An autograph book featuring the signatures of more than 300 of Britain’s most figures will go under the hammer this week in aid of Poppyscotland.
The book is packed with well-known names, including authors JM Barrie and Rudyard Kipling, Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and former prime ministers William Gladstone, Herbert Asquith, Arthur Balfour and David Lloyd George.
It is hoped the 123-page book will raise thousands of pounds for Poppyscotland.
Head of fundraising Gordon Michie said: “The book has been stored safely at our premises in Edinburgh for several decades.
“Last year, we began the process of renovating Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory and, during the job of packing everything up, the book was once again brought to the forefront of our minds.
“Staff who were not aware we held such a special item were fascinated to see the signatures of so many luminaries gathered together in one place. It created a genuine buzz around the office, and we subsequently took the decision to put it up for auction.
“It was gifted to the Earl Haig Fund for that very purpose – and now we are fulfilling that wish almost 90 years on.
“Our hope is that it will generate a lot of interest at auction, which will ensure we raise a healthy sum for us to continue to support the armed forrces community in Scotland.”
The autograph book was bequeathed by a HB Watson, of Falkirk, with the signatures gathered from 1897 to 1933.
It is contained in its original leather case with a contemporary note of bequest. Auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull estimate that it will fetch between £1,800 and £2,200.
Cathy Marsden, a book specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, said: “We are thrilled to be offering this autograph album for sale on behalf of Poppyscotland.
“It contains a wide range of important signatures from its day, ranging from stars such as Ellen Terry, to explorers such as Fridtjof Nansen; from eminent scientists and engineers such as Marconi, to a vast array of important political figures.”
The sale begins at 11am tomorrow and public viewing is available in the lead-up to the auction.