A PLATE believed to have been owned and used by TE Lawrence has sold for £1,100 at auction.

The RAF mess plate, thought to belong to the man who would become known as Lawrence of Arabia, bears the insignia of the RAF, which Lawrence joined as an enlisted man after World War One under the pseudonym TE Shaw.

Richard Bromell, of Charterhouse auctioneers, Sherborne, said: "To find anything connected to Lawrence is incredibly rare as he led a modest life at Cloud’s Hill, his small country retreat near Wareham, Dorset."

The pottery plate, measuring 24cm in diameter, bears the RAF insignia and was discovered in a Dorset cottage by Charterhouse auctioneers during a probate property clearance. It has an estimate of £500-£1,000.

On the back of the plate is a taped down old paper label.

Although some is indecipherable, this label mainly reads: 'This plate was the property of TE Lawrence during his service with the RAF from August 1922-1935. Died May 19th 1935. Presented to Caius School by Davis Hardiman 1950.'

Mr Bromell said: "We often come across paper labels stuck onto items. Some of these can be applied to deceive so you always have to tread carefully.

"But I think in this case the label could be quite possibly a genuine reference to T E Lawrence owning the plate as it just looks and feels right.

"In addition, it appears to have been donated to the private school in the 1950s. At this time, TE Lawrence was held in high esteem by many and it was after 1962 when the film Lawrence of Arabia came out when public interest was greatly increased."

It was during the Great War, while serving as a British Army officer, that Lawrence would became renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt.

After the war he joined the Foreign Office and in 1922 he retreated from public life, joining the RAF.

In 1926 he published The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an autobiographical account of his participation in Arabia.

He was fatally injured in 1935 riding his Brough Superior motorbike close to his cottage, Cloud's Hill.

But he would be immortalised in the 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, which starred Peter O'Toole.

The plate, lot 574, went under the auctioneers hammer at Charterhouse in Sherborne on Friday, February 5, during an online auction.