TE Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom realises 110% increase on estimate

A rare "Cranwell" edition of TE Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom has more than doubled its estimate at an auction at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh.

The book sold for £42,050 ($68,701), an increase of 110.2% on its £20,000 ($32,640) estimate, at the Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale on January 15.

Lawrence Cranwell Pillars Lyon
Lawrence printed the edition privately in 1926

Lawrence (1888-1935) privately printed 211 copies of the "Cranwell" edition in 1926 for soldiers who served alongside him in the Hijaz - of which 32, including this example, are missing three plates.

These editions were presented to the soldiers of his company who could not afford to pay the subscription cost, which was prohibitively expensive.

The lot featured a signed letter from Lawrence (1888-1935) to Harry Goldie, a soldier who served alongside him between 1917 and 1919, that reads: "You, having been one of us, get (if you want it) a gratis copy of the text of the subscriber's edition. I stipulated this in my letter to the subscribers.

"It's exactly the same text as they have, but has none of the illustrations... I take it, from your letter, that you'd like one of these private copies, & shall send it to you when it's ready."

In 2012, another "Cranwell" edition, one of the 170 complete examples, achieved £50,450 ($82,334) at Bonhams in London.

We have a selection of books and manuscripts available to purchase, including this signed copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Memoir.

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