View full screen - View 1 of Lot 92. LAWRENCE | Keffiyah or head-dress, with head-band, from Lawrence's driver in 1918.

LAWRENCE | Keffiyah or head-dress, with head-band, from Lawrence's driver in 1918

Property of a Distinguished Collector

LAWRENCE | Keffiyah or head-dress, with head-band, from Lawrence's driver in 1918

LAWRENCE | Keffiyah or head-dress, with head-band, from Lawrence's driver in 1918

Property of a Distinguished Collector


Ivory silk Kaffiyah, or head-dress

118 x 112.5cm, woven to the borders on either side with grey lozenges; with two Ageyls or head-bands, one formed from lengths of blue silk tightly adorned with gold thread and wire bands, the other formed from two joined loops covered with black diapered silk

[with:] Two photographs showing Private Harry Hosker in Egypt, each 14x9cm, captions on the reverse, 1916-17, and his military driving licence, signed, February 1916

"...If you wear Arab things, wear the best. Clothes are significant among the tribes, and you must wear the appropriate, and appear at ease in them. Dress like a Sherif, if they agree to it..." (T.E. Lawrence, from 'Twenty-seven Articles', 1917)

Lawrence famously wore Arab dress during the Arab Revolt, although he had first discovered how well suited the costume was to desert life when excavating at Carchemish in Syria in the years before World War I. His adoption of Arab dress was practical but also crucial to his mission, which required that he have the trust of the Arab people. Towards the end of the war he tended to wear more elaborate costume. By the time he returned to Europe after the war, Lawrence had assembled a substantial collection of contemporary Arab dress and he made a number of gifts to friends and family. Items of Arab dress from Lawrence's collection are now found at institutions including the Ashmolean museum, Oxford, All Souls College, Oxford, the Museum of Costume, Bath, and the National Army Museum (see Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence of Arabia, (National Portrait Gallery Publications, 1988), nos 105, 106, 108, 112, 113, and 114).

These mementoes of Lawrence were brought back from the Middle East by Private Harry Hosker, Lawrence's driver and batman. Hosker had served in the Middle East from March 1916 in the Royal Army Service Corps. He worked for Lawrence from February 1918 until he left theatre later in the year, and is included in Lawrence's roll of names in the Hejaz Armoured Car Company (Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Appendix I). Lawrence trusted Hosker to drive his car with a trunk full of gold sovereigns that he used to buy off Bedouin, but not all his duties were carried out to Lawrence's satisfaction; Hosker later told his family about Lawrence's complaints at his culinary skills, especially his inability to cook porridge.


Sotheby's, Important European and Oriental Costumes, London, 7-8 November 1996, lot 142

Some staining to head-dress. Blue silk head-band slightly faded.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.