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Death in the House - Anthony Berkeley

1939 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A rare Berkeley title.

‘Lord Wellacombe, Secretary of State for India, dies whilst giving a speech to introduce a new bill on the floor of the House of Commons. His untimely demise looks like a stroke, but is it mere coincidence that a threat on his life had been made? The bill needs to be passed, but is anyone brave enough to defy the threats and risk potential murder?’

Enter Lord Arthur...
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



Trial and Error - Anthony Berkeley

1937 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
Dedicated to P. G. Wodehouse.

‘Non-descript, upstanding Mr Todhunter is told that he has only months to live. He decides to commit a murder for the good of mankind. Finding a worthy victim proves far from easy, and there is a false start before he settles on and dispatches his target. But then the police arrest an innocent man, and the honourable Todhunter has to set about proving himself guilty of the murder.’
 
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Price HK$ 2,800



1870 - Feret, Bordeaux - Second Edition revised and enlarged
A finely bound revised and enlarged second edition, the text in French, profusely illustrated with four engraved frontispieces and twenty full-page engravings of people in various social “wine” situations related to the text. The engravings are after designs by Pauquet.

‘Biarnez takes us on a poetic tour of the Médoc, in French, singing the praises of the classified growths (pages 17-93) and ends with a paean to the white wines of Bordeaux (pages 97-123) and the effect they have on the imbiber: “
C'est une ivresse sainte, un sublime délire, Et, parmi tous les vins, notre vin seul l'inspire!. To the rear is Dr. Arthaud’s 51 page essay ‘De L’influence du vin sur la civilisation’.

Published 20 years after the first, this edition adds further lines to the verses, an enlarged preface, and includes an additional engraved frontispiece, and the original engraved plate from the first edition. The ‘hanging plate’ opposite page 73 has been replaced with the man being led to the gallows, perhaps readers had complained that it spoilt their enjoyment of a decent glass of claret.
 
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Price HK$ 10,000



The Curiosities of Ale & Beer: An Entertaining History - John Bickerdyke, John Greville Fennell, J. M. Dixon

1889 - Field &, London - First Edition
A history of ale and beer brewing from 2000 BC to the 1880's. Ballads and songs on beer, porter and stouts, served at large feasts at inns and taverns. Early anecdotes and poems, with sections on the medicinal uses of ale and hops. Illustrated with over 50 ‘quaint woodcuts’ and woodcut initials taken mostly from rare old titles.

Since the dawn of our history Barley-wine has been the “naturall drinke” for an “Englysshe man,” and has had no unimportant influence on English life and manners. It is, therefore, somewhat curious that up to the present, among the thousands of books published annually, no comprehensive work on the antiquities of ale and beer has found place.’

A finely bound first edition of BIckerdyke’s ‘evocative 19th century masterpiece’ [
Craft Beer & Brewing], a project begun by his friend, fellow angling author and lover of ale, John Greville Fennell, who due to failing health asked Cook to continue and finish the work. 
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Price HK$ 10,000



1923 - The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis - First American Edition
A humorous Irish mystery of buried treasure. A fine copy in delicate dust jacket.

George A. Birmingham was the pen name of James Owen Hannay (1865-1950), Irish clergyman and prolific and successful novelist.
 
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Price HK$ 800



A Practical Treatise on Brewing - William Black

1844 - Longman, London - Third Edition, &lsquo
A near fine, and unopened copy, of this important and popular treatise, first published in 1835

Folding plate ‘
Delineation of the New Improved Saccharometer’ to the rear.

The
Spectator in it’s review notes that this is ‘A new edition of a book we formerly noticed as a useful and original-minded treatise. The additional matter has been revised by Professor Graham, of the London University.’

Perhaps the most well known historical Scottish brewing firm was that of William Black & Company of Aberdeen believed to have been established in 1803, and his ‘Devanha Brewery’ used the former Paper Mills by the Wellington Suspension Bridge in Aberdeen. Black’s Devanha Porter - a dark beer resembling stout - became famous throughout the UK, the Brewery being conveniently close to the railway halt at the Cattle Bank. The firm itself was laterally acquired in 1819 to become the Gilcomston Brewery and again by the Devanha Brewery Company Limited, registered as a limited liability company in 1910. Brewing finally ceased in 1930 after the firm was acquired by Thomas Usher & Son Ltd. of Edinburgh. William Black & Co. also ran the Devanha Distillery, built about a mile upstream from the Brewery in 1825. [Durden Park Beer Circle / The Doric Columns].
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



1926 - The Macmillan Company, New York - First Edition
The classic American anti-hero narrative of West Coast hobo safecracker and petty thief, Jack Black—a work which William S. Burroughs cited as one of his favorite books. The acknowledgment page sets the tone for Black's journey through the American underworld, "This book is dedicated to Fremont Older, to Judge Frank H. Dunne, to the unnamed friend who sawed me out of the San Francisco jail and to that dirty, drunken, disreputable, crippled beggar, 'Sticks' Sullivan, who picked the buckshot out of my back—under the bridge—at Baraboo, Wisconsin".

‘A journey into the hobo underworld, freight hopping around the still Wild West, becoming a highwayman and member of the yegg (criminal) brotherhood, getting hooked on opium, doing stints in jail or escaping, often with the assistance of crooked cops or judges.’ - A K Press.
 
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Price HK$ 7,500



Commentaries on the Laws of England. - William Blackstone, Esq. Solicitor General to Her Majesty

1770 - The Clarendon Press, Oxford - Fourth Edition
It Is Better That Ten Persons Escape, Than That One Innocent Suffer.

‘Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history. Until the ‘Commentaries’, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularise the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.’
Printing and the Mind of Man.

An attractive four volume quarto set [28 x 23 cm] in contemporary full calf binding. With two engraved tables, being the
Table of Consanguinity [Vol. II p.203] and the folding Table of Descents [Vol. II p.240]. 
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Price HK$ 40,000



 
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