A spectacular gilt christening cup that provides an unusual connection between the real-life Peter Pan and Lawrence of Arabia has sold as part of a UK auction held on December 4.
The 17th century German parcel gilt cup sold for £2,000 ($3,221), making a 33.3% increase on its £1,500 high valuation. The final sale price was boosted by the remarkable story surrounding the piece.
The cup was presented by TE Lawrence - whose exploits the film Lawrence of Arabia is based upon - to Ruthven Barrie Llewellyn Davies, son of Peter Lewellyn Davies, upon his birth in 1933. Peter Davies was one of the five brothers that Peter Pan author JM Barrie adopted, and is believed to have served as the inspiration for the writer's most famous character.
TE Lawrence, who had changed his name to TE Shaw to avoid notoriety following the publication of his book, was named the godson of Davies' newborn son. He has added an inscription to the cup, which reads: "RBLLD June 21st 1933 from his godfather T E Shaw". To make it clear for the newborn, he has also added "Lawrence of Arabia" below the inscription.
Another, more personal inscription follows: "For the imp: belated but will not know about time yet…TES".
The auction house's Helen Jonas commented prior to the sale: "Not only does this cup have a fascinating ownership, but it's a very attractive piece of silverware in its own right. It dates back to the early 17th century and was made in Germany by Paul Hubner."