VAN GULIK, Robert. The Lacquer Screen.

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VAN GULIK, Robert. The Lacquer Screen. Kuala Lumpur: Art Printing Works, 1962.

8vo., original red illustrated wraps, printed endpapers showing the four seasons; pp. [viii], 185, [iii]; including ten full-page black and white illustrations with captions; a little rubbed along spine; lower cover shelf-soiled, but a very fresh example nonetheless. Provenance: bookstamp of Far East Stationers and Book Sellers, Kuala Lumpur, to ffep.
True First Edition, preceding the first UK edition by two years. Copies of works published at this time in the warm climate of Kuala Lumpur rarely survive so well.
Robert van Gulik was a Dutch orientalist, diplomat, musician and writer, best known for the Judge Dee historical mysteries, the protagonist of which he borrowed from the 18th-century Chinese detective novel Dee Goong An. The Lacquer Screen represents a relatively scarce work in his canon, set in Imperial China and with a plot based around a beautiful lacquer screen which is mysteriously altered to show a murder scene instead of a love scene.

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