Signed 1935 first edition of Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers, £2100 at Lodge & Thomas.

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Estimated at £120-180 in Truro by Lodge & Thomas (15% buyer’s premium), this was a copy of the 10th novel to feature Sayers’ most famous literary creation, Lord Peter Wimsey.

It is also one in which Harriet Vane, making only her third appearance in one of the writer’s books, is very much to the fore in a tale that is set in a fictional, all-female Oxford college, but one based on Sayers’ own experiences at Somerville College.

The term ‘Gaudy’ in this context refers to a college feast, or reunion, but this is also the tale in which (spoiler alert), at its conclusion, Vane finally agrees to Lord Peter’s previously dismissed proposals of marriage.