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AARDVARK BOOKS

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AUTHENTIC ACCOUNT OF AN EMBASSY FROM THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN TO THE EMPEROR OF CHINA (Two Volumes, Complete); Including Cursory Observations made, and Information obtained, in Travelling through that Ancient Empire and a small Part of Chinese Tartary

Staunton, George Leonard (Sir, Baronet) 8vo. Full tree calf(8 7/8" x 5 3/8"). Scuffs, wear and evidence of past repair to spine. Former library copy, with several pocket scars, glue residue, accession number stamps. Previous owner's bookplate (Fiat Justitia. Ruat Coelum: Wm. A. Phillips, Salina, Kansas") to front pastedown. Probably William Addison Phillips, a journalist, soldier, state representative who founded the city of Salina, Kansas in 1859. Sundry owners' names and dates to preliminary pages. 2" x 1/4" notch cut from bottom of each title page, and p. 97. True copy of last four pages of Volume I, apparently missing, long ago copied in very neat manuscript, been tipped in at rear. Text age-tanned, with eight engravings by Samuel Seymour -- 2 in Vol. I and 6 in Vol. II (including frontispieces). Seymour was a well-known artist and engraver, and after accompanying Commanders Macartney and Gower on this journey -- the first British diplomatic mission to China -- Seymour later was hired on as artist on several overland explorations in North America. (continued title page): "TOGETHER WITH A RELATION OF THE Voyage undertaken on the Occasion by his Majesty's Ship the Lion, and the Ship Hindestan in the East India Company's Service, to the Yellow Sea, and Gulf of Pekin; as well as of their return to Europe. WITH NOTICES OF The Several places where they stopped in their way out aned home; being the Islands of Madeira, Teneriffe, and St. Iago the Port of Rio de Janeiro in South America; the Islands of St.Helena, Tristan d'Acunha, and Amsterdam; the Coast of Java, and Sumatra, the Nanka Isles, Pulo-Condore, and Cochin-China. TAKEN CHIEFLY FROM THE PAPERS OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE EARL OF MACARTNEY, Knight of the Bath, his Majesty's Embassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of china; Sir ERASMUS GOWER, Commander of the Expedition, and of other Gentlemen in the several departments of the Embassy.
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HIROSHIMA (IN NEW YORKER : OVERSEAS EDITION FOR THE ARMED FORCES: AUGUST 31, 1946)

Hersey, John First appeareance of article which later became Pulitzer prizewinner Hersey's powerful classic tale about six survivors of the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Armed Forces edition, with all the editorial content, but without advertising. Measures 8 7/8" x 6 1/4". 25 pp. Contains Talk of The Town, portraits, fiction, poetry, the current cinema, "newsbreaks" (humorous snafus from sundry local newspapers or periodicals), and lots of cartoons. Age-tanning. Reprinted from Vol. 3, No. 29. A reliable bookselling colleague remembers readingthat there were 45 issued each year, during certain years encompassing World War II. Below title logo, reads: "Distributed to the army by Special Service Division A.S.F." In this issue an inset from the editors reads:writes: "The New Yorker this week devotes its entire editorial space to an article on the almost complete obliteration of a city by one atomic bomb, and what happened to the people of that city. It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the all but incredible destructive power of this weapon, and that everyone might well take time to consider the terrible implications of its use." In the subsequent issue, an inset on p. 21 reads: "Many requests have been received from newspapers for permission to reprint "Hiroshima", the article by John Hersey which appeared in last week's issue. The New Yorker and the author have consequently decided to make it available to all newspapers wishing to reprintit in full, the proceeds after taxes to go to the American Red Cross."
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NEW YORKER : OVERSEAS EDITION FOR THE ARMED FORCES: MAY 25, 1946

New Yorker Magazine Armed Forces edition, with all the editorial content, but without advertising. Measures 8 7/8" x 6 1/4". 23 pp. Contains Talk of The Town, portraits, fiction, poetry, the current cinema, "newsbreaks" (humorous snafus from sundry local newspapers or periodicals), and lots of cartoons. Age-tanning. Color cartoon front cover, black and white cartoon to rear. Chip (1 1/2" x 1") from last leaf, (which, along with the front leaf, is itself, neatly torn along almost the entire length of the seam) obscuring one of the "Newsbreaks" items. Reprinted from Vol. 3, No. 15. A reliable bookselling colleague remembers reading that there were 45 of these special reprints issued each year, during certain years encompassing World War II. Below title logo, reads: "Distributed to the army by Special Service Division A.S.F., to the Navy by The Bureau of Naval Personnel" "Flash from the Post-Atomic Dawn: A garbage collector in Kew Gardens has painted a legend . on his truck reading, 'World Ashes Removal'." "An outfit called Electronic Time, Inc., intends to set up a business andhas the Federal Communications Commission for permission to operate a high-frequency station here to broadcast the . time every fifteen seconds.The broadcasts will be picked up by miniature . receiving sets that . will fit into a vest pocketor add a mere three ounces to the weight of a lady's handbook. They will be about half as big as a pack of cigaretts, or approximately the size of a two-way radio Dick Tracy recently found on the wrist of a murdered man."
HISTORY OF THE SAINT PAUL FIRE DEPARTMENT

HISTORY OF THE SAINT PAUL FIRE DEPARTMENT

Hennesy, W.B. 4to. (10 3/4" x 8 1/4"). Three-quarter bound over morocco binding, beveled front and rear boards, ruled in chained gilt. Gilt title lettering to front board,with gilt flaming lamp motif. Four raised bands (five compartments), horizontally gilt-ruled,with floriated gilt design in compartments 1, 3 & 5. Lovely, mint-green rock-sectioned marbled endpapers, overlaid with elaborate gilt veining. Very light rubbing to extremities with very minor cracking and fraying to top and bottom of spine. Overall, a lovely volume in beautiful condition. Occasional full-pages of advertising in between the 115 pp. of text, 4 pp. of listed patrons who contributed to "the history", and 70 more pages solely devoted to local advertising -- a fabulous treasure trove resource for anyone writing a novel set in the early twentieth-century in St. Paul, Minnesota. WorldCat / OCLC First Search shows only six copies worldwide. A fascinating look at local firefighting history, and the stories of conflagration and rebuilding which gathered, sometimes divided the populace of this northern capitol city situated on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Consisting of 18 Engine Companies, 9 Hook and Ladder rigs, a chemical rig etc., the St. Paul Fire Department was formed AROUND 1856. Yearbook-like photos of volunteer personnel, Engine Companies and their horses and wagons, stories and pictures of specific fires such as Northern Cooperage Company's fire. Several references to Indians, drinking of alcohol, and their status as inveterate drunks and troublemakers.
MODERN COIN MANIPULATION : 150 ILLUSTRATIONS

MODERN COIN MANIPULATION : 150 ILLUSTRATIONS

Downs, T. Nelson ("King of Koins") Octavo, red cloth over boards, with gilt lettering and design to front board. Black lettering with airborne coins design to spine, somewhat faded. 3/4" tear to bottom of spine. Moderate rubbing to extremities, and spine lean. No title page as issued. frontis photo with autopen signature below which reads "Very Koindly, T. Nelson Downs". Illustrated with numerous sillhouettes photographs and drawings. 248 pp., including 4 page index, the last chapter of which is entitled: "Koincluding observations", which especially leads me to suspect self-publishing). followed by 8 pages of advertisements by "Hambley's Grand Magical Saloons, 231 High . Holbern, W.C., The Premier Conjuring Trick Manufacturers of the World", including a list of titles upon which this book, for £2, appears. T. (Thomas) Nelson Downs was born in Iowa in 1867, was a self taught prestidigitator who by the age of 12 had achieved expertise in card and coin manipulation. After a brief career in the telegraph office, he began his career in earnest as a magician in 1895, became internationally renowned both in the United States and on the other side of the Atlantic, becoming so successful that he retired back to his birthplace, Marshalltown, Iowa, at the age of 42. Later, he opened a Vaudeville house in Marshalltown. Downs performed before royalty, astonishing them with his ability to palming with one hand 40 American half-dollars. AND HE HAD SMALL HANDS. He was referred to in turns as someone with "The most wonderful hands" or "The Cleverest Hands in New York." His relationship with Eric Weiss (Harry Houdini), while ostensibly friendly, was said to be one of extreme professional competitiveness, Nelson claiming to have pre-dated Houdini's underwater escape while hands manacled trip, as well as Houdini's making a name for himself as a professional spiritualism-buster.
THE ART OF MIXING

THE ART OF MIXING

Wiley, James A. and Helene M. Griffith 12mo (7" x 4.5").xi, half-title, 49pp., blank. Bright silver boards with red shaker and cocktail glass design and red lettering to front board. Very light bump along fore-edge, around 2.5" down. Several very small splash-stains to last three pages, and handwritten recipe for eggnog on verso of last page (49), and very small stains to a 2 internal leaves, and rear endpapers. Red dustjacket, with shaker and cocktail glass motif reversed from that on book itself -- silver on red with black border and lettering shows several chips -- three small and two larger chips (7/8" x 1", and 7/8" x 1.5") to top and bottom edges. Original $.75 price to front flap. WorldCat lists only 8 copies. While this title is in fact referenced in "American Cocktail Books, 1869-1939: Selected Titles from Library of Congress Collections" under "Post-Prohibition Publications", it was actually published about one and a half years before Prohibition ended. Uncommon title in the collectible cocktail book world, and quite scarce in jacket. Two examples: The Bunny Hug (p.7): 1/3 Gin, 1/3 Scotch Whiskey, 1/3 Anisette. Stir a bit -- sit down before drinking.". Block and Fall Cocktail (p. 7): 1 whiskey glass Rye Whiskey, 1 glass beer as a chaser. Drink two - walk a block and fall." Published about a year and a half before Prohibition ended, "THE ART OF MIXING" is the result of much research in many climes. It contains 235 recipes, arranged alphabetically.the ingredients have been proportioned in fractional qualities, making the use of a standard measuring unit unnecessary and allowing any number of drinks to be prepared at the same time." Side Note: This is the stated First Printing, but as an indication of the editors' purpose and attitude in compiling this book in the first place, there appears, in the second printing foreword only -- (NOT this first printing, and probably post December 5, 1933 when Prohibition officially ended, permitting inkish lips to loosen some) they write: ".After so many years of uncertain 'hooch', bathtub-gin and similar concoctions, the resurrection of old John F. Barleycorn comes as a grateful relief to millions of long-suffering palates. The real stuff to make a real drink is really obtainable, at last. But, in the long, dry years the art of mixing drinks very nearly has become a lost art."
DICTIONNAIRE COMIQUE

DICTIONNAIRE COMIQUE, SATYRIQUE, CRITIQUE, BURLESQUE, LIBRE ET PROVERBIAL (2 Vols. Complete); (New Edition, Revised, Corrected, and Considerably Augmented)

Leroux, P.J. (Philbert-Joseph) Octavos 7.75" x 5.0". Full,period catspaw calf mottling (.50" x .75") acid-etched into boards. Five raised band (six compartments), each with gilt title on red spine label, and gilt title on dark green morocco label, in next compartment below, indicating volume in series. Elaborately floriated gilt leaf pattern within other compartments. Bottom-most compartment of each volume blacked out, presumably atop previous library markings. All text edges (head, tail, fore-edge) red-stained (at printers); all book edges gilt, though partially faded, or rubbed away. Hand-marbled endpapers of Blue, green, red, orange and white in French Curl (Escargot) pattern. Sticker residue (3 1/2" x 5") to front pastedown. First volume (Tome Premier) covers from A to G; Tome Second G through Z. 612 pp. and 606 pp., respectively. Rubbing to extremities. Very solidly bound. Each title page bears the perforated stamp of previous educational institutional ownership, but detailed (2019) correspondence with special collections librarians there did not turn up any records of theft, loss, or even deaccession. "Cat's Paw is readily identifiable, if sometimes only vaguely resembling paw prints. The pattern can be irregular, appearing to have been applied with a heavy hand - er, paw? - with the acid biting deeply into the leather, other times quite beautiful with a regular, light touch of the motif. This design was popular from the later part of the 18th century." (Smithsonian Libraries "Unbound" blog).