Rules, Bye-Laws, Regulations and List of Members of The Empress Club. Founded in Commemoration of the Sixtieth Year of the Reign of Her Most Gracious Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Empress of India. - 1903 - LondonFirst Edition Rules. ‘1. The Club shall be for Ladies only, and shall be called THE EMPRESS CLUB.’

A rare and fine example of the member’s handbook for the most luxurious ladies club in London, founded in 1897 and blessed by Queen Victoria herself, by 1903 the club had moved into a purpose built premises at 35 Dover Street with another entrance on Berkley Street.

Containing a history of the club, details of charitable work with The Prince of Wales Hospital, Rules, Bye-Laws etc, details of charges and updated subscription fees, and a list of the members. Illustrated with a wonderful sectional drawing of the interior of The Empress Club, a ‘Sketch of the Gold Badge presented to Life Members, facsimile of the 1897 receipt from The Prince of Wales Hospital Fund for £105, and frontispiece ‘Bust of he Late Majesty’ ‘Executed for the Empress Club by Geflowski’.
  ‘Towards the end of the 19th century, the idea of a London club solely for women, was put forward by one of Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting, With the help of other Ladies at Court, and indeed with the blessing of the Queen herself, the idea went ahead, and on 24 May 1897 the Empress Club opened – founded the “Ladies of England” and in commemoration of her Majesty's Golden Jubilee. The Club's foundation marked a new era in the history of Ladies’ Clubs. Unconnected with any political movement it soon became powerful Social Institution. Headed by the Duchess of Leeds, the Vice-Presidents and Committee included a Princess and several Countesses. The original clubhouse was at 32 Dover Street, such was the rush to join that within 12 months a new site had to be found on which to erect a building worthy of the large and influential membership which represented nearly every known family of distinction. The site found was at No. 35, almost next door, and by 1901 the Empress Club was installed in a most impressive and palatial building with another entrance in Berkley Street. It boasted 12 Reception Rooms, handsomely decorated, and one hundred bedrooms for which the lowest charge was 4/- a night- and this included Lights, Boots, Bath and attendance. Coal fires, it is true, were 1/6 extra but Ladies’ Maids could be accommodated for 7/6 per day! Members wishing to interview servants at the Club had to give two clear days’ notice to the Secretary and then conduct the interview before 12 noon. Ladies could keep their cycles at the Club, but dogs were not allowed and Gentlemen guests only as far as the Dining and drawing Rooms. An orchestra played during afternoon tea (1/-) and smoking was permitted. It also played in the Grand Dining Hall during dinner, after which smoking was again allowed. Luncheon was 2/6 and dinner 3/6! During the great war over £50,000 was raised by members in aid to the Forces, and again £16,000 in World War II.’ – Elizabeth Crawford, Woman and her Sphere.

Small octavo (book size 18.9x12.6cm), pp. 175 [3]. In publisher’s red textured cloth, front board with gilt lettering and gilt embossed crown, green and white floral patterned endpapers, all edges gilt.
  Condition:   Ref: 110814   Price: HK$ 3,000