be  intriguing  to see which  one  makes  the  most  at  our  forthcoming  auction”.