Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 10:57 UK

Bidders sought for Bard's Bible

Burns Bible
The Burns Bible was used by the poet in his final days

The Bible used by Robert Burns in his last few weeks of life is set to go up for auction in Edinburgh.

Records show he took the small pocket edition with him during his visits to the Brow Well near Dumfries.

Also going under the hammer at Bonhams annual Scottish sale is the chance to "sponsor" the manuscript and lyrics of Auld Lang Syne written in 1788.

The small Bible is expected to fetch about £2,000 while sponsorship of the famous verse could reach up to £50,000.

The Bible is preserved in a velvet-lined blue Moroccan box lettered in gilt with the words "Burns Bible".

The volume was left to a Mr Scott, a schoolmaster at Clarencefield, near to where Burns spent some of his last days.

Included with the lot is an 1893 newspaper cutting stating: "At the time Burns was staying at the Brow Well he used the Bible, which he took with him when he went there to recruit his health.

"When he returned to Dumfries he left it with a Mr Davidson or Mrs Burnie, and then a Mr Scott, a schoolmaster in the parish."

'Very exciting'

Miranda Grant, managing director for Bonhams Scotland, said it was hoped the book would generate wide interest.

"It is very exciting indeed to have such a personal possession of the great poets included in the 10th Scottish sale," she said.

"As well as appealing to collectors of rare books, this Bible will obviously also be of great interest to anyone with an interest in Burns and indeed in Scottish history."

The book is being auctioned alongside the sponsorship opportunity for the manuscript and lyrics for Auld Lang Syne.

The successful bidder will help safeguard the manuscript within a new National Trust for Scotland museum dedicated to Burns.

They will also be recognised by the installation of a plaque bearing their name as its patron.

The Bible and sponsorship go up for sale between 18 and 21 August.

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