51 items found
Imperial Roman 400 ad. Aur.Theodosii Macrobii, v. cl. & Inlustris, Opera Published London 1694. Macrobius Is Historically Important Because He Rescued Opinions And Passages From Works That Have Been Long Lost

Imperial Roman 400 ad. Aur.Theodosii Macrobii, v. cl. & Inlustris, Opera Published London 1694. Macrobius Is Historically Important Because He Rescued Opinions And Passages From Works That Have Been Long Lost

by Ambrosius Aurelius Theodosius Macrobius, Johannes Isacius Pontanus, Johannes van Meurs, Jacobus Gronovius. First printing in England. Published by Dring and Harper of Fleet St. Imprimateur Rob. Ridgely, Feb 25, 169 1/2. 1694 Editio Novissima, Cum Indice Rerum & Vocum Locupletissimo. Calf leather, overall worn, with a spine with four raised bands.
Macrobius, ca. 400, is considered to be one of the last pagan Roman authors. His most important work is the Saturnalia, an account of a long dicussion held during a symposium on the occasion of the Saturnalia. The subjects discussed are grammar, philology, mythology, history. Macrobius also produced a commentary on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero. The work of this late antique writer is important because he rescued opinions and passages from works that have been lost.

The Dutch classical scholar Johannes Isaac Pontanus, 1571-1639, was born at sea (hence his name), when his parents were on their way to Denmark. There he was for some time a helper of Tycho Brahe (NNBW I,1417). In 1606 he became professor of Mathematics at the University of Harderwijk. His edition of Macrobius, which included also notes of the Dutch scholar Johannes Meursius, dates from 1597, a second edition from 1628. § This edition of 1670 was produced by the young Dutch scholar Jacobus Gronovius, 1645-1716, after having finished his studies at the University of Leiden under his father Johannes Fredericus Gronovius, 1611-1671, who was professor of Greek and History from 1658, and from 1665 librarian of the University Library of Leiden. It was Jacobus' first important scholarly feat. In the preface Gronovius tells us that his father allowed him to inspect and cleanse ancient manuscripts, and how he conceived the plan to collate two rather old Macrobius manuscripts that were in a bad shape. ('duorum (.) MStorum situ & squalore horrentium, satis tamen antiquam manum ostendentium')
Later, in 1679, Jacobus succeeded his father as professor of History and Greek)

The leather binding is worn and aged, but very nice and original and it reflects the age and status of this work so much so that we recommend it is left as is, and not rebound. Of course this is a subjective opinion and can be ignored.  read more

Code: 23302

875.00 GBP

A Beautifully Bound Leather Book, Abraham Lincoln and The Downfall of American Slavery {Heroes of the Nations} by Noah Brooks 1894

A Beautifully Bound Leather Book, Abraham Lincoln and The Downfall of American Slavery {Heroes of the Nations} by Noah Brooks 1894

A Very Special Offer Item! A Prize Presented to Meg Haynes, July 1907, for her gaining three certificates in the University Extension Lectures, at Hamilton House, Tunbridge Wells

Noah Brooks (1830-1903) was a journalist and editor who worked for newspapers in Sacramento, San Francisco, Newark, and New York. Michael Burlingame is the May Buckley Sadowski '19 Professor Emeritus of History at Connecticut College, author of The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln, and editor of An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln and Inside Lincoln's White House, among other books

When Lincoln became president, the departure of the Southern members of Congress at the beginning of the Civil War made it finally possible to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 provided partial compensation to slave owners, paid out of federal funds. Lincoln hoped to persuade the border states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri to do the same, because that would eliminate their incentive to secede from the Union to join the Confederacy. Their secession might result both in the North losing the Civil War and in the continued existence of slavery.

On September 22, 1862, having waited until the North won a significant victory in the battle at Antietam, Lincoln used the power granted to the president under Article II, section 2, of the U.S. Constitution as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It provided that, on January 1, 1863, in the states still in rebellion, the enslaved people would be freed. On January 1, 1863, as promised, he issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared "that all persons held as slaves" in "States and parts of States ... in rebellion against the United States" on that day "are, and henceforward shall be free." The proclamation immediately freed on paper millions of the enslaved, but it had little practical effect until the Union Army was present. Week by week, as the army advanced, more slaves were liberated. The last were freed in Texas on a day they called "Juneteenth" (June 19, 1865), which became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021  read more

Code: 24406


C15th Illuminated Medieval French Book of Hours Manuscript Leaf. From Around The Time of The Battle of Agincourt or Later

C15th Illuminated Medieval French Book of Hours Manuscript Leaf. From Around The Time of The Battle of Agincourt or Later

A vellum manuscript leaf from a French Book of Hours, illuminated in gold leaf, blue and red ink; recto and verso each with 16 lines of Latin text in blackletter script.
A simply beautiful 15th century vellum leaf from a 'Book of Hours' written in Paris, with a block of text lines to each side in batarde script with use of gold leaf; coloured filler blocks with white detailing, gold leaf . Fine condition.

Books of hours were the most popular books for laypeople in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. They contained sets of prayers to be performed throughout the hours of the day and night. These books were often designed to be visually appealing, and wealthy patrons commissioned leading artists to work on them. The manuscript also contained illustrations of hell which acted as reminders that behaviour on Earth would determine the destination of their soul. Scenes within some manuscripts of this type may show people being captured, tortured and eaten by monsters and demons. Many were illuminated with miniatures, decorated initials and floral borders. Paper was rare and most Books of Hours were composed of sheets of parchment made from skins of animals, usually sheep or goats the finest were called vellum. By the 14th century, the cloisters of monks writing in the scriptorium had almost fully given way to urban scriptoria, especially in Paris, Rome and the Netherlands. While the process of creating an illuminated manuscript did not change, the move from monasteries to alternative settings was a radical step. Demand for manuscripts grew to an extent that Monastic libraries began to employ secular scribes and illuminators. These individuals often lived close to the monastery and, in instances, dressed as monks whenever they entered the monastery, but were allowed to leave at the end of the day. In reality, illuminators were often well known and acclaimed and many of their identities have survived.

First, the manuscript was "sent to the rubricator, who added (in red or other colours) the titles, headlines, the initials of chapters and sections, the notes and so on; and then – if the book was to be illustrated – it was sent to the illuminator". In the case of some manuscripts the writing would "undoubtedly have been discussed initially between the patron and the scribe but by the time that the written gathering were sent off to the illuminator there was no longer any scope for innovation"
c.1460 A.D. by a French scribe.  read more

Code: 24524

2450.00 GBP

1st Edition, Japanese Spears Polearms and Their Use in Old Japan Roald Knutsen,

1st Edition, Japanese Spears Polearms and Their Use in Old Japan Roald Knutsen,

Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good.
By our local, world renowned sensei, and martial art expert and exponant, Roald Knutsen, who was the sensei of our 30 year late colleague, senpei, Christopher Fox, who was both a nihonto and Iaido expert of 40 years, and a remarkable exponent of all his martial arts in his own right.

This book charts the evolution of Japanese pole-arms from the bronze spears of the Yayoi period right up to to the Meiji Restoration; deals with the history and development of each category of spear; besides the blades, the shafts & mounts are described in detail; outlines the schools of spear and sword fencing from the early 14th century; a very necessary addition to the library of anyone interested in arms and armour; fully illustrated. Japanese spear-weapons mainly comprise the naginata (similar to the European glaive) and types of yari (pike / halberd). Hoko are a hook weapon.

This is the first book in English to provide a fully illustrated guide to the use of polearms - ranging from the earliest halberds and spears reaching Japan from the Asian mainland to the sophisticated naginata, nagamaki and various forms of yari used by the Japanese samurai through the medieval period. While the sword remains the best known of Japanese weapons, it was the halberd (naginata) and then the yari that dominated the battlefields up to the early seventeenth century, and thereafter the yari became an important status symbol to many warrior families. Additionally, the authors focus on the actual method of use of these weapons, hitherto an almost unknown aspect in the West.  read more

Code: 25110

240.00 GBP

Ist Edition of 'The Rommel Papers' Printed by Collins in 1953

Ist Edition of 'The Rommel Papers' Printed by Collins in 1953

The Rommel Papers is the collected writings by the German World War II field marshal Erwin Rommel published in 1953.

A good volume example of the career and tactics of one of the greatest and revered generals of the war. In fact even Winston Churchill announced his demise in parliament, as the death of a noble leader of men that was not tainted, unlike many others in Germany, by the NAZI disease and corrupt influences of the Third Reich.

The book included Rommel's writings of the war, edited by the British journalist and historian B. H. Liddell Hart, the former Wehrmacht officer Fritz Bayerlein, who served on Rommel's staff in North Africa, and Rommel's widow and son. The volume contained an introduction and commentary by Liddell Hart.

Liddell Hart had a personal interest in the work: by having coaxed Rommel's widow to include material favourable to himself, he could present Rommel as his "pupil" when it came to mobile armoured warfare.
Thus, Liddell Hart's "theory of indirect approach" became a precursor to the German blitzkrieg ("lightning war"). The controversy was described by the political scientist John Mearsheimer in his work The Weight of History, who concluded that, by "putting words in the mouths of German Generals and manipulating history", Liddell Hart was in a position to show that he had been at the root of the dramatic German successes in 1940.

The historian Mark Connelly argues that The Rommel Papers was one of the two foundational works that lead to a "Rommel renaissance" and "Anglophone rehabilitation", the other being Desmond Young's biography, Rommel: The Desert Fox. The book contributed to the perception of Rommel as a brilliant commander; in an introduction, Liddell Hart drew comparisons between Rommel and Lawrence of Arabia, "two masters of desert warfare"

In World War II, he commanded the 7th Panzer Division during the 1940 invasion of France. His leadership of German and Italian forces in the North African campaign established his reputation as one of the ablest tank commanders of the war, and earned him the nickname der Wüstenfuchs, "the Desert Fox". Among his British adversaries he had a reputation for chivalry, and his phrase "war without hate" has been uncritically used to describe the North African campaign. A number of historians have since rejected the phrase as a myth and uncovered numerous examples of German war crimes and abuses towards enemy soldiers and native populations in Africa during the conflict. Other historians note that there is no clear evidence Rommel personally was involved or aware of any of these crimes, with some pointing out that the war in the desert, as fought by Rommel and his opponents, still came as close to a clean fight as there was in World War II. He later commanded the German forces opposing the Allied cross-channel invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

With the Nazis gaining power in Germany, Rommel gradually accepted the new regime. Historians have given different accounts of the specific period and his motivations. He was a supporter of Adolf Hitler, at least until near the end of the war, if not necessarily sympathetic to the party and the paramilitary forces associated with it. In 1944, Rommel was implicated in the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. Because of Rommel's status as a national hero, Hitler wanted to eliminate him quietly instead of having him immediately executed, as many other plotters were. Rommel was given a choice between suicide, in return for assurances that his reputation would remain intact and that his family would not be persecuted following his death, or facing a trial that would result in his disgrace and execution; he chose the former and took a cyanide pill. Rommel was given a state funeral, and it was announced that he had succumbed to his injuries from the strafing of his staff car in Normandy.

Rommel became a larger-than-life figure in both Allied and Nazi propaganda, and in postwar popular culture. Numerous authors portray him as an apolitical, brilliant commander and a victim of Nazi Germany, although this assessment is contested by other authors as the Rommel myth. Rommel's reputation for conducting a clean war was used in the interest of the West German rearmament and reconciliation between the former enemies – the United Kingdom and the United States on one side and the new Federal Republic of Germany on the other. Several of Rommel's former subordinates, notably his chief of staff Hans Speidel, played key roles in German rearmament and integration into NATO in the postwar era. The German Army's largest military base, the Field Marshal Rommel Barracks, Augustdorf, and a third ship of Lütjens-class destroyer of the German Navy are both named in his honour. His son Manfred Rommel was the longtime mayor of Stuttgart, Germany and namesake of Stuttgart Airport.  read more

Code: 25106

85.00 GBP

A Very Rare Original Medeavil Book, Vitae Pontificum, Ist Edition, of 1479, By Bartolomaeus Platina, Vitae Pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and Personally Presented It To Pope Sixtus IV, From the Library of Abolishionist William Roscoe

A Very Rare Original Medeavil Book, Vitae Pontificum, Ist Edition, of 1479, By Bartolomaeus Platina, Vitae Pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and Personally Presented It To Pope Sixtus IV, From the Library of Abolishionist William Roscoe

Only the second example we have ever seen in almost 60 years.
Pope Sixtus IVth's Appointed Vatican Librarian. This remarkable tome an Incunabule is over 545 years old. When Bartolomeo Sacchi ('Platina', 1421-1481) wrote this Vitae pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and personally presented it to Pope Sixtus IV in 1475, he surely could not have imagined how influential it would become over the centuries. His was the first papal history, the lives of the popes from the time of Jesus Christ, to the reign of Sixtus IV, composed as a humanist Latin narrative and, as such, marked a distinct breakthrough in relation to the Liber pontificalis, the standard medieval chronicle of the papacy. Whatever Platina's intentions for the book that was published in 1479, it soon came to be regarded as the official history of the Roman pontiffs, an icon of the earliest printing. Formerly from the library of the renown Abolishionist William Roscoe, sold by him at auction in 1816 for £1.13/-, due to the financial difficulties of his banking house, and acquired by order of the Library Committee of the City of Bath Reference Library. This book was likely commissioned due to the influences of Pope Sixtus IV Francesco della Rovere upon his librarian, it's author, Bartolomaeus Platina. We show in the gallery a painting of Pope Sixtus appointing Platina as the official Vatican Librarian. An Incunable is a most rare book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed not handwritten before the year 1501 in Europe. They are the earliest form of printed books. Incunabula include the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, probably the most valuable book in the world. This is a First Edition of Bartholomaeus Platina's great history of the lives of the Popes, the first systematic papal history, not only to create the first detailed history of the Popes but also to villify his mortal enemy Pope Paul IInd Pietro Barbo. This book was created in the era of the great Rennaiscance, in the time of the notorious Borgias and in the year of the notorious Pazzi conspiracy, which was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the de' Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. It was printed at the time that Leonado De Vinci drew the hanging of a Pazzi conspiritor Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano de' Medici. Lorenzo was wounded but survived; Giuliano was killed. The failure of the plot served to strengthen the position of the de' Medici. The Pazzi were banished from Florence. During the time the Platina served as the first librarian at the Vatican under its modern founder, Sixtus IV. Platina started his career as a soldier employed by condottieri, before gaining long-term patronage from the Gonzagas, including the young cardinal Francesco, for whom he wrote a family history. He studied under the Byzantine humanist philosopher John Argyropulos in Florence, where he frequented other fellow humanists, as well as members of the ruling Medici family.

Around 1462 he moved with Francesco Gonzaga to Rome, where he purchased a post as a papal writer under the humanist Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and became a member of the pagan-influenced Roman Academy founded by Pomponio Leto. Close acquaintance with the renowned chef Maestro Martino in Rome seems to have provided inspiration for a theoretical treatise on Italian gastronomy entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On honourable pleasure and health"), which achieved considerable popularity and has the distinction of being considered the first printed cookbook.

Platina's papal employment was abruptly curtailed on the arrival of an anti-humanist pope, Paul II (Pietro Barbo), who had the rebellious Platina locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo during the winter of 1464-65 as a punishment for his remonstrations. In 1468 he was again confined in Castel Sant'Angelo for a further year, where he was interrogated under torture, following accusations of an alleged pagan conspiracy by members of Pomponio's Roman academy involving plans to assassinate the pope.

Platina's fortunes were revived by the return to power of the strongly pro-humanist pope, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), who in 1475 made him Vatican librarian an appointment which was depicted in a famous fresco by Melozzo da Forli. He was granted the post after writing an innovative and influential history of the lives of the popes that gives ample space to Roman history and pagan themes, and concludes by vilifying Platina's nemesis, Paul Iia paragraph from Platina's Vitae Pontificum first gave rise to the legend of the excommunication of Halley's comet by Pope Callixtus III,
Vitae Pontificum ("Lives of the Popes", 1479) "Incunable" is the anglicised singular form of "incunabula", Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle", which can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything." A former term for "incunable" is "fifteener", referring to the 15th century. Vitae pontificum, FIRST EDITION, 239 leaves (of 240, lacking first leaf), 39 lines, roman (and a little Greek) letter, capital spaces with guide letters, a few early marginal ink annotations, tears repaired to 2 leaves, small worm trace in upper margin of approximately 30 leaves (touching letters on approximately 20), inner margins of final leaves strengthened at gutter margins and a few other small paper repairs, gnawing to some fore-corners, blindstamp on approximately 6 leaves, late seventeenth/early eighteenth century red morocco gilt, sides panelled with corner, side and central decorations, spine gilt-tooled (including title and publication date) in 7 compartments within raised bands, rebacked preserving most of original spine. Venice, Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479. William Roscoe's copy of the first editon of Platina's history of the Popes.

Provenance: William Roscoe (1753-1832), historian and author of Lorenzo de Medici (1796) and The Life of Pope Leo X (1805), with a 10-line pencil note in his hand, above which an ink note reads "Notes by Wm. Roscoe vide infra. Coll. By him". One of this books former owners was the renown William Roscoe (8 March 1753 , 30 June 1831). He was an English historian, leading abolitionist, art collector, M.P. Lawyer, banker, botanist and miscellaneous writer, perhaps best known today as an early abolitionist. 11.25 inches x 7.5inches x 2.25 inches.  read more

Code: 20006

4950.00 GBP

The Lanes Armoury's Specialist Museum Grade Restoration, Cleaning & Conservation

The Lanes Armoury's Specialist Museum Grade Restoration, Cleaning & Conservation

For generations we have prided ourselves on commissioning and providing the finest quality artisan restoration and conservation services available in the UK. Sadly, over the decades, many of these, and our, genius artisans have passed away, and there are so few that have today decided to follow in their esteemed footsteps, but we still have a few. Our late gunsmith, Dennis Ottery joined us as a gun restorer after his demobilisation from the British Army 'Green Jackets' Rifles Regt. in 1946, and he was our master gunsmith for more than 55 years, till the early 2000's.

Restoration is often a vital part to saving and preserving fine, rare or even regular pieces that have been neglected or damaged over the past decades or even hundreds of years, and by doing so we have had fantastic results that are incredibly satisfying and created a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. However, these specialist arts can progress slowly, and can be expensive, and are thus time-consuming but incredibly worth the wait and effort. Thus we do not actively undertake third-party restoration at all due to the often excessive costs and considerable time involved. It is not unknown for a specialist restoration and conservation project of a single piece to take several years

Another important factor though, is that bad and poorly executed restoration can be far worse than doing nothing at all.

Restoration is a magnificent art, and often well worthwhile for important pieces when successful, but it is not to be undertaken lightly without all due consideration.
It is important to understand all factors when considering such improvements to fine antique pieces.
We were once advisers for the restoration of our magnificent 16th century 'Brussels' tapestry, that we sold to one of the great American collectors some decades ago.
You can see it in our photo gallery, photographed on display in our Prince Albert Street shop, with Judy Hawkins, Mark’s incredibly talented and beloved late wife, standing in the foreground. Another photograph is of a specialist lady restorer's hands, working upon the tapestry. The eventual restoration cost, in today’s terms, was over £600,000, and it took over 3 years to complete. A sobering sum, often outside of the deep pockets of national collections resources, but incredibly worthwhile none the less, as that tapestry would now likely be valued in the millions of pounds.

When we undertake restoration and conservation of our pieces, it will only be on items that we have decided would richly benefit from such attention, and we will also undertake this work often for posterity, in order to save, for future generations, pieces that may well might have been discarded in their poor, previously un-restored, neglected state.

We will often contribute towards, and therefore subsidise, these conservation costs ourselves, in order to save a piece of rarity, beauty, or historical significance, for this very reason. The improvement of 'value' alone is never, ever, our primary concern, and should, ideally never be the principle desire for collectors either. It should be for the preservation of fine past craftsmanship, and to restore fine cultural heirlooms for posterity, and for the benefit of all the generations to come.

If we restore an item that was acquired from us by a client, pre restoration, be they a museum, a private collector or specialist dealer, the results can be not only spectacular, but also incredibly satisfying to know that a fine piece has been saved for generations to come, and will be an ancestral heirloom for the future  read more

Code: 23682


Gestalten Der Weltgeshichte Miniaturen. Shaping World History. Contemporary Miniatures of Famous Personalities from Four Centuries (Third Reich Publication1933)

Gestalten Der Weltgeshichte Miniaturen. Shaping World History. Contemporary Miniatures of Famous Personalities from Four Centuries (Third Reich Publication1933)

A superb 1930's German album-book perfect for the collector of antique miniatures and famed personalities of history

Wiemann, Hermann (Text)

Gestalten der Weltgeschichte . Zeitgenössische Miniaturen berühmter Persönlichkeiten aus vier Jahrhunderten (1933)

Contemporary miniatures of famous personalities from four centuries, paperback with gold embossing, A4, Cigarettn-Bilderdienst, 1933, 111 pages, really good condition for its age,

Cardboard cover with gold embossing, 111 pages, approx. 31 x 23.5 cm, Humanism and Reformation in Germany / The Renaissance in Italy / England under the Tudors / The Renaissance in France / Spain and the Netherlands / Thirty Years' War / Absolutism in Prussia and Saxony / Absolutism in France / England under the Stuarts and the Revolution / England in the 18th century / France under Louis XV / Austria in the 18th century / Frederick the Great and his time / Russia / the time of Goethe / Louis XVI. and the French Revolution / Napoleon I and his time / Germany in the war of liberation / German Romanticism / The 19th century Shapes of world history Contemporary miniatures of famous personalities from four centuries Published by Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, Hamburg-Bahrenfeld, 1933 151.-180.  read more

Code: 24617

45.00 GBP

1st Edition James Bond, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, by Ian Fleming. Part of The ‘Blofeld’ Sequence. The Most Infamous Villain In The James Bond Canon. Written By Fleming at ‘Goldeneye’ Whilst Sean Connery Was Filming His First Bond, “Dr. No”  Nearby

1st Edition James Bond, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, by Ian Fleming. Part of The ‘Blofeld’ Sequence. The Most Infamous Villain In The James Bond Canon. Written By Fleming at ‘Goldeneye’ Whilst Sean Connery Was Filming His First Bond, “Dr. No” Nearby

1st Edition, 1st impression. Published by London: Jonathan Cape. 1963 original cover. (1963) On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 1 April 1963. The initial and secondary print runs sold out, with over 60,000 books sold in the first month. Fleming wrote the book in Jamaica whilst the first film in the Eon Productions series of films, Dr. No, was being filmed nearby.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the second book in what is known as the "Blofeld trilogy", which begins with Thunderball and concluded with You Only Live Twice. The story centres on Bond's ongoing search to find Ernst Stavro Blofeld after the Thunderball incident; through contact with the College of Arms in London Bond finds Blofeld based in Switzerland. After meeting him and discovering his latest plans, Bond attacks the centre where he is based, although Blofeld escapes in the confusion. Bond meets and falls in love with Contessa Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo during the story. The pair marry at the end of the story but Blofeld kills Bond's wife, hours after the ceremony.

Fleming made a number of revelations about Bond's character within the book, including showing an emotional side that was not present in the previous stories. In common with Fleming's other Bond stories, he used the names and places of people he knew or had heard of and Blofeld's research station on Piz Gloria was based on Schloss Mittersill, which the Nazis had turned into a research establishment examining the Asiatic races.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service received broadly good reviews in the British and American press. The novel was adapted to run as a three-part story in Playboy in 1963 and then as a daily comic strip in the Daily Express newspaper in 1964–1965. In 1969 the novel was adapted as the sixth film in the Eon Productions James Bond film series and was the only film to star George Lazenby as Bond. On Her Majesty's Secret Service was written in Jamaica at Fleming's Goldeneye estate in January and February 1962, whilst the first Bond film, Dr. No was being filmed nearby. The first draft of the novel was 196 pages long and called The Belles of Hell. Fleming later changed the title after being told of a nineteenth-century sailing novel called On Her Majesty's Secret Service, seen by Fleming's friend Nicholas Henderson in Portobello Road Market.

As with his previous novels, Fleming used events from his past as elements in his novel. Whilst at Kitzbühel in the 1930s, Fleming's car, a Standard Tourer, had been struck by a train at a level crossing and he had been dragged fifty yards down the track. From that time on he had associated trains with death, which led to their use as a plot device not just in The Man with the Golden Gun, but also in Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love.
To demonstrate just how much all things original Bond are appreciated in the world of collectors, the Walther pistol used by Connery in the poster of From Russia With Love, in 1963, and also drawn in the man With The Golden Gun is in fact just an air pistol. A .177 (4.5mm) Walther 'LP MOD.53' Air Pistol, Serial No. 054159. That pseudo pistol was sold by Christies in 2010, with an estimate of £15,000 to £20,000, but for an incredible £277,000. {We dropped out of the bidding at a mere £22,000} Incredible in that it was never used in any film, it was just an air pistol, not a real automatic, and only ever used in promotional posters. It was 'said' to have been used by accident in fact as they couldn't find a correct Walther.
A full set of 1st edition Ian Fleming's 14 James Bond novels published by Jonathan Cape between 1953-1966 could now cost in the region of £90,000. plus Comprising: Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia with Love, Dr No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and the Living Daylights.
The dust jacket has a few small tears, and a water stain, with first page opening at the hinge seam, but a nice rare copy considering it is over 50 years old.

Out of interest, our last example of this super Ist edition James Bond, in around the same condition, we sold as a gift for an American megastar, who is now, apparently, the most famous and biggest selling movie actor in the world.  read more

Code: 25088

1150.00 GBP

James Bond Ist Edition

James Bond Ist Edition "You Only Live Twice" Ist Issue, Fleming, Ian Published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1964

Jonathan Cape, London, 1964. the 2nd Bond book. Black Cloth with Japanese kanji . Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition:Good. First Edition. A first edition/first Impression. Throughout a jolly nice copy. "When Ernst Stavro Blofeld blasted into eternity the girl whom James Bond had married only hours before, the heart, the zest for life, went out of Bond" (from the dust-jacket). Basis for the James Bond movie with Sean Connery and Karin Dor as Bond-Girl Helga Brandt. This film is the first Bond movie to deviate from the source material. Other than the Japanese setting, and several characters, the two stories are very different. A first edition/first Impression (stating "first Published 1964" versus the second state "March 1964")
You Only Live Twice
Cinema poster showing Sean Connery as James Bond fly his monocoptor over the villains lair.
British cinema poster for You Only Live Twice.

The movie was Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli
Harry Saltzman

Distributed by United Artists
Release date
12 June 1967 (London, premiere)
You Only Live Twice is a 1967 British spy film and the fifth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and loosely based on Ian Fleming's 1964 novel of the same name. It is the first James Bond film to discard most of Fleming's plot, using only a few characters and locations from the book as the background for an entirely new story.

In the film, Bond is dispatched to Japan after American and Soviet manned spacecraft disappear mysteriously in orbit. With each nation blaming the other amidst the Cold War, Bond travels secretly to a remote Japanese island to find the perpetrators and comes face to face with Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. The film reveals the appearance of Blofeld, who was previously a partially unseen character. SPECTRE is working for the government of an unnamed Asian power, implied to be the People's Republic of China, to provoke war between the superpowers.

During the filming in Japan, it was announced that Sean Connery would retire from the role of Bond, but after a hiatus, he returned in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever and later 1983's non-Eon Bond film Never Say Never Again. You Only Live Twice is the first Bond film to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, who later directed the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me and the 1979 film Moonraker, both starring Roger Moore.

You Only Live Twice was a great success, receiving positive reviews and grossing over $111 million in worldwide box office.  read more

Code: 25091

1460.00 GBP