All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

Peonies & Ponies – From Acton to Beaton

Posted: November 24th, 2021 | No Comments »

Any fans of the 1930s Peking aesthetes with a bit of cash to spare my find this the perfect Christmas gift…

Inscribed to Cecil Beaton

PEONIES AND PONIES A NOVEL.

Acton, Harold:

London: Chatto & Windus, 1941. Gilt cloth. Spine cocked, binding a bit darkened and handsoiled, a few spots to the top edge with a bit of bleed to the top edge of the front endsheets, some light foxing and creasing to a few corners, but a good copy, without dust jacket. Item #WRCAM85435

First edition. An association copy of a high order, inscribed by the author on the front free endsheet to his contemporary, friend and fellow “Bright Young Thing,” Cecil Beaton: “To my dear friend Cecil, the brilliant perpetuator of Paquita Gossamer’s charms (see p. 288) with much love from Harold.” The reference on p.288 is to a film star and hostess of late-night parties on the roof of the Peiping Palace Hotel, who has promised Freddie Follicle, social editor of the PEIPING STAR BULLETIN, “an autographed ‘study’ of herself in SEMIRAMIS by Cecil Beaton.” A few smudges on that page suggest that Beaton turned to it more than once. The first impression consisted of 1250 copies.

You can buy it here for US$1,650

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