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It was a copy that had belonged to Lady Naomi Mitchison of Carradale House, who died last year at the grand age of 101, and who knew many of those who provided the illustrations for Seven Pillars of Wisdom – Blair Hughes Stanton being a particular friend.

Estimated at £15,000-18,000 as Lot No.249 in the sale, it was actually in the process of being sold when a gentleman from the south of England who had heard about this copy of Lawrence’s book only that morning on the radio, telephoned to express an interest and, moments later, secured it at £18,000!

Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent