A UK auction house is to combine the fantastic stories of Peter Pan and Lawrence of Arabia in its December 4 sale, when a christening cup presented by TE Lawrence to the grandson of JM Barrie will be sold.
The 17th century cup was originally gifted by Lawrence - whose exploits, the film Lawrence of Arabia is based upon - to Ruthven Barrie Llewellyn Davies, the son of Peter Llewellyn Davies, in 1933. Peter Davies was one of five brothers adopted by JM Barrie and is believed to have been the inspiration for his most famous character, Peter Pan.
Lawrence had been named godson of Davies' newborn son and has inscribed the cup: "RBLLD June 21st 1933 from his godfather T E Shaw". Lawrence had recently changed his name to avoid notoriety after his exploits during the first world war were widely published. He has also added: "Lawrence of Arabia" as well as "For the imp: belated but will not know about time yet…TES".
The auction house's Helen Jonas told the Saffron Walden Reporter: "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. But it's the link to both a real-life hero and a much-loved fictional character that will appeal to buyers and collectors."
It is expected to bring £1,000-1,500 ($1,600-2,400) to the auction, which also features a small collection from the Llewellyn Davies family. The estimate seems modest, and the cup's fascinating provenance could see it raised far beyond the expected price.
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