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Haraszthy at the Mint - Famous Californian Trials, Volume 10 - Brian McGinty

1975 - Printed by Richard J. Hoffman, Los Angeles - First Edition, limited to 300 copies
Agoston Haraszthy, the ‘father of Californian wine’, best known for his pioneering work in the vineyards of Sonoma, was indicted in 1857 for alleged embezzlement of gold from the San Francisco Mint. He was acquitted of all charges after a four year trial. This is the story of this early adventure in Haraszthy’s colourful and fascinating life.

One of only 300 copies printed, a lovely private press presentation with ten illustrations, and the original advertisement/flier loosely inserted.

‘Decorated initials went out of fashion in the late 18th century as book design became more austere. They returned in modern times with the fine printing renaissance. Brian McGinty’s Haraszthy at the Mint (Los Angeles: Dawson’s Book Shop, 1975), also from the “Law Books Bright and Beautiful” exhibit, is an example.’ – Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



1858 - Dick &, New York - First Edition
‘If Lola Montez’s life was a film script it would be rejected for being too far fetched. With Franz Liszt, Alexandre Dumas and King Ludwig of Bavaria among her many lovers, and shootings, drownings, bigamy and adultery, you just couldn’t make it up.’ - The Irish Times.

The beautiful and fiery Montez had fictional affairs with Harry Flashman,and is reputed to be the inspiration for Irene Adler, in Conan Doyle’s ‘
A Scandal In Bohemia’, her infamous ‘Spider Dance’ involved the discovery and removal of numerous spiders amongst her petticoats whilst whirling around in the style of a Spanish gypsy, and the various fatal endings of many lovers was just as spider like.

In this rare little tome she reveals all the secrets required to be, well, Lola Montez. The last fabulous chapter specifically for Gentlemen provides ‘
Fifty Rules in the Art of Fascinating’. A superb example, without the use of powders, paints, pomades, embellishment, beautification, or sophistication.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl... or more appropriately, Like the spider to a fly...

She is fatal to any man who dares to love her.’ - Alexandre Dumas. 
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Price HK$ 10,000



A Treatise of Gauging: Or, the Modern Practical Gauger. Illustrated with necessary Examples - Thomas Moss

1779 - Printed for G. Robinson, London - The Third Edition, Greatly Enlarged and Improved by the Author
Illustrated with large folding plate to the rear, and numerous in-text diagrams and tables. All editions of this work are scarce.

The complexities of measuring the amount of a liquid when in a cask led to many advancements in practical mathematics including the use of the slide-rule.

Obviously without accurate measurements an excise officer would have found life rather difficult having to rely on the distilleries creative measurements...

A "gauger" was an officer whose business it was to ascertain the contents of casks, mainly to assist in the prevention of illicit shipments of alcohol. In so doing it was necessary to apply and in some cases adapt mathematical formulae which were considered extremely advanced at the time.

Thomas Moss, an exciseman and gauger, was also a well known mathematician, publishing the ‘
Mathematical Magazine’ together with George Witchell (1738-85), and being referenced for his clear and concise early descriptions of a number of geometrical properties. 
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Price HK$ 4,000



Healths Improvement: or, Rules Comprising and Discovering The Mature, Method, and Manner of Preparing all sorts of Food Used in this Nation. - Thomas Muffett (Moffett), Christopher Bennet

1655 - Printed by Tho: Newcomb for Samuel Thornton, at the sign of the white Horse in Pauls Churchyard - First Edition
Written by that ever Famous Thomas Muffett, Doctor in Physick: Corrected and Enlarged by Christopher Bennet, Doctor in Physick, and Fellow of the Colledg of Physitians in London.

Scarce first edition of this posthumous work, which André Simon said was “probably compiled about 1595. Some chapter headings will give an idea of the scope of this work, which is composed throughout in a gossipy and very readable style. ‘
What Diet is’. ‘How it is to be chosen’. ‘Of Meats’. ‘Of the flesh of tame beasts’. ‘Of the flesh of wild fowl’ . . .”

From the collection of noted bibliophile and perfectionist, Brent Gration-Maxfield, with his neat pencil annotation to the front.

See page 154, where Muffett describes the flying fish he was shown by his friend Sir Francis Drake.

The work includes the important observation, made for the first time, that eating liver is beneficial to certain eye diseases. It also contains the first list of British wildfowl, and recognition of their migratory habits.
 
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Price HK$ 40,000



Burgundiae [Burgundy] Comitatus Recentiss. Descriptio D - Abraham Ortelius

1585Antwerpen
A handsome early and large map of Burgundy by the great engraver ad cartographer Abraham Ortelius [map size 36.5 x 50.5 cm], based on the 1563 map of Ferdinand de Lannoy that was suppressed by the Spaniards for political reasons. With place names mainly in French, some in Latin, titles and scale in Latin.

With contemporary hand colouring, and embellished with elaborate strapwork title cartouche and coat of arms. Showing rivers, mountains, forests, fortifications, towns and cities. From Ortelius’ ‘
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’.

The orientation is from
Oriens or East (top) to Occidens or West (bottom), Septemtrio (the seven stars of Ursa Major) or North (left) to Meridies or South (right).

Finely framed in gilt wood, acid free boarder and backing, and Tru-Vue 98% UV glass [frame size 57 x 71 cm].
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



The Reminiscences of a Gauger - Joseph Pacy

1873 - Printed by Tomlinsons and Whiles, Newark - First Edition
A rare little autobiography by Joseph Pacy, who rose through the ranks to become Surveyor General Examiner of Excise.

I left England for Scotland in 1834, on promotion to a division at Campbelton, a town in Argylshire, noted for its many distilleries’. ‘Campbelton whiskey was somewhat celebrated, and was in great request both in the home and foreign markets. Distilled in still of small size, and made from peat-dried malt, there was a flavour about it peculiar to itself.’ (Chapter V).

Pacy’s next distillery appointment was ‘
The Royal Brackla Distillery’, at which ‘the distiller, a retired captain of the army, was as well known as his distillery, by name at least, on account of the disputes he was continually engaged in with the Excise...’ after dealing with Captain William Fraser, the probationary period ends and Pacy is appointed supervisor to the border district of Langholme, in Dumfrieshire.

Pacy eventually reaches the position of Surveyor Genera’ based in London, although he clearly enjoyed his time along the borders more than any other.
 
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Price HK$ 3,000



The Compleat Gentleman - Henry Peacham, Thomas Blount

1661 - Printed by E. Tyler, London - Third impression "
A superior example of one of the most important of all English courtesy books, with additional copper-engraved title page, 85 woodcut illustrations and ornamental headpieces.

The work for which Peacham (1576?-1643) will always be remembered. It was written for William Howard, Lord Arundel's youngest son, a boy of eight, to whom it is dedicated. The lad had not been Peacham's pupil; but they had met at Norwich, while the boy was a pupil of the bishop there. The book was suggested to him by M. de Ligny of Artois, who called Peacham's attention to the defective equipment of English youths in the matter of accomplishments. It is an interesting endeavour to encourage young men to devote themselves at once to the arts and athletic exercises.

A valuable survey is incidentally given of contemporary English efforts in science, art, and literature. A second impression, ‘much inlarged,’ appeared in 1626, and again in 1627, with an attractive chapter on fishing among other additions. This third edition of 1661, contained additional notes on blazonry by Thomas Blount (1618-1679); from this volume Dr. Johnson drew all the heraldic definitions in his dictionary’ [DNB].
 
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Price HK$ 9,000



Johnson Over Jordan - The Play. And All About It (An Essay) - J. B. Priestley

1939 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
‘J.B. Priestley is one of our literary icons of the 20th Century. And it is time that we all became re-acquainted with his genius’ – Dame Judi Dench

A smartly bound copy of J.B. Priestley’s ‘adventure in theatre’,
Johnson Over Jordan – the story of ‘everyman’ Robert Johnson who attempts to make sense of a life half lived – was the play he considered his finest and most ambitious achievement. Also features an essay by Priestly on the writing of the play and its origins, and the critical reception of the stage production.

Illustrated with 8 full page black and white photographic plates of the original 1939 stage production, which starred Ralph Richardson and featured a musical score by Benjamin Britten.

With a black and white photographic portrait of the playwright tipped in to front endpaper and the front panel of the original dust jacket laid in.
 
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Price HK$ 1,500



 
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