Disappointed by items selling at auctions for far less than they’re worth? Did Dick and Kathy Fuld’s art sale leave you frustrated you couldn’t spend more? Well apparently you’ve just been going to the wrong auctions. Because in the UK, Lawrence of Arabia’s letters just sold for three times their estimate.
UK’s Times Online: Letters by Lawrence of Arabia in which he says how well his Brough Superior motorcycle is running and speaks of his love of book collecting have sold at auction for £10,000 – almost three times their estimate.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence was stationed on the Isle of Wight, building rescue boats for the RAF and the Navy, when he wrote the letters between April 1932 and November 1933 to an RAF flight sergeant. He uses the sign-off “Woof” after saying that Captain Liddell Hart had written a study of him; he describes 1933 as a “vintage year for books” after listing some of those that he had read; he enthuses about how his old motorcycle is running “like a new one”; and he says that he has been spending money on his cottage in Dorset, to which he had moved his book collection.
Lawrence died less than 18 months later in a motorcycle crash near the cottage in Bovington. The correspondence, which had remained in the flight sergeant’s family, was sold by Henry Aldridge and Sons of Devizes, Wiltshire.