Robert Burns' pocket watch up 1,486% on estimate

A pocket watch that belonged to the great Scottish poet Robert Burns has sold with impressive results at Lyon & Turnbull's November 27 auction.

Robert Burns Pocket Watch
Due to his importance to Scottish literature, much of Burns' memorabilia is housed in museums, making items like this in huge demand among collectors

The watch contained a paper insert with a birds and hearts motif and Burns' wife, Jean Armour's initials in ink. It sold for £39,650 ($64,419), making a 1,486% increase on estimate, having been valued at just £2,500.

The rear cover is faintly inscribed, "RobT Burns Mauchline 1786".

Jean Armour - known as the Belle of Mauchline - met Burns in 1784, and by 1785 was pregnant with his child. However, the couple were forbidden from marrying by Armour's father, who moved his daughter to Paisley and away from Burns.

Only once Burns had become a successful poet was he finally allowed to marry Jean, in 1788, and they went on to have nine children. Armour outlived the poet by 30 years, and is responsible for bolstering his reputation in her later years.

Robert Burns (1759-1796) is considered the national poet of Scotland, and was a leading pioneer of the romantic movement. His life and works are widely celebrated, and memorabilia is greatly sought-after by collectors as the majority is already housed in museums.

In May 2012, one of just 12 Robert Burns first editions in private hands sold to a Scottish company as an investment for £32,000 ($52,590), while Paul Fraser Collectibles has previously sold the poet's personal Bible.

We are currently offering some fantastic literary collectibles for sale - perfect gifts for Christmas.  


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