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British Colonial History (287 items)

Large Archive / Collection of Sir Harry Luke's personal letters, photographs and Ephemera from his 39 years of service for the Bristish Colonial Office

16. [Commonwealth & Colonial History] – Luke, Sir Harry [Lukach, Harry] – ‘the most unwasted life of any man I have known’ – (Sir Ronald Storrs on Sir Harry Luke)

Very Large Archive / Collection of British Colonial Official & Lieutenant-Governor of Malta, Sir Harry Luke. The Archive is Sir Harry Luke’s very personal and one might say, confidential collection of original autographed letters, correspondence and books he surrounded himself with at the end of his life. The Archive includes important and meaningful personal and official letters as well as working-copies of books which Luke wrote himself at every location he was posted to during his career. In order to understand the vastness of the Archive you need to visit our website and see the nineteen (19) chapters of Material we synchronised chronologically with Sir Harry Luke’s life [Search for “Library & Collections” and find 19 chapters at the bottom of that page]. The Archive contains an unbelievable and impressive array of several highly interesting letters and correspondence regarding key historical events as disparate as the Mudros/Gallipoli-Campaign under Rosslyn Wemyss, the Jaffa Riots, the Western Wall Riots of Jerusalem in 1929 as well as information on diplomatic activity prior to the Suez Crisis, descriptions of locations like Guadalcanal prior to the War in the Pacific, detailed information on personell at Gardner Island / Phoenix Islands during the vanishing of Amelia Earhart, to only name a few bizarre coincidences. The books contain manuscript annotations and preparatory notes for later editions as well as many letters written to Luke regarding the many postings he served at during his long career in the Colonial Service. The Archive includes several hundred pages of correspondence between Luke and other officials within the Colonial Office, often in multi-page letters. Also included is proof of Luke’s connections to the Ecclesiastical World of the Vatican and Lambeth Palace, his diplomatic abilities are praised in letters from friends and officials alike. Luke received cordial letters from Queens (Queen Salote) as well as polarizing letters from Politicians. Included are manuscript notepads as well as confidential reports from other diplomats on locations where Luke was soon to be taking office, e.g. British Western Pacific Islands. The Archive is unique in its form because it represents not only the correspondence between Luke as an official but also allows us a view into the life of a Career Diplomat of the last days of the Colonial British Empire who develops a deep connection with everyone he served with and under. Luke did not only keep correspondence with famous friends like Ronald Storrs but also emotional letters from those who served under him and respectfully stay in touch beyond the termination of Luke’s service. Many letters to family colleagues in the Colonial Office, Politicians, Priests with political functions, are preserved with Luke’s original typescript-answer or initial letter. The official and often explosive and historically meaningful content with striking relevance for reinterpreting Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Conflicts etc. makes this archive a must for research and posterity. This is not just any diplomat’s archive. The majority of these letters are unpublished but are waiting to be discovered (see for example the long letter by Sir Kenneth Roberts-Wray on the Palestine Commission. Also included his Luke’s very valuable, handwritten manuscript-notebook of colonial postings-recipe-collections together with his working copy of the very special cookery book “The Tenth Muse”. The recipe-book, written in the 1930s, includes several pages with historical recipes of Food prepared in Cyprus, with special recipes of “Kyrenia Salad”, “Apricot Brandy (Cyprus)”, “Kyrenia Tomato Paste”, Kyrenia Salad”, or in Malta: “Deviled Chicken Livers (from wife of some Colonel [Dodo Stone] in Malta) or a recipe for Paté “From Soeur Marie Pierre, a nun from the Vendée in Rotuma [Rotuma Island – a dependency of Fiji]. The majority of the collection is now catalogued and visible on our website. A collection of c. 89 letters and 43 items of Ephemera has not been catalogued yet.

England / Palestine / Israel / Malta / Cyprus, Fiji / Sierra Leone etc., 1898 – 1968. Octavo / Quarto / Folio. c.15000 pages (books) / Collection of hundreds of Letters (see images) / Photographs and ephemera etc. Original Hardcover / Softover – Bindings (also private interim-bindings), often with the rare dustjackets in protective collector’s Mylar, some without dustjackets. Very good condition with only minor signs of external wear. Please check our website under “Libraries & Collections” and see detailed listings of books and letters, all categorized.

EUR 275.000,-- 

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[Cumberbatch, Large Family Archive of the Benwell Rees - Family, including William Benwell Rees

18. [Cumberbatch, Benedict] Cumberbatch, Henry Arnold / Rees, Helen / Basil Benwell Rees / William Benwell Rees / Etheldreda Blanche Barker / [Sir Winston Churchill / Sir Anthony Arthur Duncan Montague Browne [Private Secretary to Sir Winston Churchill]].

Large Family Archive of the Benwell Rees – Family, including William Benwell Rees (brother to actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s grandmother Helen Rees, by marriage to British Diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch, who was Consul in Romania, Turkey and Lebanon ). The archive includes at least one manuscript letter by Henry Arnold Cumberbatch and around one thousand documents chronicling the lives of the ex-patriate Benwell Rees family from 1890-1970 in Alexandria and Monaco, including William Benwell Rees, whose marriage to Etheldreda Blanche Barker cemented the family’s role in the highest circles of Alexandria life. The archive also charts their son Basil Rees’ decade in Monaco under Princess Grace and Prince Rainer III where he served as President of the British Association in the 1950’s-‘60s and solicited a letter written by Sir Anthony Arthur Duncan Montague Browne, on Winston Churchill’s behalf on Chartwell headed paper in which the former Prime Minister declined to attend an event in Monaco [signed by Montague Browne]. The archive is held in five heavy volumes, bursting with a plethora of amazing and wonderful historical letters, ephemera, emotional messages and telegrams, old images, theatre-programmes, and especially also includes programmes of plays in which ancestors of Benedict played (J.M.Barrie, Shakespeare etc.). The original letters and documents paint an interesting picture of Benedict Cumberbatch’s grandmother’s side of the family history in the Levant, their service in the Middle East and their social lives. The five volumes are bound in bespoke red morocco over textured paper-covered-boards and they contain at least one reference to Helen Rees next to a newspaper-clipping and dozens of wonderful handwritten letters and cards. Each volume about four inches across spine with title in gilt to upper cover and around 100 leaves in each with documents mounted recto and verso throughout, with photographs, invitations, business materials and clippings that chart the family’s life in their service for the British Colonial Office. The five Volumes include for example: Volume 1: The Benwell Rees’: begins with Egyptian Gazette, 1890 and a programme for a performance c1900 at the Port Theatre, Marina, Alexandria of Rumpelstilkskin; visiting cards and contemporary reports of the marriage of W B Rees and Etheldreda Blanche Barker in Alexandria, February 1901; Windsor Hotels prospectus and flyer (a WBR enterprise); 1913 Casino de Monte Carlo ticket for Ethel Rees; Kings School Canterbury ephemera and St Johns’ College, Cambridge for Basil Rees from 1920’s, graduated June 1924. Volume 2: The Benwell Rees’ Vol II, 1920’s-1990’s: includes J M Barrie, Quality Street programme for English Girls’ School, Alexandria, 1941; invitations from Princess Grace of Monaco etc Volume 3: Basil Rees Vol III, cover nearly detached, 1953- Basil Rees living at 2 Rue Origene, Alexandria, and covering period of move to Palais Majestic, Monaco after which he served as President of the British Association and his sudden death in 1967. Invitations to dinner and place settings with the Prince and Princess of Monaco. Birthday greetings; international stamp collecting societies. Photographic ‘Permis de Sejour’ for William Benwell Rees in Monaco, October 1918. Volume 4: Basil Rees Vol. IV Begins with telegram from Rees to the Queen; mostly very extensive formal correspondence concerned with Rees’ Presidency of he British Association in Monaco; invitations, notes, printed volume of Statutes of association from 1950, royal correspondence with Monaco and Britain. Volume 5: Basil Rees 4-5 1902 Vol II; William Basil Benwell Rees; Royal Navy ID card, British Forces, September 1943 – other material relating to Rees’ work as Duty Defence Officer at the Royal Navy Defence Base in Alexandria, HMS Nice. Volume begins in 1902 and includes Alexandria Dog Show, W B B Rees at Jesus College, Cambridge; Egypt NAAFI permits; lock of Basil Rees’ hair, aged 2 etc.

Alexandria / Monaco / etc., c. 1902 – 1967. Octavo. Half Morocco. Bindings stronger rubbed and slightly damaged.

EUR 28.000,-- 

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Wemyss, Original SIGNED Portrait of the Sir Rosslyn Wemyss with Mudrous / Mudros Papers

20. [Cyprus / Famagusta / Mudros Content] – [Wemyss, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rosslyn / Governor of Moudros] – Lukach, Harry Charles [later Sir Harry Luke] / [Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Rosslyn Erskine Wemyss / Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Michael de Robeck].

[Collection of five items of Signed Portrait of Sir Rosslyn Wemyss and Excellent Manuscript-Letter – Exchange with Harry Lukach, later Sir Harry Luke] The collection includes: 1. Original SIGNED Portrait of Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, while Rear Admiral, Senior Officer and Governor of Moudros / Mudros / 2. Together with autographed and signed manuscript-letter by Sir Rosslyn to his friend and subordinate, Harry Lukach [later Sir Harry Luke], who obviously had sent him congratulations when Wemyss was appointed as Admiral Sir Jellicoe’s replacement in December 1917 as First Sea Lord: “My dear Lukach – it was nice of you to send me your telegram but you will realize that I haven’t looked upon my appointment as an object for congratulations, though it is none the less nice that I should receive them from my friends. I had a letter from your father the other day, who told me that he thought it was possible that you decided to get out of your present Job, & that if so I could possibly be [?] for you to do so. If you have any ideas on the subject, do write & let me know, for you may be quite sure that I shall be only too glad to do anything to help you in that direction, for as I have told you before, I think that your powers should be need in some less circumscribed area than where you are at present – All good luck – Believe me – Yours very sincerely (s o) R.E. Wemyss” (dated 5th January, 1918) / 3. Together with Harry Lukach’s answer in a manuscript letter from February 11th, 1918, on Stationery of “Famagusta Club – Cyprus”: “Dear Sir Rosslyn, I am most grateful for your letter of the 5th January, & for your kindness in thinking of me among your many preoccupations. I need scarcely assure you that I am only too anxious to [?] what Service under the Admiralty, if this were possible, as I feel that, although I have recently been given promotion inside Cyprus to the Commissionship of Famagusta, I might perhaps be of more use at present Day in Palestine, the Balkans, or Elsewhere in the Near or Middle East than here. If any Naval Mission in those theatres required someone to do work of a kind for which you thought me fitted, I do not think the CO would think of declining to second me if you were to be good enough to ask for my services, especially as I am known to you personally through having had the privilege of serving on your Staff, Yours very sincerely (so) HCLukach”. / 4. Together with a stunning Typescript-copy of Luke’s application from his post in Famagusta, Cyprus, to the Secretary of State for the Colonies on 31 October, 1918, in which Luke lists his many achievements and asks for an administrative or political appointment in Turkey or Persia “if on conclusion of peace any territories in those countries should pass under British administration or control (this typescript is written while Lukach is Commissioner of Famagusta, Cyprus and he mentions the service under Sir Rosslyn Wemyss) – Luke also includes a typescript of C.D. Fenn for the Chief Secretary to Government in the year 1916 in which the Government confirms appreciation of his valuable service in connection with the administration of Mudros. Luke kept all these items together in his collection with the scrapbook-collection of printed Mudros – Orders he received from Wemyss and de Robeck while on Mudros (see below description of item No.5).

[This item is part of the Sir Harry Luke – Archive / Collection]. Mudros, Authority, c. 1918. 33,5 cm x 21,5 cm. Size of the Original Photograph Portrait of Sir Rosslyn Wemyss: Image: 14.5 cm wide x 19.5 cm high, signed in ink and mounted on board which measures 17.5 cm wide x 22.7 cm high. / The Volume with official documents counts c. 100 pages. Original Hardcover. The extremely rare photograph of Sir Rosslyn Wemyss in very good condition and beautifully signed and only with some minor signs of wear / The Mudros – Volume of official orders by Wemyss, de Robeck and Lukach with some minor staining to boards, very occasional only some foxing to pages. Otherwise in excellent condition.

EUR 275.000,-- 

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