Cheques (or "checks" here in the U.S.) are a collecting specialty related to numismatics with a special charm all their own. Like the collecting field of stock certificates, their value can increase when bearing the signature of a famous person. This Art Daily article highlights a cheque written by author D. H. Lawrence, author of Sons and Lovers, and Lady Chatterley's Lover. Sorry about the image - it seems to be cut off at the right.
Lyon & Turnbull will sell a cheque for £5.2.0 (five pounds and two shillings) from the Midland Bank Limited, signed to D.H. Lawrence by H.K. Beazley & Co., dated August 10th 1928. The cheque, which has Lawrence's signature on the reverse, will be sold on the 11th October 2018 at their Rare Book & Manuscripts Sale in Edinburgh.
The cheque, valued at £800-1200, is believed to have been used to purchase 3 copies of Lady Chatterley's Lover in August 1928. The provenance can be traced in a series of letters written by D.H. Lawrence.
The novel, Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence, was first published privately in 1928 in Italy, and in 1929 in France and Australia.. The book was not published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960, when it was the subject of a watershed obscenity trial against the publisher Penguin Books. Penguin won the case, and quickly sold 3 million copies. The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical (and emotional) relationship between a working class man and an upper class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then unprintable words.
In August 1928, two men - Richard Aldington and S. Kotelinansky - were taking care of selling the many copies of Lady Chatterley's Lover which had been rejected by British booksellers. Although the authorities were aware that copies of the book were being shipped to the UK from Florence by Pino Orioli, who helped to publish the work, and were intercepting them, they had no idea about the British stash.
The purchaser would send an order to Orioli, who would then send the cheque to Lawrence in Switzerland, who would then ask Aldington or Koteliansky to post the books. On 17th August 1928, Lawrence wrote to Aldington: "Dear Richard, Could you send out the following orders...H.K. Beazley and Co., 19 Churton St. Victoria S.W.1. 3. copies..."
This cheque is particularly interesting because it deals directly with the author's sale of his own banned books.
To read the complete article, see:
Lyon & Turnbull to sell a cheque paid to D.H Lawrence for the purchase of his banned book, Lady Chatterly's Lover
Wayne Homren, Editor
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