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With the front of its original dust jacket affixed to the upper pastedown, an accompanying letter from its creator starting with “My Dear Pop, The book is out at last…” urges the recipient to persuade others to buy copies.

Also included in the lot was a much, much later typed and signed letter of 1960, one that Christie sent in response to a query from the book’s then owner.

In it she first explains that the letter was sent to her brother-in-law, James Watts, but then in a footnote has second thoughts and wonders whether it might actually have been addressed to his ‘Pop’.

Wise choice

Previewed in ATG No 2545, one of the 170, privately printed subscribers’ copies of Seven Pillars of Wisdom that TE Lawrence signed off as complete in 1926 was the June 17 sale’s most expensive lot at £52,000.

A copy with an interesting Dorset (and motor-cycle) related back story, as noted in that preview, it was followed in the catalogue by an example of the prospectus for what was to become that subscriber edition.

Comprising the first eight chapters – the first of which was later suppressed on the advice of George Bernard Shaw – the prospectus sold at a low-estimate £19,000.

The day’s second-most expensive lot, albeit at a low estimate £30,000, was a first edition copy of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit from 1937.