A DAGGER believed to have been owned by Lawrence of Arabia is one of hundreds of historic items set to go under the hammer when a museum near Stratford sells off exhibits.
The rock crystal hilted dagger is thought to be the property of T.E. Lawrence – the British First World War army officer famously depicted by Peter O’Toole in David Lean’s classic film Lawrence of Arabia.
Bosses at Stratford Armouries are selling more than 600 items valued at up to £500,000 in the auction on Saturday March 28.
They want to move the museum in a different direction and focus on the English Civil War and the First and Second World Wars.
Other lots in the auction, which will be held at the Pathlow-based museum, include a 19th century horse armour complete with a knight in full suit of armour once exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is expected to achieve in the region of £30,000 to £40,000.
A 19th century cannon valued at £20,000 and a rare English Civil War siege helmet estimated at £2,000 to £4,000 are among other items.
Ben Gamble, of auctioneers Cuttlestones, described the diversity of lots as ‘astonishing’.
He said: “There’s everything from tribal and oriental armour through to medieval suits of armour, heavy artillery and even lots with a Shakespeare connection.
“The fact that the items hail from a single, private collection and have been housed in a museum for several years, added to the rarity of many, will mean that global buyers will be out in force, and we fully expect the telephone lines and live internet bidding facility to be incredibly busy.”
Lots will be available to view at the museum for three days prior to the sale.
Visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk to view the full catalogue.
The rock crystal hilted dagger thought to have been owned by T.E. Lawrence is expected to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000. (s)