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  • TE Lawrence 'Cranwell' edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom to auction
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 'Cranwell'editionLawrenceTE

TE Lawrence 'Cranwell' edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom to auction

A rare "Cranwell" edition of TE Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom - A Triumph is valued at £15,000-20,000 ($24,480-32,640) ahead of a sale at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh.

The lot will headline the Rare Books, Maps and Manuscripts auction on January 15.

Lawrence Cranwell Pillars Lyon
The Cranwell edition was privately printed by Lawrence in 1926

It features a letter from Lawrence to Harry Goldie, with whom he served in the Hijaz in 1917-1919, that reads: "You, having been one of us, get (if you want it) a gratis copy of the text of the subscribers edition.

"I stipulated this in my letter to the subscribers. It's exactly the same text as they have, but has none of the illustrations... I take it, from your letter, that you'd like one of these private copies, & shall send it to you when it's ready."

The copy is one of 211 "Cranwell" editions that Lawrence had privately printed at great personal expense in 1926. Of these, 170 are complete and 32 are missing three plates - along with nine that feature only plates.

The 32 copies missing plates, including the example in the sale, were given to the soldiers that served under him that could not afford to pay full price for the book.

Last year, another "Cranwell" edition, one of the 170 complete copies, sold for £50,450 ($82,334) at Bonhams London.

We have a range of rare books and manuscripts available to purchase, including this rare signed copy of Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Memoir.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 'Cranwell'editionLawrenceTE