Rare Books

Asprey & Co Ltd

Bond Street


Quarto. Original japon-backed boards covered with wood-grained paper, titled in seia to the spine and upper board, marbled endpapers. Catalogue consisting of 250 plates, 43 of them coloured. A little rubbed, some very minor adhesion damage, title page with portion stripped, but no loss of text or image, overall very good.

First edition of this superb, priced mail-order catalogue showing the entire Asprey range: jewellery, watches, luggage, household silver, crockery and glassware, furniture, "smoking requisites," and much, much more. the dating is uncertain, but is surely pre-Second World War. The only copy that we have been able to trace institutionally is at the V & A, and is dated "1930—1939?" The presence of German-made binoculars would seem to militate against a date post-1939, and the styles presented certainly would seem to be consonant with the mid-to late-30s. The nature of Asprey's business, and their position in the market at the time was well summed up in the publication, British Commerce and Industry 1934: "Wider experience than these gentlemen possess, of business on the Bond Street standard and of connections with the lovers of fine creations in all countries, is not easily attainable. If the tradition to which they have succeeded is great and almost unique, the more exacting, in consequence, must be their task in maintaining it; especially as the character of society has changed within recent generations, and the wealth of Great Britain, as of other countries, is being constantly redistributed among all classes, thus introducing an ever-constant stream of new patrons to this historical House."

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