[LAWRENCE  (T. E.)] Lawrence of Arabia's 'Expert' Gramophone Needle Fibre Cutter

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Lot 161
[LAWRENCE (T. E.)]
Lawrence of Arabia's 'Expert' Gramophone Needle Fibre Cutter
Sold for £ 587 (US$ 764) inc. premium

Books

15 Nov 2005, 12:00 GMT

Oxford

Lot Details
[LAWRENCE (T. E.)]
Lawrence of Arabia's 'Expert' Gramophone Needle Fibre Cutter, constructed of steel, with scissor handles, 'Expert' impressed on one handle, 3 inches long, in velveteen bag with a hinged tin box of 'His Master's Voice' fibre needles, containing several needles,

Footnotes

  • Lawrence was a great enthusiast for music and gramophones. He had purchased a top quality hand-made Ginn Gramophone so that he could listen to records at Clouds Hill. Warwick James in his account of Lawrence's musical appreciation, published in 1937 in 'T. E. Lawrence by His Friends' writes: "It was characteristic that in order to obtain the fullest effects he devoted meticulous care to every mechanical detail rendering his machine as perfect as possible. He used wooden needles and found by experiment to obtain smoothness that dusting the surface of the record with graphite powder gave the best result." Ginn had invented fibre needles in 1924. R. G. Sims recorded that Lawrence was not entirely happy with the Ginn needle cutter and they tried to construct a machine of their own to sharpen the needles while he was stationed in Bridlington. However, it appears that by early May 1935 Lawrence decided to purchase the Ginn fibre needle cutter. An invoice for the purchase is made out to J. H. Ross (Lawrence's pseudonym) on E. M. Ginn headed paper, dated 10 May 1935. Just three days later, on 13th May, Lawrence suffered the motorcycle accident, which resulted in his death on the 19th May 1935.

    Provenance: [1] Invoice dated 10 May 1935 from E.M. Ginn, Oxford Street, to J. H. Ross, Cloud Hill, Moreton for 6 shillings for one 'Expert' Fibre Cutter. (In the T.E. Lawrence Archive, Bodleian Library, Oxford); [2] After Lawrence's death, a number of letters and objects, which had belonged to Lawrence passed into the possession of Mr and Mrs Patrick Knowles, probably as the result of a gift from A. W. Lawrence, T. E.'s brother. This cutter was purchased at in March 1994 from the sale of the effects of Joyce Knowles, the former curator at Clouds Hill. The sale also included a number of records inscribed by Lawrence.

    See illustration
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