Image of the Scottish poet Robert Burns (with shading up to eye level)


Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
so 140 STG74 94
Woven on silk:-

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-


18.3cm deep by 13.3cm wide

8.8cm deep by 5.6cm wide

by Sprake:

by Godden:
The well know Scottish poet was born in 1759 and died in 1796.
This subject, the first non-political small sized portrait woven by Thomas Stevens, is listed on label 23+10+2 of c.1887. It is normally found mounted on card C2 [as the image above]. The title was included in an advertisement published in May 1887.

Three versions are at present known - although a fourth may exist without the spray of thistle woven across the front.

The version most often met with has the portrait facing half right, with a spray of thistles woven across the front of the jacket. No wording appears on the silk - only the title and credit printed on the mount [image above].

A variation occurs [so144 on this site] when slight shading is woven up to eye-level.

A very rare smaller version [so148 on this site] shows the same basic portrait, but with a verse of 'Auld Lang Syne' woven above the portrait.  

Other comments:
Robert Burns is Scotland's best-loved bard and Burns Suppers have been held in his honour for over 200 years.

Born in Alloway, Ayrshire, in 1759 to William Burness, a poor tenant farmer, and Agnes Broun, Robert Burns was the eldest of seven. He spent his youth working his father's farm, but in spite of his poverty he was extremely well read.

He followed his father into farming but had second thoughts. At the point of abandoning farming, his first collection "Poems - Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect" was published and received much critical acclaim. This, together with pride of parenthood, made him stay in Scotland.

He moved around the country, eventually arriving in Edinburgh, where he mingled in the illustrious circles of the artists and writers who were agog at the "Ploughman Poet". In a matter of weeks he was transformed from local hero to a national celebrity.

He died aged 37 of heart disease exacerbated by the hard manual work he undertook when he was young. On the day of his burial more than 10,000 people came to watch and pay their respects.

On the anniversary of his birth, Scots, both at home and abroad, celebrate Robert Burns with a supper, where they address the haggis, the ladies and whisky. A celebration, which would undoubtedly have made him proud.

From a paper envelope used to post the original pictures and portraits, it is confirmed the flowers are Thistles. 


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This page was created on 1 November 2001
new image added 23 March 2014, and replaced with improved version 5 March 2018 © Peter Daws
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