Maskee - A Shanghai Sketchbook by Schiff - Signed - Friedrich Schiff Circa 1938 - ShanghaiFirst Edition. Number A191 of an unspecified Limited Edition Fabulously Shanghai Art-Deco 15 foot long accordion folio in original silk covers, folding out to show 21 illustrated panels each hand-coloured by Schiff. Each panel depicting a view of 1930’s expatriate life in Shanghai through the unique eyes of Schiff. More a folio of art-deco artwork than a book, although many of the panels include amusing comments and rhymes for example:

Miss Shanghai
Me No Worry– Me No Care!
Me Go Marry Millionaire!
If He Die – Me No Cry!
Me Go Marry Other Guy!!

Signed to the first panel by Friedrich Schiff (1908-68), an Austrian Jewish artist who moved to Shanghai in 1930 after an invite to visit from a cousin and lived there for 17 years. He had worked as a newspaper cartoonist in Vienna and continued this line of work in Shanghai, soon becoming famous for his amusing caricatures of the city's inhabitants. Prolific, Schiff’s cartoons appeared in books, newspapers, magazines and advertisements throughout China and the Far East, and collaborations with Ellen Thorbecke (
Peking Studies; People in China; Hong Kong; and Shanghai).
  ‘Maskee’ is pidgin English for ‘Never Mind’.

Provenance: With contemporary gift inscription ‘To My Brother Joe, Christmas, 1940, Francis’.

Concertina-style folio (book size when folded 26.6 x 19.4 cm, when folded out 26.6 x 465 cm). Outer boards in publisher’s bamboo leaf patterned red silk (also found in both green and blue bamboo leaf patterned publisher’s silk, as well as later coloured and patterned silk that has been used to replace the delicate original).
  Condition: Near fine minor toning to pages, no foxing or thumb soiling, in very good, toned, silk covers, with some rubbing to corners and light scratch across front panel.   Ref: 109198   Price: HK$ 22,000