POSTCARD MAKES ITS MARK
A century-old DH Lawrence postcard found under a bed – has significantly exceeded its estimate at auction to sell for thousands of pounds.
Lawrence, one of Britain’s foremost literary figures who spent time living in Derbyshire and used various locations in the county in his novels, wrote the postcard to Louie Burrows shortly before they became engaged to be married in 1910 – a woman he described as warming his heart like a ‘sunny day’.
The postcard, which was inherited by Louie’s great niece Ros Connolly, had a guide price of £300-£500 when it went under the hammer at Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers – but was contested to £3,000. It sold to a private UK buyer.
Mrs Connolly, who keeps her postcard collection under the bed, came across it when she was downsizing. In 2019, a D H Lawrence postcard, found by chance as it was about to be thrown in a skip at Bilsthorpe tip, near Newark, sold for £1,500 at Hansons.
Jim Spencer, who works on paper specialists at Hansons, said: ‘What a result! I knew it would do well as we had intense interest ahead of the sale, but to sell for ten times its low estimate is incredible. D H Lawrence’s literary impact is very special.’
The postcard from 1910 reawakened a love story from more than a century ago. Mr Spencer said: ‘The couple never married but Louie was engaged to D H Lawrence from 1910-12. He must have broken her heart when he left her but she always remembered him with fondness. The character Ursula in his book The Rainbow is based on their relationship and her former home, Church Cottage in Cossall, near Ilkeston, is also referenced.’
Mrs Connolly said: ‘I was given the postcard by my grandma Constance Slee, Louie’s sister, when I was about five years old, in 1955. I started collecting postcards when I was four or five as I thought they were pretty. At the time, I didn’t realise the importance of Aunt Louie’s postcard.
‘I’ve always kept my postcard collection in my bedroom, often under the bed. I came across it again when I was downsizing and decided to sell it as tribute to my great aunt. Aunt Louie and my uncle Fred Heath, who she married in later life, were lovely people.
‘I knew Louie always had a place in her heart for D H Lawrence – and he loved her. He liked her intellect. I would like their love story to be remembered. It’s a magical piece of family history.’