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Norwood - Charles Portis

1966 - Simon and Schuster, New York - First Edition, First Printing
First edition of Portis' first novel, a noteworthy example of his particular skill rendering Southern dialect, conversation, by one of the most forgotten and best cult novelists of all time.

Uncommonly clean and fine dust jacket, usually found with yellow remainder spray to flaps or price-clipped, it appears that most copies of the first edition went to libraries, and thus to dust jacket death and book ravishment.

The story of Norwood Pratt, a naïve ex-Marine from East Texas on a road trip to collect a $70 debt. Along the way he encounters, among other things, a con artist and a chicken that can play tick-tack-toe. ‘
Norwood’ set the pattern for Mr. Portis’s use of misfits, cranks and sly humour in his fiction. The notoriously elusive Portis (1933-2020) was also a Marine, joiing as an 18 year old in 1952, serving in Korea during and after the war, leaving as a sergeant. 
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Price HK$ 9,500



The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon

1966 - J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia New York - First Edition
The first edition in which Pynchon, the man who turned paranoia into a literary style, plays with us....

‘Either you have stumbled indeed, without the aid of LSD or other indole alkaloids, onto a secret richness and concealed density of dream; onto a network by which X number of Americans are truly communicating….Or you are hallucinating it. Or a plot has been mounted against you, so expensive and elaborate, involving items like the forging of stamps and ancient books, constant surveillance of your movements, planting of post horn images all over San Francisco, bribing of librarians, hiring of professional actors and Pierce Inverarity only knows what else besides, all financed out of the estate in a way either too secret or too involved for your non-legal mind to know about....Or you are fantasying some such plot, in which case you are a nut, Oedipa, out of your skull.’

‘The comedy crackles, the puns pop the satire explodes.’ –
New York Times.  
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Price HK$ 7,000



A New System of Domestic Cookery; Formed upon Principles of Economy, and adapted to the Use of Private Families. By A Lady. With the addition of Many New Receipts. - Maria Rundell

Circa 1850 - T. Allman and Son, London - Early Edition
A finely bound example of Mrs. Rundell’s (née Mari Elizabth Ketelby) extreme popular treatise on domestic cookery, illustrated with an engraved title page and eleven engraved plates.

Mrs Rundell holds her claim to fame by becoming the most popular gastronomic writer of the nineteenth century, as the collection was reprinted over sixty times and sold more than 50’000 copies in the UK and US. Divided into thirteen parts including ‘
Meats’ ’Soups’ and ’Sweet Dishes’ (a format which cookbooks today still employ), Domestic Cookery was described by historian Karen Hess as '…effectively replacing all eighteenth-century cookbooks as being rather old-fashioned, almost more in language than in content'. 
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Price HK$ 1,900



Days and Nights of Salmon Fishing in the Tweed - William Scrope

1843 - John Murray, London - First Edition
A finely bound first edition of what may be considered the best and most entertaining nineteenth century work on Salmon Fishing.

Although comprehensive in it’s detail of the Tweed and Salmon, this work is of greater value for the fabulous anecdotes both personal and historical. All combined with the most beautiful engravings.

Illustrated with eleven lithographed plates (seven with additional hand-colouring), two colour lithographed plates of young salmon, and nine in-text woodblock engravings. The engraving are by L. Haghe, T. Landseer and S. Williams from paintings by Sir David Wilkie, Edwin Landseer, R.A, Charles Landseer, William Simson and Edward Cooke.

Scrope suggests you do not go into water deeper tan the fifth button of your waistcoat.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



The Poppy Harvest. A Study in Anglo-Indian Ethics - Rev. T. G. Selby - Twelve years a Missionary in South China

Circa 1893 - Published for the Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade by P. S. King & Son, London
Rare anti-opium pamphlet, illustrated with twelve colour plates from original Chinese drawings, in later cloth binding with original outer wrappers laid over cloth boards. Not listed in any major bibliographies, including Cordier’s comprehensive Bibilotheca Sinica.

The author, Rev. Selby spent the greater part of fifteen years as a missionary in Canton, China, he also wrote a number of insightful books on China and was for twenty-five years a member of the Anti-Opium Society.

The main focus of this work being the effect of opium on China, it contains personal anecdotes by Selby, references to Hong Kong’s part in the trade and distribution, together with views on the ‘
forcing of opium on China’, its effects, legalisation, revenue, the Chinese opinion on opium, and what now needs to be done, amongst others. 
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Price HK$ 4,600



The History of the Wine Trade in England - André L. Simon

1964 - The Holland Press, London - Second Edition
André Simon first published these at this own expense in 1906, later remaking that ‘There is more hard work and original information in these three volumes than in all my other books’, which is saying something considering his encyclopaedic knowledge on the subject, extensive experience, and his legendary wine library. The first volume sold so poorly that veyr few copies of the second and third volumes were printed. Nearly 60 years later it was deemed necessary to print this edition.

André Simon (1877–1970) was a French-born wine merchant, gourmet, and prolific writer about wine. Hugh Johnson describes him as "the charismatic leader of the English wine trade for almost all of the first half of the 20th century, and the grand old man of literate connoisseurship for a further 20 years".

Despite having said ‘A man dies too young if he leaves any wine in his cellar’, on what would have been André Simon’s 100th birthday in 1977, 400 guests gathered at the Savoy to drink to his memory with Chateau Latour 1945 that he had left for the occasion, and the only bottles that remained in his cellar.

This philosophy was clearly not understood by the former owner this set, the great West Coast wine collector Jack Boggess, whose estate including a 2,000 bottle wine collection went up for auction in Portland Oregon in 2011.
 
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Price HK$ 2,200



Early Chinese Painting from A. W. Bahr Collection - Inscribed - Osvald Sirén

1938 - The Chiswick Press, London - Number 378 of 750 limited copies
A presentation copy with great provenance being inscribed by Abel Bahr, the iconic Shanghai based collector to his friend and legendary Sotheby’s director Jim Kiddell, together with additional correspondence and photographs from Bahr to Kiddell.

Large folio, illustrated with eighteen colour and eighteen black and white mounted illustrations.
 
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Price HK$ 11,000



Wanderings and Adventures in the Interior of Southern Africa - Andrew Steedman

1835 - Longman & Co., London - First Edition
A remarkably fine and partially uncut two volume set of this important South African work, with nice provenance, Amy Steedman (born Cape Town 1867), the author’s niece. Illustrated with twelve engrave plates, two pictorial engraved titles, and a folding map (41.5x35.5cm).

“An account of travels in South Africa undertaken in the course of a residence in the Cape extending over a period of ten years. During his expeditions, Mr. Steedman traversed a great part of the Cape Colony and Kaffaria, penetrating the county up to Griqualand West. He was an industrious and able collector and naturalist, and the volumes contain much valuable information respecting the fauna of the country... The work gives many details respecting early travels in South Africa, with sketches of native races and their history and wars, the pioneer colonists of Natal. &c. The Appendices, which extend to 213 pages, also include a letter and journal by Mr. A. G. Bain, who accompanied Dr. (afterwards Sir A.) Smith's expedition into the interior as far as Philippolis, and gives an account of the journey, an interesting narrative of the wreck of the Grosvenor, and much valuable matter respecting the Kat River and other settlements in Kaffraria,and the Kaffir outbreaks and wars up to this period”. [Mendelssohn]
 
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Price HK$ 14,000



 
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