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1928 - The Nonesuch Press, London - Limited edition of 1475 copies of which this is number 442.
‘Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right of way was lost.’ – Hell.

To run over better waters the little vessel of my genius now hoists her sails, as she leaves behind her a sea so cruel.’ – Purgatory.

In the heaven which most of His light I have been, and have seen things which he who descends from there above neither knows how nor has power to recount.’ – Paradise.

A gorgeous large limited edition of this medieval epic, combining Botticelli’s 42 sepia drawings (34 on double sheet, 8 on single sheet) with Dante’s
Divina Commedia in both Italian and English. Showing only a modicum of the usual spine fading to which this vellum is notoriously prone, and in the original matching leather trimmed and felt lined slipcase.

Reportedly based on Dante’s experiences during his banishment from Florence, this reinterpretation of Christian themes had a seminal influence on philosophy, literature, and art, inspiring Chaucer, John Milton, Salvadore Dali, and T.S. Eliot, among many others.

‘Dante and Botticelli represented the Florence of two very different generations. No Renaissance artist contemplated the verities of Christianity with a depper faith. Botticelli’s drawings are so much more than a commentary on, or a two-dimensional summation of, the
Divina Commedia. They are breathtakingly beautiful. And in realising his project, Botticelli refined his own mysticisim and thus anticipated the intense lyricism of his final years’ – Francis Russell on the 2001 Botticelli exhibition at the Royal Academy (Country Life). 
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Price HK$ 19,000



Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens - J. M. Barrie, Arthur Rackham (illustrator)

1912 - Hodder & Stoughton, London - First Thus : Best edition with Rackham’s Illustrations interspersed amongst the text.
In Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens, Peter, not wanting to grow up, spent his time amongst the enchanted birds, trees, animals, and magical folk of the park, he also meets and falls in love with a little girl named Maimie Mannering. Peter and Maimie were developed by Barrie into the slightly older Peter Pan and Wendy, for the play Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.

Finely bound by Bayntun-Riviere, and with 50 delightful illustrations by Rackham who 'seems to have dropped out of some cloud in Mr. Barrie’s fairyland, sent by a special providence to make pictures in tune to his genius' -
Pall Mall Gazette.

‘The still air is filled with the ringing of hundreds of little fairy bells,
but the sweetest sound of all,
is the fluting of Peter Pan’s pipes as he calls to the spring to make haste,
because with the spring comes Wendy.'
 
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Price HK$ 18,000



Familiar Quotations - John Bartlett

1937 - Little, Boston - Eleventh Edition, Revised and Enlarged
A handsomely bound edition of Bartlett's Quotations, the longest-lived and most widely distributed collection of quotations which was first published in 1855. With over 1100 pages of quotations in double-column format followed by a 550 page thorough keyword index.

‘Between 1914 and 1937 the extraordinary post-World War I age had flowered, and the changes in the text of the eleventh edition are more striking than in any other. Besides such contemporary authors as Auden, Eliot, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Willa Gather, Sherwood Anderson, Langston Hughes, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf, Will Rogers, and Ezra Pound, authors of earlier eras were added: Blake, Hawthorne, Melville, the Jameses at last, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Emily Dickinson, Sara Orne Jewett, Hesiod, Aesop, Plutarch, Marcus Aurelius, and Omar Khayyám’ –
The Long, Happy Life Of ‘Bartlett’s Quotations’, American Heritage Magazine, 1984. 
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Price HK$ 5,500



1870 - Féret, Bordeaux - Second Edition revised and enlarged
‘Biarnez takes us on a poetic tour of the Médoc, 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’.

A finely bound second edition 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.

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$ 7,000



The three ‘Kai Lung’ collections - The Wallet of Kai Lung - Kai Lung's Golden Hours - and - Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat - Ernest Bramah

1923 - Doran, New York - First American Editions (Wallet is the second edition, but first in the Nadejen dust jacket).
There are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice upon a dark night.

Three volumes presenting the first three collections of stories featuring the inimitable protagonist Kai Lung, in which he must pit his wits against his arch nemesis Ming-Shu, escape the clutches of greedy bandits, and attempt to beguile them with seemingly unrelated parables with the help of his love Hwa-Mei, eventually becoming known as
‘an itinerant teller of tall tales set in a China that never was’.

All presented in their wonderful dust jackets illustrated by Theodore Nadejen.
Kai Lung's Golden Hours, also contains an enthusiastic introduction by Hilaire Belloc.

A seminal influence in the genre of speculative fiction, Bramah’s works have been compared with those of Jerome K. Jerome, and PG Wodehouse. His work went on to inspire writers such as Dorothy L Sayers, Jorge Luis Borges, and George Orwell, among many others.

‘It is a mark of insincerity of purpose to spend one's time in looking for the sacred Emperor in the low-class tea-shops’. 
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Price HK$ 2,200



Alice's Adventures in Wonderland – signed by the engraver Frederic Warde - with - Through the Looking Glass – signed by the "Original Alice," Alice Hargreaves - Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], Bruno Rollitz after John Tenniel (illustrators)

1932 - Limited Editions Club, New York - Each copy is number 1300 of a 1500 limited edition
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with the illustrations by John Tenniel engraved on wood by Bruno Rollitz. Printed for the publisher by the printing house of William Edwin Rudge, Mount Vernon, N.Y. Typography and binding by Frederic Warde. Introduction by Henry Seidel Canby.

Through the Looking Glass with the illustrations by John Tenniel re-engraved by Frederic Warde. Printed for the publisher by the printing house of William Edwin Rudge, Mount Verson, N.Y. Introduction by Carl Van Doren. 
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Price HK$ 21,000



The Hunting of the Snark, An Agony in Eight Fits - Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], Henry Holiday (illustrator)

1876 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition
‘Just the place for a Snark!’

A finely bound first edition of the author’s magnificent nonsense verse, the tale of the Bellman and his crew’s strange voyage in search of a Snark, and featuring an unlikely cast of characters drawn from his other works,
Jabberwocky and Through the Looking Glass Wonderfully illustrated with nine imaginative woodcuts by Henry Holiday.

‘The Hunting of the Snark is a poem over which an unstable, sensitive soul might very well go mad.’ - Martin Gardner, The Annotated Snark. 
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Price HK$ 6,000



The Hound of Death and Other Stories - Agatha Christie

1933 - Odhams Press Limited, London - First Edition
A lovely copy in the bright sharp dust jacket by Dermonay depicting a sinister green hound, against a background of a ruined convent. Scarce in this condition.

'Twelve thrilling, chilling, mysteries.' (
The Observer ). Twelve unexplained phenomena with no apparent earthly explanation… A dog-shaped gunpowder mark; an omen from 'the other side'; a haunted house; a chilling séance; a case of split personalities; a recurring nightmare; an eerie wireless message; an elderly lady's hold over a young man; a disembodied cry of 'murder'; a young man's sudden amnesia; a levitation experience; a mysterious SOS. To discover the answers, delve into the supernatural storytelling of Agatha Christie… 'The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.' (The Observer)

Includes
Witness for the Prosecution, Christie’s courtroom drama, which has become one of her most adapted and best known stories. It has been adapted for film multiple times, including the 1957 Billy Wilder directed movie starring Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton, and for stage, as well as TV and radio..... ‘Leonard Vole stands trial for the murder of his beneficiary, and even his wife insists he is guilty…’ 
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Price HK$ 4,800



 
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