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The T.E. Lawrence Collection of the late David Enders
David Enders (1922-2000) was educated at Lindisfarne College and Wadham College, Oxford. Following wartime service in the Welsh Guards, he decided to become an actor, and joined the Buxton Repertory Company in 1944, making his West End debut in Clifford Bax's The Golden Eagle. However, he became best known as a radio actor, during the post-war period that was the golden age of radio drama; perhaps his greatest critical success was in R.C. Sherriff's Journey's End, of which Peter Cushing wrote to him 'I have never heard a more excellent performance on the wireless'. In 1950 he decided to extend his interests, and (following an all-round apprenticeship in another restaurant) opened 'L'Aiglon' in Old Church Street, Chelsea, which enjoyed a swift success and the patronage of many actors, including Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman and Sir Alec Guiness. When Sir Laurence Olivier opened the Chichester Theatre, he asked David Enders to open a restaurant there, to provide supper to audiences after performances. His typically ingenious solution was the then-novel smörgasbord, a meal that could be prepared during the play, and quickly eaten afterwards by those who had long journeys to make. During this time he continued to act, when suitable roles were offered, and transformed 'L'Aiglon' (which was becoming expensive to operate) into a shop selling Portuguese ceramics, fabrics and metalwork. A resident of Chelsea since the 1950s, he was a very active member of the Chelsea Society: as Tom Pocock recorded in his obituary, David Enders 'was tireless in battling what he considered misguided developments in Chelsea' ('Chelsea Society Annual Report 2000', pp.63-4).
T.E. Lawrence fascinated David Enders throughout his life: when he was 16 he asked his parents for a copy of Seven Pillars of Wisdom as a birthday present, and his interest remained strong until his death. He searched out -- with perception and knowledge -- rare and important items both at auction and through booksellers. His collection is notable both for its range (which covers Lawrence's life from the architectural tours of France to his translation of the Odyssey), and for the number of remarkable association items, such as the portrait of the dedicatee of Seven Pillars of Wisdom commissioned for Lawrence (lot 6, illustrated on the lower cover of this catalogue and included in the National Portrait Gallery's 1989 exhibition 'T.E. Lawrence') and Lawrence's annotated copy of Gertude Bell's Letters (lot 18). The following 27 lots are arranged in chronological order of date of writing, rather than publication.