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Le Bon Bock - Various

1886 to 1906 - Privately Printed by Glyptographie Silvestre [1886-91] and then by E. Bernard [1892-1906] , Paris
An incredibly rare collection of nearly 300 original illustrated letterpress dinner invitations from Le Bon Bock society, whose soirees on the second Tuesday of each month in near Montmartre were frequented by Paris’ most flamboyant and original writers and artists of the La Belle Époque.

The artists competed to have their work used for the next invitation, and together with their work each invitation provides an account of the previous dinners activities, beginning with opening speeches, notices and announcements, and then other activities, which usually include poems, prose, texts, songs, instrumental pieces.

The invitations are dated from April 7th 1886 to October 5th 1906, with the first thirty or so addressed to Monsieur Régnier, one of the founders of the association. Individually rare, a collection of this size and association provides one of the most important associations of the Belle Époque in Paris.

Inspired by Edouard Manet’s painting
Le Bon Bock (The Good Pint), and the democratic, nationalistic ideals that it symbolised, Emile Bellot (the printmaker and model for Manet’s beer drinker) established the Bon Bock Society in 1875. Consisting mainly of artists, writers and performers, the society sought to re-define France’s national spirit by delving into the country’s cultural past. The inseparable ideals of freedom and humour within their community created opportunities for artistic experimentation; the Bon Bockers and their carefree attitude would go on to inspire generations of Montmartre natives for years to come. 
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Price HK$ 50,000

A Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne, Edward A. Wilson (illustrator)

1966 - The Limited Editions Club, Connecticut - Edition limited to 1500 copies, of which this is number 955
A finely produced limited edition of this classiec tale by Jules Verne, signed by the illustrator, Edward A. Wilson, and featuring his striking colour illustrations throughout. Suitably introduced by Isaac Asimov. All housed in a custom slipcase.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth literally plunges the reader into the centre of the earth through vivid description, detailed explanations, and the "eyewitness" accounts of the narrator. On the most basic level, Journey is an adventure story, a tale of the obstacles, encounters, and wonders.

The eccentric scientist Professor Hardwigg finds directions to the centre of the earth in an old book and sets out, along with his nephew Henry and the guide Hans, to Iceland where they find the mountain and the shaft that allows them access to the depths of the earth. On a deeper level the story can be seen as man's journey into himself, always probing deeper for what lies at his centre. [Mitchell]
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Price HK$ 1,800

Gazette Du Bon Ton, Arts, Modes & Frivolit - Lucien Vogel (directeur)

1920 - Aus É, Paris - First Editions
Two finely bound volumes presenting Art-Deco Parisian fashion at its finest, comprising the entire run of Gazzette Du Bon Ton for 1920. Stunningly illustrated with 79 pochoir plates (many folding), 48 fashion sketches and hundreds of colour vignettes, and sketches throughout also coloured in pochoir. A luxurious collection of fashion articles, stunning art-deco pochoir plates, and sketches featuring the work of the best designers and artists of the day, including George Lepape, Pierre Brissaud, Charles Martin, André Marty, Raoul Dufy, Eduardo Bénito and many others.

Gazette du Bon Ton was the Parisian fashion magazine, active from 1912-1925 it fostered an elite aesthetic by signing exclusivity contracts with Paris' top couture houses and featuring gorgeous pochoir reproductions of the latest designs. The stated aim of the magazine was to push back on the hegemonic idea that women's fashion was inferior as an art form. Many of the artists chose to illustrate their women and designs in various narrative settings and situations rather than in blank spaces. 
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Price HK$ 45,000

1964 - The Limited Editions Club, New York - Edition limited to 1500 copies, of which these are number 955
A finely presented limited edition set of H G Wells classic works, powerfully illustrated with full-page colour lithographs by Joseph Mugnaini and signed by him on the limitation pages of each book. Housed in the publisher’s fine slipcase.

Great shapes like big machines rose out of the dimness, and cast grotesque black shadows, in which dim spectral Morlocks sheltered from the glare' – The Time Machine.

Chilling, prophetic and hugely influential,
The Time Machine sees a Victorian scientist propel himself into the year 802,701 AD, where he is delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty and contentment in the form of the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man. But he soon realizes that they are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and living in terror of the sinister Morlocks lurking in the deep tunnels, who threaten his very return home. H. G. Wells defined much of modern science fiction with this 1895 tale of time travel, which questions humanity, society, and our place on Earth. [Penguin]

For a time I believed that mankind had been swept out of existence, and that I stood there alone, the last man left alive.’ – War of the Worlds.

'The classic tale of alien invasion, and still the best' –
The Times. 
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Price HK$ 11,000

Very Good, Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse

1951 - Herbert Jenkins, London - Seventh Printing
‘When the jolly old storm clouds rolled up. Bertie Wooster turned instinctively to his man Jeeves. Bertie’s friends likewise. Jeeves judgement was infallible, likewise his taste in neckwear.’

If ever Bertie needs extracting from the soup, he must call for Jeeves.

Eleven short stories. Jeeves saves Bertie from being secretary to a cabinet minister, and saves both from a nesting swan on a lake-isle in a rainstorm. He destroys an offensive vase that Bertie has bought, and takes away an offensive suit of plus-fours new from his tailors. He knocks out Oliver Sipperley with a putter to the back of the head, annuls Bertie's love for Bobbie Wickham, ditto for Gwladys Pendlebury, rescues Bingo Little and Tuppy Glossop twice each, and saves Bertie's Uncle George from a mésalliance.
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Price HK$ 1,200

Love Among the Chickens - P. G. Wodehouse

1950 - Herbert Jenkins, London - Fifteenth Printing
Giving us our first jaw-dropping encounter with Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, Love Among the Chickens, published in 1906 (and revised in 1920) to accommodate the inflation in egg prices), launched P.G. Wodehouse's career, and that of his larger-than-life-hero.

Ukridge has hit upon a foolproof plan to get rich quick: he's starting a chicken farm. Dragging his adoring wife Millie and his long-suffering friend and novelist Jeremy Garnet with him to Dorset he begins his enterprise. En route, however, Garnet has fallen in love.

Complications in classic Wodehousian style ensue, involving the taciturn Hired Man and his bumptious dog Bob, supercilious chickens, irascible professors, angry creditors and divided lovers. For the lucky reader, it is sheer hilarity...
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Price HK$ 1,400

Blandings Castle and Elsewhere - P. G. Wodehouse

1950 - Herbert Jenkins, London - Fifth Printing
A fine dust jacketed example of this collection of twelve stories -

At Blandings Castle trouble, as is often the case, rears its bothersome head. Crooning Tenor Orlo Watkins has stolen Gertrude away from the Rev. Rupert Bingham. The Hon. Freddie Threepwood is meant to restore the sticky situation but he is more interested in getting his aunt to sample the delights of Donaldson Dog-Joy biscuits. Lord Emsworth is about to lose his butler Beach when he acquires a not-too-handsome beard, but there's even worse confusion when the Empress, Lord Emsworth's beloved pig, loses her appetite. Skipping an ocean and a continent, Wodehouse also treats us to some stories of excess from the monstrous Golden Age of Hollywood.
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Price HK$ 1,500

Joy in the Morning - P. G. Wodehouse

1948 - Herbert Jenkins Limited, London - Second Printing
“The super-sticky affair of Nobby Hopwood, Stilton Cheesewright, Florence Craye, my uncle Percy…” is one of those imbroglios that Bertie Wooster believes his biographers will refer to as “The Steeple Bumpleigh Horror”, comments Wodehouse, who referred to ‘Joy in the Morning’ as “the supreme Jeeves novel of all time”.

Bertie's 'well-meant efforts to oil the wheels of commerce, promote the course of true love, and avoid the consequences of a vendetta, makes him the prey of all and sundry.

‘A more brilliant example of Wodehouse’s literary escapism, his capacity to conjure sweetness and light out of airy nothing, would be hard to find.’ -
The Guardian, who chose this as one of their top 100 novels of all time. 
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Price HK$ 1,200

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