Burns pocket watch fetches £40,000

A pocket watch belonging to Robert Burns, which contains a note from his wife, has sold at auction for almost £40,000.

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The silver-cased watch dating to 1786 far surpassed its valuation of £2,500 when it went under the hammer for £39,650 in Edinburgh.

It contains a paper insert featuring bird and heart motifs and the ink initials of Jean Armour, the wife of Scotland's national bard.

The Ayrshire poet (1759 -1796) is said to have met Jean, with whom he had nine children, on a drying green when she was hanging out her washing.

She fell pregnant with their first child in 1785 when they were not yet married and it was only after Burns enjoyed literary success some years later that Jean's father agreed they could wed.

Jean (1765 -1834), known as the Belle of Mauchline, outlived her husband by more than 30 years.

Colin Fraser, head of silver and jewellery at Lyon & Turnbull, said bids for the watch came from across the globe.

The successful buyer wishes to remain anonymous.

ends

By Catriona Webster, Press Association Scotland

A pocket watch belonging to Robert Burns, which contains a note from his wife, has sold at auction for almost £40,000.

The silver-cased watch dating to 1786 far surpassed its valuation of £2,500 when it went under the hammer for £39,650 in Edinburgh.

It contains a paper insert featuring bird and heart motifs and the ink initials of Jean Armour, the wife of Scotland's national bard.

The Ayrshire poet (1759 -1796) is said to have met Jean, with whom he had nine children, on a drying green when she was hanging out her washing.

She fell pregnant with their first child in 1785 when they were not yet married and it was only after Burns enjoyed literary success some years later that Jean's father agreed they could wed.

Jean (1765 -1834), known as the Belle of Mauchline, outlived her husband by more than 30 years.

Colin Fraser, head of silver and jewellery at Lyon & Turnbull, said bids for the watch came from across the globe.

The successful buyer wishes to remain anonymous.

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