Results 49 - 56 of 79 results

1914 - Eneas Mackay, Stirling - First Edition
First edition of this seminal volume of whisky history, with illustrations. The author was a highly regarded and long-serving excise officer, who spent much of his career in the Scottish Highlands where he came to know the people and their whisky-related 'ploys' very well.

There can be no doubt that 'good, pious men' engaged in smuggling, and there is less doubt that equally good, pious men - ministers and priests - were grateful recipients of a large share of the smugglers' produce. Some of the old lairds not only winked at the practice, but actively encouraged it.’

As described in the introduction to Ian Buxton and Neil Wilson’s
Classic Expressions facsimile of this work, ‘MacDonald had a keen eye for a good story, and many of the enthralling anecdotes recounted in the chapter entitled Smuggling Stories and Detections have never subsequently been published.

Despite his ability to tell a good smuggling story, however, there is no doubt that MacDonald had little sympathy with the law breakers whose activities he chronicled. Indeed, it is typical of the man, and his era, that an entire, and wholly fascinating, chapter is devoted to
Moral Aspects of Smuggling.

Much of the material in
Smuggling in the Highlands was first read before the Gaelic Society of Inverness during the late 1880s, at a time when whisky smuggling was resurgent in the north of Scotland. It was subsequently printed in the Transactions of the Society and was published as a series of articles in The Highlander and Celtic Magazine.’ 
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Price HK$ 3,000

Whisky Galore - Compton MacKenzie

1947 - Chatto and Windus, London - First Edition
Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast

It's 1943, and the war has brought rationing to the Hebridean Islands of Great and Little Todday. When food is in short supply, it is bad enough, but when the whisky runs out, it looks like the end of the world. Morale is at rock bottom. George Campbell needs a wee dram to give him the courage to stand up to his mother and marry Catriona. The priest, the doctor, and, of course, the landlord at the inn are all having a very thin time of it. There's no conversation, no jollity, no fun, until a ship-wreck off the coast brings a piece of extraordinary good fortune.

‘The genre of Scotch whisky fiction is not an expansive one, and would barely make a credible Mastermind specialist subject, but one title stands out above all others in terms of its profile with both aficionados and the general public. That title is Whisky Galore’ – Gavin D. Smith,
Famous Whisky Drinkers, (

‘Compton Mackenzie's timeless text is a triumph. Inspired by the real events of 1941, when a cargo ship ran aground in the channel between Eriskay and South Uist, Whisky Galore is the gentle, comical story of how the booty on board became appropriated by a group of Scottish islanders. ‘ -
100 Best Scottish Books of All Time, The List.  
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Price HK$ 3,000

Around the Orkney Peat Fires - W. R. Mackintosh

1894 - Printed at the "Orcadian" Office, Kirkwall - First Edition
First edition of this compilation of fireside stories containing recollections of notable Orcadians, smuggling anecdotes, stirring tales of the press-gang (the practice ‘impressing seaman to man the Royal Navy’, a custom dating to the 14th Century), and stories of ghosts and witches. These stories first appeared in The Orcadian newspaper.

‘Prior to the days of cheap periodical literature, neighbours were in the habit of meeting in each other's houses, and seated round a rousing peat-fire, whiled away the long winter evenings recounting the achievements of notable Orcadians in every part of the world, telling of the eccentricities of local characters, describing all kinds of smuggling exploits, and relating many thrilling incidents connected with the press-gang.

Before 'the amers were raiked' for the night, something creepy, generally in the shape of a witch story, was usually thrown in, so that the members of the company wended their way home in the dark, prepared to see a ghost in each waving thistle, or troops of fairies on every rising knoll.’ [from the Introduction]
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Price HK$ 2,000

A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland - M. Martin

1703 - Printed for Andrew Bell and Bible, London - First Edition
Martin’s pioneering work which Dr. Johnson read before undertaking his tour with Boswell. With a large folding map and folding plate of the heathen temple.

According to Ian Buxton in his book ‘
Legendary Whiskies You’re Dying to Try But (Possibly) Never Will’ Martin’s travel book is legendary for containing what is almost certainly the first tasting note on whisky. As Buxton explains -

Whilst visiting the Isle of Lewis Martin Martin ‘encountered a quadruple-distilled whisky (p3) known as ‘
Usquebaugh-baul’ - the ultimate whisky. ‘which at first taste affects all the Members of the Body : two spoonfuls of this last Liquor is a sufficient Dose; and if any Man exceed this, it would presently stop his Breath and endanger his Life.’ If you think about it that is one hell of a tasting note. Three hundred years later Bruichladdich decided to recreate this ’usquebaugh-baul’ (which they translated as ‘Perilous Whisky’) as a 92% spirit, which they called X4 as they had to distil it four times, the SWA condemned it as ‘irresponsible’...

On that note, Martin also provides this description of ceremonial drinking (p106) - ‘The manner of Drinking used by the Chief Men of the Isles, is called in their Language
Streah, i. e. a round, for the Company sate in a Circle, the Cup-bearer filled the Drink round to them, and all was drank out, whatever the Liquor was, whether strong, or weak ; they continued drinking sometimes twenty four, sometimes forty eight hours: It was reckon’d a piece of Manhood to drink until they became drunk, and there were two Men with a Barrow attending punctually on such Occasions. They stood at the door until some became drunk, and they carried them upon the Barrow to Bed, and returned again to their Post as long as any continued fresh, and so carried off the whole Company one by one as they became drunk.’ 
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Price HK$ 9,500

The Lady's Assistant for Regulating and Supplying her Table, Being a Complete System of Cookery - Charlotte Mason

1777 - J. Walter, London - Third Edition
A particularly clean copy of this important but much neglected eighteenth century cookery book. Unusually, the table settings show layouts for more ordinary households as well as affluent ones, and the recipes follow this pattern. Scarce in any early editions.

‘Mrs Mason's lucidly composed English makes her delightful recipes as easy to follow today as they were in the eighteenth century, enabling the adventurous modern cook to re-create the extraordinary food of the Age of George III without a great deal of difficulty. Her fascinating bills of fare are invaluable to historians of food and dining for the insight they afford into the mores of Georgian table service.'
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Price HK$ 8,000

Love Night, A Laotian Gallantry - Powys Mathers, John Buckland Wright (engraver)

1936 - The Golden Cockerel Press, London - First Edition - Number 112 of 195 copies.
Number 112 of 120 copies on English vellum-paper, out of a total printing of 200. Exquisitely illustrated with fifteen wood engravings, consisting of ten full page engravings, four half page engravings, and the illustrated title page. In the publisher’s fine binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

Powys Mathers’ play about a festival night in a Laotian village. John Buckland Wright’s first work for the Golden Cockerel Press.

Although less explicit than the Paris based John Buckland Wright would have liked, ‘when ‘
Love Night’ appeared in Autumn of 1936, it was warm, but not too warm. The production was superbly successful. Printed on a smooth-surfaced Japon vellum, the presswork was immaculate, and the book’s effect was what both publisher’ and artist had hoped for.’ [Cave & Manson].

Powys Mathers’ ‘
Love Nights’ was considered for publication in 1934, but postponed because the partners wished to find the right illustrator, two years later it became John Buckland Wright’s first commission for the press. 
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Price HK$ 8,000

Traité Théorique et Pratique du Travail des Vins. Leurs propriétés, leur fabrication, leurs maladies. Fabrication des Vins Mousseux - Edme-Jules Maumene

1874 - G. Masson, Paris - Deuxième Édition, Entièrement Refondue.
An influential and fundamental work in the history of Champagne production, by a pioneering industry chemist and Professor at Reims. In addition to the production of sparkling wines, and a lengthy study on the affects of sugar, this work deals with the properties of wine, manufacture, and their diseases. Also included are descriptions of the efforts made by other chemists, and a bibliography. This work appeared for the first time in 1858 under the title ‘Indications Théoriques et Pratiques sur le Travail des Vins’.

An internally fine unopened and uncut copy with illustrations and tables throughout.

Maumene was intrigued by the large number of exploding bottles, a problem that in some years affected over 60% of bottles in the mid-nineteenth century as Champagne houses battled to produce sufficient
mousse to produce a good champagne. It had been supposed that the excess CO2 produced by the addition of too much sugar was the culprit, however Maumene, evaluating this ‘mousse-power’ by measuring the pressure of the CO2 inside the bottle, discovered that different wines produced different amounts of CO2 despite having the same amounts of sugar added.

Building on this work, by the end of the 19th century, Emile Manceau of Moet et Chandon, successfully reduced the breakage of 8-10 percent to 1 percent, and produced some pretty good Champagne to boot.
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Price HK$ 3,500

What Shall I Wear? The What, Where, When and How Much of Fashion - Claire McCardell, Annabrita (illustrator)

1956 - Simon and Schuster, New York - First Edition, Second Printing
A lovely copy with wonderfully 1950’s illustrations and line-drawings throughout by Annabrita, and a fold-out glossary of “McCardellisms”.

Don’t try to live up to Fashion. First of all, stay firmly you. And if Fashion seems to be saying something that isn’t right for you, ignore it.”

The revolutionary fashion designer credited with originating "The American Look," Claire McCardell designed for the emerging active lifestyle of women in the 1940s and '50s. She was the originator of mix-and-match separates, open-backed sundresses, and feminine denim fashion; she started the trend for ballet flats as a wartime leather-rationing measure. Spaghetti straps, brass hooks and eyes as fasteners, rivets, menswear details and fabrics: they were all started by McCardell. Her Monastic and Pop-over dresses achieved cult status, and her fashions were taken up by working women, the suburban set, and high society alike.

What Shall I Wear?’ is a distillation of McCardell's democratic fashion philosophy and a chattily vivacious guide to looking effortlessly stylish. Mostly eschewing Paris, although she studied there and was influenced by Vionnet and Madame Gres, McCardell preferred an unadorned aesthetic; modern and minimalist, elegant and relaxed, even for evening, with wool jersey and tweed among her favorite fabrics. [From a later edition].

Fashion does not demand a submissive spirit—in fact it asks for a certain independence…The more of yourself in your clothes the better. Your imagination, your thought, your time, your energy.”

Claire McCardell (1905-58) pioneered a style of clothing both casual and chic. In 1990, Life magazine named her one of the 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century. She attended Parsons, learning to construct clothing by taking apart Vionnet samples. As head designer of Townley Frocks, she was one of the first American designers to have name recognition, as the company began to sell its fashions branded as “Claire McCardell Clothes by Townley.” Her work is in museums across the country and has been the subject of retrospectives at the Smithsonian and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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Price HK$ 1,400

Results 49 - 56 of 79 results