Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lawrence of Arabia - Stamp Designer

"While he was going quietly nutty as a desk jockey in Cairo attached to Britian's Egyptian Survey in 1916 during World War I, T.E. Lawrence, not yet the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, worked on a project that became the symbolic first shot fired in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire...He designed and printed postage stamps," according to a write-up on the Booktryst website.

Author Stephen J. Gertz pens,"The stamps were collected in a limited edition book in 1918, A Short Note on the Design and Issue of Postage Stamps Prepared by the Survey of Egypt for His Highness Husein Emir & Sherif of Mecca & King of the Hejaz. One of the most respected and desirable volumes of philatelic literature, it has become an extremely rare book; no copies have come to auction within the last thirty-five years."

Gertz goes on to say, "The stamps were issued in September of 1916, just prior to Lawrence's assignment to join the Arab revolt as British military liaison in October of that year. Not only were the stamps beautiful to the eye, they were, apparently, tasty on the tongue. Lawrence circulated a story, perhaps apocryphal, that he had used a strawberry-flavored glue which created a problem as the Arabs were buying the stamps simply to lick them."

Shown above, stamps designed by T.E. Lawrence.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM