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DE CHAIR, Somerset.

The Golden Carpet; The Silver Crescent.

Published by Permission of the War Office.

Published: London: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1943

Stock code: 105498

Price: £1,500

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First editions, each in a signed edition limited of 300 copies of which just 30 were in the full binding as here, copies 16 and 25 respectively. de Chair was Intelligence Officer with “Kingcol”, a Flying Column of less than 1,500 men under the Command of Brig.-Gen. Kingstone. This tiny force was sent from Palestine to Baghdad to deal with the effects of the “Golden Square” coup amongst pro-Nazi Iraqi Military Officers. Despite the air support extended to the Iraqis by the German and Italian air forces, the operation was a complete success, Baghdad falling on 30th May 1941, the books cover this and subsequent operations in Syria. Reviewed in the Spectator on the issue of the composite trade edition in 1944 as “a fascinating and well-told story … in the tradition of T. E. Lawrence, and one worthy to take its place in the history of British soldiers’ heroic campaigns in the Near East”.

2 volumes quarto. The first in full green, and the second full blue morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, titles gilt to spines, gilt edge-roll, single fillet gilt to the turn-ins, top edges gilt, the others uncut. Each in the white linen slipcase as issued. Photogravure portrait frontispiece to each and numerous similar illustrations to the text of the second, the majority full-page, maps to the endpapers. Spine sunned as usual, narrow strip of tan-burn from the turn-ins to the free endpapers, slightly later gift inscriptions to both, but overall very good.

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