[LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward (1888-1935), designer and Sir E.M. DOWSON]. A Short Note on the Design and Issue of Postage Stamps Prepared by the Survey of Egypt for His Highness Hussein, Emir & Sherif of Mecca & King of the Hejaz. El-Qahira [Cairo]: [Survey of Egypt], 1918.
4° (277 x 186 mm). Title-page and frontispiece printed in green within a brown and tan decorative border, frontispiece with a set of mounted stamps, text printed in red and black throughout, 12 color-printed plates, folding table. Original tan boards with printed green arabesque design, decorative printed endpapers with a similar arabesque design (corners bumped). Provenance: Sir Henry McMahon (presentation statement dated 15 March 1919).
FIRST EDITION, LIMITED ISSUE number 35 of 200 copies, presented to Sir Henry McMahon with a compliment slip from the Surveyor General of Egypt laid in. Sir Henry McMahon served as the High Commissioner in Egypt from 1915-1917, and was British High Commander during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire; McMahon features prominently in Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Shortly following the Arab Revolution, Ottoman postage could no longer be used in the Hajaz, and the Arab Bureau inquired with the Survey of Egypt, where T.E. Lawrence was assigned, about the possibility of creating new postage stamps. Lawrence and Col. Ronald Storrs did the initial research on design, and Storrs reports in his 1937 memoir, Orientations: “we decided that the best proof that [the revolution] had taken place would be provided by an issue of Hajaz postage stamps. …Sir Henry MacMahon, High Commissioner Egypt, was quick to approve. …It was quickly apparent that Lawrence already possessed or had immediately assimilated a complete working technique of philatelic and three-color reproduction, so he was able to supervise the issue from start to finish.” Though not explicitly mentioned for his work with the design, the introduction does extend thanks to “El Emir ‘Awarunis of the Northern Armies of His Highness.” RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, no copies of this work have appeared at auction in the last 35 years. Not in O’Brien.