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    D.H. Lawrence. The Paintings of D.H. Lawrence. London: The Mandrake Press, 1929.

    More Information:

    First edition. "This edition is limited to 510 copies, numbers 1-10 being printed upon Japanese vellum. Numbers 11-510 on Arches mould made paper. This is number 427." 39 pages and twenty-six color illustrations. Near fine book in a worn slipcase.

    Half brown morocco over green cloth covered boards with Lawrence's phoenix device in gilt on both boards, title gilt on spine, top edge gilt. In slipcase. Bookplate on front pastedown: "From the Library of Domer V. Dougherty/ D.H. Lawrence Collection". Minor shelf wear, endpapers lightly toned, occasional minor smudges and few small stains; slipcase with soiling, chips, fold separations, and tears. Else, a near fine copy of the book in a worn slipcase.

    The first book from the Mandrake Press was The Paintings of D.H. Lawrence, to be printed, according to its prospectus, on a pure rag (mould made) paper in a beautiful 18-point Garamond type. The paintings were reproduced in color and sized 10 by 8 inches. The illustrations were to be done in "colour tone process." Five hundred copies were offered on private subscription at 10 guineas and ten copies, printed on vellum and signed by Lawrence, were offered at 50 guineas. There were also an unknown number of "Out of series" copies produced (Carr, 14).  

    When the book was released in early June of 1929 the twenty five original paintings were on exhibition at the Warren Gallery in London.  The gallery was run by Dorothy Warren and her husband Phillip Trotter.  On the fifth of July, 1929 at four p.m., two inspectors arrived at the Gallery and operating under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, asked the Trotters to close the exhibition.  The gallery owners refused.  One hour later the inspectors returned with more police officers.  They confiscated thirteen of the twenty five paintings.

    "The chief criterion for selection, Phillip Trotter concluded, was pubic hair, although 'Spring' and 'Leda' were no doubt taken for other reasons: naked men embracing and the rape of a woman by a swan" (Ellis, 490).  Four display copies of the Mandrake Press edition of The Paintings of D.H. Lawrence were also taken and among them was one of the ten expensive vellum copies.  The paintings were eventually returned with the promise that they would never be displayed again in public; however the books were slated to be destroyed.

    The commotion at the Warren Gallery appears to have contributed markedly to the initial success of the Mandrake's first book; however it also left its author emotionally drained and depressed.  Roughly two thousand pounds went into the production of the Mandrake Press' first book.  The publicity was phenomenal and led to an almost immediate profit. 

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 8
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