TE Lawrence autographed Seven Pillars of Wisdom up 26.05% pa

A rare copy of TE Lawrence's The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, signed by the writer, has surpassed its high-estimate by 68.1% at a Bonhams auction in London.

One of 170 privately produced copies from 1926, Lawrence signed and inscribed the book to his solicitor Edward Eliot.

"E.G. Eliot from T.E. 'Lawrence' with apologies for the troubles it is going to bring him. 30.xi.26," Lawrence writes.

It was the star of Bonhams' Fine Books, Maps and Manuscripts auction on March 27, achieving £50,450 against a £20,000-30,000 estimate.

Another of the 170, also signed by Lawrence, sold for £33,000 at a UK auction in May 2010. That represents a rise in value of 26.05% pa.

TE Lawrence
Values for autographed TE Lawrence
works are rising rapidly

The book recounts Lawrence's first world war experiences, and in particular his role in the Arab revolt against Ottoman rule.

Lawrence claimed that the original manuscript was stolen at Reading railway station in 1919, although some experts believe this was a ruse to afford him more time to finish the work.

In addition to the privately made books, eight first edition copies of the novel were also produced. They have been valued at £60,000 by Book & Magazine Collector magazine, an estimate that may have to be upgraded following this sale.

Literary signatures are hot property at the moment.

Our experts have sourced a rare Virginia Woolf autographed copy of her novel Orlando.

The hardcover limited edition was one of just 800 produced, and one of still fewer bearing the author's name. It is available for £1,950.


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