LAWRENCE, T.E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a triumph. [London: Privately Printed], 1926.
4o (253 x 190 mm). Printed in red and black. 66 plates, including frontispiece portrait of Feisal by Augustus John, many colored or tinted, 4 double-page, by Eric Kennington, William Roberts, Augustus John, William Nicholson, Paul Nash and others (Camel March closely trimmed touching border), 4 folding colored maps (with original linen backing), 58 illustrations in text, one colored, by Roberts, Nash, Kennington, Blair-Hughes-Stanton, Gerturde Hermes and others, initials by Edward Wadsworth. Original rose morocco by Bumpus, gilt-lettered on front cover and spine, original endpapers by Kennington, edges gilt; green morocco folding case by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Provenance: A. Henderson Bishop, original subscriber (presentation inscription); Haven O'More, The Garden, Ltd. (morocco bookplate; sale Sotheby's New York, 9 November 1989, lot 230).
A VERY FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF THE PRIVATELY PRINTED EDITION, limited to about 170 'complete' subscriber's copies, INSCRIBED BY LAWRENCE on p. XIX "Complete copy. 1.XII.26 TES.", with a single additional manuscript correction to the illustration list. WITH A LENGTHY PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION BY LAWRENCE TO A. HENDERSON BISHOP of Glasgow on the front flyleaf: "This copy lacks fly-leaves enough to hide an inscription. There should have been three more; so that Bishop's visitors, looking casually at the book, might have missed this reference to the kindness he did the book's printer. He has been most kind to him, and this note is to express gratitude. As the book is a bibliophilic and bibliographic nightmare, the kindness is all the more delightfully unmerited. I won't say, however, what it was. Let that be our private knowledge. TES." Only this and the copy inscribed to Winston Churchill are known with inscriptions by Lawrence in the front.
This copy is also one of a very few ADDITIONALLY SIGNED BY THE PRINTER, MANNING PIKE on the colophon. Pike and his assistant, H.J. Hodgson, worked on the printing for more than three years.
In addition to the flyleaves mentioned in Lawrence's inscription, the present copy illustrates other bibliographic difficulties the book is known to possess, most of which resulted from the author's complicated requirements of printing and assembling the book. This copy includes the 'Prickly Pear' plate, but not the two Paul Nash illustrations called for on pages 92 and 208, or the Blair-Hughes-Stanton wood engraving that in some copies illustrated the dedicatory poem. In this copy, page XV is mis-paginated as VIII. Clements p. 49 (stating that "only about 100 copies were produced at 30 guineas each"); O'Brien A040.
[With:] Carbon typed note by booksellers John and Edward Bumpus, Ltd., 19 June 1927, a 3-page typed account of the printing of Seven Pillars by H.J. Hodgson and a 1-page typed extract of a letter from John Byrne of Bertram Rota, Ltd., quoting Lawrence's biographer Jeremy Wilson, to Haven O'More, discussing the rarity of this copy: "... Presumably this Pike signing is equally rare--I have seen only one other, I think Wilson states that he is unable to throw any light on what may have been the special service performed by Henderson Bishop to the printer, but he goes on: 'I think this copy of Seven Pillars is the only one I have yet seen with an inscription in the front, although I think Churchill's also had one, which is reproduced in 'Great Contemporaries'. Probably several of the 'gift' incompletes were inscribed."