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Modernfirsteditions Ltd

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Motor Vehicles I have Owned or Driven

Reg Tindall pp 20 & blanks. Highly original piece of life writing: the autobiography of an early motoring fanatic told exclusively through the cars that he owned and drove from 1913 to 1960. This highly original piece of life-writing includes first world war-time experience as a mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps (1910 Triumph motorbike) via a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost in which he toured the French Riviera in 1925-6, an Austin 7 on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in the winter of 1927 before graduating to an early M.G. drop-head coupe in middle age. The manuscript is in a quarto sized magenta manuscript book, textured paper covered boards with cloth spine; lined paper, Tindall's title written in pen on brown paper laid down to the upper cover. Laid down on the first pastedown is Tindall's first driving licence from 1913 (numbererd '7735' just ten years after licences were first issued in Britain) 'Reginald Fawcett Tindall of Dagwell, Sunningdale' (Berkshire), signed by an authorising officer and with the record of Tindall's 1912 conviction for failing to show this very licence. From there the manuscript proceeds via a series of original photographs of Reg Tindall riding and driving his many vehicles over the next half century. The very first of these was 'An Argyll Sports Car I helped to Buld at Sunningdale Berks. 1913.' via 'My First Motor Bike 1910 Triumph Clutch in Rear Hub No Gear Box 1914' through his First World War service as a mechanic with the 'Royal Navy Air Service' and the consequent vehicles such as 'Crossley Tender Royal Flying Corps Bedford 1917' and a group portrait at the 'Reserve Lorry Park Royal Flying Corps France 1918' taken in front of a 'Leyland Lorry Crossley Tender P & M Morot/ C & Sidecar. Standard RFC Transport.' After the war Tindall seems to have done well for himself with images of the 'Garage de la Foret' at Le Touquet in France 'Built under my Supervision and Managed by Me 1923/4', a Lorraine-Deitrich which 'ran in French Grand Prix de Dieppe in 1913. I drove this car from Le Touquet via Paris, Lyons and Marseilles to the French Riviera in 1920.' In middle age Reg seems to have favoured an 'MG Magnette' with a group of more sedate motors from his final years. The stamp of 'Inspector-in-charge, A.I.D. at Messrs. Hoover Ld. Brantwood Road, Tottenham, N.17' appears on the final pastedown. The collection was put together during the 1940s and '50s with some annotations in biro. Please contact Christian White at Modernfirsteditions if you would like more details.
Footbridge to Enchantment [author's original typescript]

Footbridge to Enchantment [author’s original typescript]

Nigel Tranter [ff] 4 ff 139. Full length authorial typescript of Tranter's country notebook with a manuscript title page. Typed by Tranter on the rectos of 143 leaves with a title page in which the author has misspelt his own title: 'Footbridge to Enchatment - by Nigel Tranter or Nigel's Bridge to Enchantment' - a sub-title which did not appear on the finished work. Minor authorial corrections throughout. The typescript is bound with metal spirals through punched holes and loosely held in a green Twin Cobra folder with an illustration of the work apparently from a magazine taped to the upper cover. The main text is preceded by what the author calls: 'Proposed Preface to Nigel's Bridge to Enchantment'. Nigel Tranter's normal method of composition was described in his Guardian obituary thus: 'Each morning he would leave his house in East Lothian and begin a long walk. In stout boots, flat cap and sensible tweeds, he looked just like any other bird-watcher but for one oddity: in his hands he carried small sheets of paper, protected by a polythene bag in inclement weather. By the time he returned home some 12 miles later, he would have completed another 1,000 words of his next book. Then, with few corrections, the work would be typed up on a venerable Imperial typewriter.' Given that these pieces all started life in The Scot's Magazine this may well be in effect Tranter's typescript/ manuscript of the book inspired by the bridge across Aberlady Bay close to his home. Please contact Christian White at Modernfirsteditions if you would like more information about this book.
Poultry Keeping and Breeding & Colour Theory: A Manuscript containing material from Charles Darwin's Mayfair-based Poultry Dealer

Poultry Keeping and Breeding & Colour Theory: A Manuscript containing material from Charles Darwin’s Mayfair-based Poultry Dealer

W Stone [David Ramsay Hay, Charles Darwin, John Baily] [pp]66 (poultry); [pp]46 (colour theory); [pp]57 (legal) Manuscript notebook by a committed poultry breeder, reader and customer of Darwin's poulterer and dealer in live birds, John Baily, with a letter from Baily about 'confinement' of birds. In this fascinating work W Stone keeps copious notes of John Baily's published observations on poultry, most dated to the early 1850s, as well as inserting a letter from Baily and a fine printed broadside advertisement. At the other end of the manuscript is a lengthy fair copy of David Ramsay Hay's study of colour theory. Quarto-sized notebook, half calf over brown marbled boards, lacking backstrip, binding perfectly sound, 1834 fleur de lys watermarked paper. Writing from one end of the manuscript Stone begins with brief notes on 'Baileys Reg.d Poultry Fountain' and one of Baily's published works, The Dorking Fowl. This is followed by 56 pages of legal 'Articles of Agreement' between 'R.B.' and 'E.B.' apparently pre-Victorian. The meat of the manuscript comes in the 'Miscellaneous' section, dated to 1852, which begins with a brief entry on 'Food for silk worms', a series of inserted printed pages on poultry breeding, some annotated, followed by a fine illustrated broadside advertisement for a 'Poultry House' built by Robert Richardson of London (38x23cm, folded across a double spread). In manuscript there follows 'The Poultry-yard by Boswell (review of)' and lengthy commonplace notes, many initialled 'J[ohn] B[aily]' and dated on aspects of poultry manure, breeding, hybrids, 'Descriptive Points &c. Dorking' and other ducks, 'Incubation (Natural and Artificial)', the hatching of 6 emus 'at Knowsley in 1851 by Cautelo's hydro incubator. bought by the Antwerp Zoological Soc.y', 'Sale and Produce of Eggs' and a note of the values achieved by ducks in Dorking. There is a manuscript article from 1839 on the 'Eccaliobion' with the comment 'Dr. P of M. told me that in his country (Wales) they put eggs under ducks in preference.' with around 15 pages of manuscript explanation of Natural Incubation with tipped in steel engravings of incubating chicks which cites various sources including 'Mr [William] Yarrell' (whom Darwin credits in one of his letters for introducing him to Baily) and a section on 'Disease (prevention and cure)'. The letter from Baily to 'W Stone' is written on headed paper, 'Baily 113, Mount Street' and explains a misapprehension on the part of Stone about an article published by Baily on the 'confinement' of foul in London, 'The atmosphere of London is counted not so good as that of the country.' and is signed 'John Baily' with further notes below. Starting from the other end of the manuscript there is a 46 page fair copy of the introduction and first four chapters of the 1838 edition of David Ramsay Hay's The Laws of Harmonious Colouring with hand drawn renderings of the printed diagrams that are interspersed through the text, most showing colour combinations. John Baily is referred to by Darwin in several of his letters; Darwin's accounts reveal that he bought frequently from Baily though he complained about Baily's reluctance to sell Darwin 'dead birds'.