Lawrence of Arabia's waistcoat goes under the hammer in Derbyshire, UK

Lieutenant Colonel T E Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, is making a return to the auction block after his diaries brought £33,000 at a Lincolnshire, UK, auction earlier this year.

Lawrence was famed for his role as a liaison officer during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule in 1916-1918, later chronicled in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The book has been compared to Dostoevsky, Melville, Yeats and Joyce.

Decades after his death in a motorcycle accident, Lawrence's life was famously immortalised in David Lean's 1962 classic film Lawrence of Arabia, starring the charismatic Peter O'Toole.

Lawrence of Arabia played by Peter O'Toole in 1962 (left); and the
real-life Lieutenant Colonel T E Lawrence

The film helped cement Lawrence's enduring status as an icon. For this reason, collectors are today interested in all aspects of the former liaison officer's life - and it was only a matter of time before something unique appeared on the auction block.

Tomorrow, the Derbyshire-based auctioneer Hanson's will auction a waistcoat which once belonged to Lawrence of Arabia, along with a matching jacket.

The ensemble is being sold by Janet Beardsley of Littleover, Derbyshire. According to Mrs Beardsley, the clothes were worn by Lieutenant Colonel T E Lawrence while serving in the British Army during the First World War.

They were apparently gifted by Lawrence himself to 79-year-old Ms Beardsley's great uncle, Arthur Simms, while the pair served in the Army together.

This rarely-seen autographed letter by Lawrence of Arabia is currently for sale on the private collectors' markets, valued at £5,950 ($9,800)


"My late husband, Norman, was a huge fan of Lawrence and my great uncle knew this, so he gave the jacket to him," Ms Beardsley told local newspaper the Derby Telegraph.

Lawrence of Arabia's waistcoat will auction tomorrow (November 25) estimated at £200-300. Given that signed TE Lawrence letters are valued at thousands on the private collectors' markets, it will be interesting to see what this unique piece brings.


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