The Lanes Armoury, Antiquarian & Specialist Book Dept. Many Thousands of Books in Stock, Most with a Military & Historical Flavour, Plus, Rare First Editions, Incunabula, Late Medieval Books or Illuminated Pages from Ancient Prayer Books
Just a tiny proportion can seen on our website to buy online, as we have many thousands of books to choose from, and as they are our largest individual selling item, they come and go so fast that individual listing is simply too impractical sadly. If you require a military, or historical book, either antique or modern, please email a request, stating; title, author, and publisher [if known].
Large quantity book purchases [over 30 volumes] can attract discounts wherever possible. We specialise almost entirely in hardbacks, but also military or wartime magazines and journals, both for reference or the study, plus 'coffee table' books.
We also specialise in rare, 1st editions, late medieval books, incunabula and individual illuminated manuscripts, from such as a book of hours etc.
In the past year we were delighted to find for a collector a most rare special edition volume we have been seeking for him for around 10 years. He had been looking for 20 years, had seen two, the last in Edinburgh around 9 years ago, the other at Bonhams Auctioneers in 2012 [that sold for a shade over £50,000 gbp] but neither were quite suitable to his needs.
It was a most rare complete copy of the "Cranwell" 1926 edition of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. by T.E.Lawrence
The book, signed by Lawrence, was an absolute gem
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom - T. E. Lawrence's famous recount of his role in the Arab Revolt of 1916 - 18, was first printed in the enormously rare "Oxford" edition in 1922. Only eight copies were printed. Lawrence then reworked the text over the next few years, aided by critical commentary from E. M Forster.
In 1926, Lawrence again took The Seven Pillars of Wisdom to print, this time as part of the "Cranwell" edition, privately printed for subscribers. Of the 211 copies printed, 32 were intentionally left incomplete, 170 were complete, lacking three plates, as gifts to the men who had served with Lawrence in Arabia.
The so-called 'Subscribers' Edition—in a limited print run of about 200 copies, each with a unique, sumptuous, hand-crafted binding—was published in late 1926, with the subtitle A Triumph. It was printed in London by Roy Manning Pike and Herbert John Hodgson, with illustrations by Eric Kennington, Augustus John, Paul Nash, Blair Hughes-Stanton and his wife Gertrude Hermes. Copies occasionally become available in the antiquarian trade outside of the UK and can easily command prices of up to US$100,000. Unfortunately, each copy cost Lawrence three times the thirty guineas the subscribers had paid
An advertisement for the 1935 edition quotes Churchill as saying "It ranks with the greatest books ever written in the English language. As a narrative of war and adventure it is unsurpassable."