Quality Street: A Comedy in Four Acts - J. M. Barrie, Hugh Thomson (illustrator) 1901 - Hodder & Stoughton, London - Number 542 of 1000 limited copies. First Edition Illustrated by Hugh Thomson Large limited edition of J. M. Barrie’s play, in magnificently gilt decorated vellum binding. Illustrated throughout with line drawings and twenty-two mounted colour plates by Hugh Thomson. Number 542 of a limited edition of 1,000 vellum bound copies signed by the illustrator Hugh Thomson. Housed in later bespoke felt lined slipcase.

The premiere of
Quality Street in 1902, two years before Peter Pan, was a big enough hit to inspire a line of chocolates which where advertised using its characters... Quality Street has inspired a number of films, one with Katherine Hepburn, and is still enacted on stage today, using modern parlance it would be referred to as a ‘RomCom’.

‘Valentine Brown is trying to persuade Phoebe Throssel that age is no barrier to their romance. She might regret the decade that has passed since he abruptly left to fight in the Napoleonic wars, leaving their love unrequited, but he’s having none of it. “Instead of growing older you shall grow younger,” he says, promising to heal the wounds of time.’
  Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) - Water colour artist and illustrator. Born in Londonderry, Thomson first came to prominence with his series of drawings of 18th century ballads and stories in The English Illustrated Magazine,1883. Thomson was an instinctive artist with little formal training, apart from a few classes at the Belfast School of Art, most of his instruction was from artist and designer John Vinycomb. His name was made with Coaching Days and Coaching Ways in partnership with Outram Tristram. Thomson created an idyllic world of stage coaches, sedan chairs, port and wine. From the late 1880s he was continuously in demand for the novels of Jane Austin, Mrs Gaskell, Charles Raed and others as well as for contemporaries such as J. M. Barrie and Austin Dobson. His studies of London life and cockney poor are notable achievements and show the diversity of this talented artist. He was elected RI in 1897, and his work was influential on the following generation especially the work of C.E. and H.M Brock.

Reference: Simon Houfe,
British Illustrators and Caricaturists, 479.

Large quarto (book size 31.8x26.4cm), pp. [4] vii [1] 198 [2]. In publisher's vellum binding, lettered and intricately decorated in gilt to spine and front board, with additional purple borders to front board, top edge gilt others untrimmed, later yellow silk ties. With archival repair to tear on page 149 and 151.
  Condition: Near fine, some toning to vellum and page edges, light rubbing to covers, archival repair to tear on page 149 and 151.   Ref: 109888   Price: HK$ 3,000