Lost Words, Hidden Words, Otters, Banks and Books

Let me tell you something, about otters and money, books and banks.

Wonderful news today as Jane Beaton’s crowd funding initiative gets an extra couple of weeks to raise it’s target. And because in the process of this learning curve Penguin Books came on board in a massive way that target has been massively reduced. Half way there. Hoping to push through to funding to see a copy of The Lost Words brought to every school in Scotland.

To celebrate I want to auction this absolutely unique proof of the silk otter scarf, produced by Beckford Silk for Compton Verney. (It’s printed on paper, not silk. There may still be scarves for sale at Compton Verney. You could wrap yourself in otters.)

Anyway, this is a big piece of work that repeats three times the double page spread of tumbling otters from The Lost Words.

The image is 33 cms high, so you can imagine how long it is. Colours are not true to the original, but it’s a curious and unusual thing. If the price gets high enough I will doodle a pencil otter or two in, and of course, sign it. It would look wonderful framed, although it is big.

To bid, please place a comment on this posting. I will close the auction on 5th Feb, not sure what time.  Sorry if the process is a bit ramshackled. I have to action the comments, so it takes time, and I’ve so much t do at the moment. Bids should be in £ sterling, but I am happy to post anywhere in this world and you can donate from overseas. You just have to do that before 8th Feb.

If you win the auction I will ask you to donate the money directly to Jane’s amazing initiative to place a copy of The Lost Words in every primary school in Scotland.

And if the bidding is outside your range then have a look at this way to contribute. For £32 you could get a small piece of gold.

Here are some more images of the piece.

Now, the initiative is for schools in Scotland, but there are some who would like to roll this out into the whole country. In Scotland, by coincidence, there are otters on the ten pound note. Two otters curling in play. I tried to find the name of the artist who drew the otters and found a whole back story about what is the most beautiful bank note I have seen. So many artists and crafts people worked on these notes, under the leadership of The Nile Team. Such attention to detail, even the tweed pattern is called the Dog Otter Tooth. Wild money. Why not use it to rewild the language of children.

And the Scottish note has poetry and hidden lost words that are only visible under uv light. The first lines are clear,

The cork that can’t be travels –

Nose of a dog otter.

The second two become visible only under uv light.

It’s piped at, screamed at, sworn at

By an elegant oystercatcher.

Poetry against forgery.

So please, bid generously. Leave your bid in the comments below, but be sure to read first. All bids have to be actioned by me, so sometimes there are cross overs.

Otters are amongst my favourite animals, and both Robert and I were delighted to find ourselves on the shortlist for the Nations favourite Nature Book. I was especially pleased to be there alongside Tarka.

Please share. And do have a look at the links to the otter’s story on the notes. It’s fascinating.

Bidding starts at £100.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Lost Words, Hidden Words, Otters, Banks and Books

  1. Andy says:

    I’ll raise the bid to £150 Excellent value and worthy cause.

  2. Susan Bernal says:

    I’d like to bid $100.00 (whatever that equals in pounds). 🙂

  3. Bernie Bell says:

    HURRAH! It’s been extended.
    And…such magic, in a bank-note! When are you coming to Scotland?

  4. Bernie Bell says:

    Blimey, Jackie – I’ve just followed the link, and read the back-story. That bank-note, is a spell, too! And we carry them around in our pocketses.
    I’ve sent the link to this page, to all those I think will like to see and read, and added it to the two pieces I’ve had published in ‘The Orkney News’ relating to ‘The Lost Words’ – that tale, is very well worth spreading – spreading the good stuff, spreading the magic!
    What a wonderful world we live in!
    And you keep adding to it – you do, you know, you do.

  5. Charlotte Smith says:


    I would like to bid £170 for the otters and contributing to the dispersal of this wonderful book (I’ve already given away two copies:-)).

  6. Steve Snook says:

    Never been happier to otter…sorry…offer…to part with 200 quid….. although that shouldn’t be enough to secure this lovely thing !!

    Hope it goes way way higher for you

  7. What a magic! I am fond of seeing your wonderful piece of art! You even don’t know how talented you are creating such projects!

  8. Compostwoman says:

    I can’t afford to bid any more, but can I just say how much I treasure my otter scarf bought from Compton Verney, as a tangible reminder of a very happy day listening to you and looking at the glorious artwork from The Lost Words in the fabulous exhibition.

    And yes, I’ve given away two copies, and treasure MY copy deeply

  9. Nick G says:

    Hi there Jackie – can I bid 200 pounds please. I so hope the crowdfunder can make it’s target!
    (And many thanks for the gold leaf from one of your stones the other day, arrived safely)

  10. Nick G says:

    Oh sorry – didn’t see the other offer. 250 pounds then please!

  11. Pen Thompson says:

    This is a wonderful picture, from a marvellous book, for a brilliant cause . It’s £ 300 from me .

  12. Paula Aamli says:

    Well now. Hmmmm, great cause, great otters – £350 bid from me.

  13. Carolyn Menteith says:

    £400 from me

  14. Pen Thompson says:

    £ 375 from me then !

  15. Gav says:

    This won’t top it out but would happily go for £450 but glad to push up

  16. J Forrest says:

    Hello. Great cause. Beautiful picture. I would like to bid £700. Thank you.

  17. Nadine Grey says:

    I completed my dissertation for my Zoology degree on wild European otters in Driffield, I am obsessed with this beautiful piece and a fabulous cause! I will bid £1000.

    Thank you!

  18. Nick G says:

    Sorry to bid against Nadine but I love the whole Lost Words thing so much I’m afraid I want to bid £1200. I so hope we can reach the crowdfunder target. With this there will still be about 3000 pounds needed and only 6 days to go. http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thelostwords

  19. Catherine Brand says:

    We’ve been deliberating on this all week! And up the bid to £1300.

  20. Nick G says:

    If the auction is still open can I bid £1400 please.
    Crowdfunder is nearly there with this bid!

  21. Cath B says:

    Such a gorgeous piece & such an amazingly worthy charity. My final bid is £1500 – easier to do this openly as know this can’t go to the last second with Jackie being auctioneer. And good luck us all. I will feel nothing but goodwill & happiness for the eventual winner. (And obviously doubly so if it is me & my family!!) Thank you Jackie.

  22. Nick G says:

    I’m beaten now, agreed we don’t want a last second hassle! Sadly I’m out.
    But Cath’s 1500 does take the crowdfunder to within 150 pounds of the target so i’m just going on there now to put 150 on…..

  23. Jackie says:

    Auction is now closed. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *