Almanach du Masque d'Or -

1920 - chez Devambez, 23 - Premiere Année
A lovely copy of this delightful Almanach. A stunning example of beauty, finesse and luxury from the Art-Deco period. Only 1000 copies were printed and this is numbered 68. The hand-coloured illustrations are by Edouard Halouze and include four plates of the seasons as well as 17 full page plates which decorate the ‘Petit Guide de la Vie Elégante’ presented in the form of a collection of advertisements for the Moulin Bleu, Cartier, Prunier, Gaveau, les couturiers Raimon et Martial & Armand, etc. Suitably housed in a one of a kind, hand-tooled case by Bayntun-Riviere. 
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Price HK$ 22,000

1928 - The Nonesuch Press, London - Limited edition of 1475 copies of which this is number 44.
‘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 thereabove neither knows how nor has power to recount.’ - Paradise.

A gorgeous 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 none of the usual spine fading to which this vellum is notoriously prone.

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$ 17,000

The Art of Illustration - Henry Blackburn

1894 - W. H. Allen & Co., London - First Edition
‘The object of this book is to explain the modern systems and Book and Newspaper Illustration, and especially the methods of drawing for what is commonly called ‘process’, on which so many artists are now engaged.’

Henry Blackburn’s informative and appealing commentary on 19th century illustration, featuring numerous examples of the various forms of reproductions of drawings with accompanying descriptions of the methods employed. Chapters discuss everything from diagrams, daily illustrated newspapers, line drawing and sketching, to illustrative process such as the gelatine and half-tone, as well as wood engravings, illustrations from photographs, and decorative pages.

Beautifully presented with ninety-five black and white illustrations, many of them full-page, and featuring the works of prominent illustrators such as Randolph Caldecott, Daniel Vierge, and Walter Crane, among many others.
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Price HK$ 1,800

The Life of Benvenuto Cellini written by Himself. - Benvenuto Cellini, John Addington Symonds, Royal Cortissoz

1906 - Brentano's, New York - First Brentano Edition
A fine, unopened and elegantly bound two volume set of the most important autobiography from Renaissance Italy and one of the most spirited and colourful from any time or place. Illustrated ‘with reproductions of forty original portraits and views’.

‘Benvenuto Cellini was both a beloved artist in sixteenth-century Florence and a passionate and temperamental man of action who was capable of brawling, theft, and murder. He counted popes, cardinals, kings, and dukes among his patrons and was the adoring friend of - as he described them - the “divine” Michelangelo and the “marvellous” Titian, but was as well known for his violent feuds. At age twenty-seven he helped defend the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, and his account of his imprisonment there (under a mad castellan who thought he was a bat), his escape, recapture, and confinement in “a cell of tarantulas and venomous worms” is an adventure equal to any other in fact or fiction. But it is only one in a long life lived on a grand scale.’

‘Cellini’s autobiography is not merely the record of an extraordinary life but also a dramatic and evocative account of daily life in Renaissance Italy, from its lowest taverns to its highest royal courts’
– James Fenton 
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Price HK$ 3,000

China Diary – with folding five-colour lithograph ‘Red Square and the Forbidden City’, signed in pencil by David Hockney - David Hockney, Stephen Spender

1982 - Thames and Hudson Ltd., London - First Edition – Number 485 of 1000 limited signed copies
A fine copy of this limited edition, signed by both David Hockney and Stephen Spender, and featuring Hockney’s folding five-colour lithograph, ‘Red Square and the Forbidden City’, signed by the artist in pencil, as well as 158 watercolours, drawings and photographs, 84 in colour, throughout the book.

Hockney and Spender’s engaging account of their 2,400-mile, seven-city journey from Peking to Canton. The pair, accompanied by Hockney’s assistant Gregory Evans, describe their visits to such historic sites as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, as well as their brief sojourns at Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel.
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Price HK$ 17,000

Zos-Kia - Gavin W. Semple

1995 - Fulgar BCM , London - First Edition
‘....we find him of the company of Blake and Fuseli and their circle; but far superior to any of them in the mastery of representational craft.’

A fine, bright copy of Gavin W. Semple’s
Zos-Kia, an essay exploring the life and methodology of famed occultist, artist and writer, Austin Osman Spare, illustrated throughout with 8 full page colour plates, 2 black and white photographs and numerous full page and in-text drawings, together with a woodblock print on rust coloured paper laid in.

As one of the most fascinating figures of the surrealist movement in 1920’s Europe, Spare captured the public imagination with his etchings, drawings and paintings, and became the youngest entrant to the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1904. Gavin Semple’s
Zos Kia is unrivalled in its critical examination of Spare’s influences and methodology, and contains previously unpublished excerpts from Spare’s last grimoire ‘The Logomachy of Zos’ 
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Price HK$ 3,000

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